General Motors has issued about 70 recalls in the course of 2014, as of this writing. These recalls are enumerated here, by CNN. These recalls affect as few as five and as many as 3 million vehicles.
I am not sure that list is even complete. I myself just last week received a recall notice for my Chevy Traverse that is not enumerated here. And the year is not over yet as even other potential recalls loom. Don’t get me wrong. I am still high on GM. I believe they have a newly-found discipline and resolve forged in the crucible of their recent crisis and government bailout.
Consider the implications of this for a moment. One reason GM is too big to fail is not just because of their size, but the size of their supply chain. While GM itself would be purchased either entirely or in parts, the resulting supply chain shock during that transition alone could have significant economic consequences as tier 1 to tier N suppliers around the world are affected. So consider for a moment, given the size of that supply chain, the logistical challenge of managing recalls across multiple models and configurations of multiple vehicle product lines and platforms. Imagine being in the supply chain for an affected part or system, or maybe you don’t have to imagine because you have been there. Or you may have been in the dealer network of a recall-intensive industry like automotive. Regardless of where you sit in the value chain, regardless if you are in automotive, food and beverage, aerospace and defense manufacturing or other industry, you need technology to support this logistical demand if and when it happens.
Traceability is key
If recall readiness were about just three things, all three of them may turn out to be traceability. This is not just part or supply chain traceability, but rather traceability along entire value chains. Where did raw materials and component parts come from all the way back to the mine the titanium came from. What hands touched the product, which extruding machine produced a part from what batch of resin, all the way through to who bought that specific item on what date.
Fortunately, the combination of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and automated data capture technologies can create an elegant approach to traceability that is agile enough to flow and flex with your changing business. In this audio podcast, IFS Industry Director Jakob Bjorklund and David Barks, vice president at IFS partner Radley corporation share the fine points of traceability for demanding industries including food and beverage, automotive and others.
Stream the podcast and share any thoughts on how you handle product and supply chain data to prepare for that recall … whether you have 70 in a single year or a single one in 70 years.