A product recall study sponsored by the National Quality Institute identifies faults in the supply chain as the primary reason for product recalls

    TORONTO, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The first of its kind report finds that
each new recall results in increasing concerns about manufacturing and
distribution processes. At the same time, product safety concerns are
decreasing consumer trust.
    "Product recalls are becoming a major concern for consumers and
manufacturers," says Allan Ebedes, President and CEO of the National Quality
Institute. "There was a significant lack of Canadian research on the issue
and, as part of our mandate, the National Quality Institute believed it needed
to be done to find a solution."
    The study conducted by the Haskayne School of Business at the University
of Calgary examined product recalls between 2002 and 2006. The 10 product
categories included food, beverages, toys, jewellery, clothing, consumer
electronics, appliances, furniture, tools, and sports equipment. Over the
five-year period, there were 837 product recalls. There were 279 recalls in
2006, the highest number in the five years, almost doubling the number of
recalls in 2005.
    The study recommends that manufacturers and suppliers share the
responsibility of design excellence and quality controls. "Manufacturers and
their suppliers need to find new ways to work together to remedy the concern
of product recalls," says Debi Andrus, an assistant professor at Haskayne and
the principal researcher for the study.
    The toothpaste and pet food recalls in the first six months of 2007,
combined with the more recent Mattel toy recalls, have heightened concerns
about products, parts, or ingredients made in China. Analysis of the country
of origin of recall products for the past five years shows total recalls from
Canadian-made products (32%) are slightly higher than China (28%).
Year-over-year analysis shows that from 2002, product recalls from Canadian
products have decreased, and recalls of products from China have increased.
    Changing the supply chain will minimize manufacturing concerns, but in
the meanwhile Canadians need a central system to find information about
current product recalls. Product recalls are found on four different
government websites.
    The majority of product recalls have not caused injury or death and all
are voluntary. The results found that 69% of the recalls during the past five
years involved food, while toys represented 10%. The leading cause of food
recalls involved allergy alerts (48%), dangerous ingredients (20%), and design
faults (10%).
    The study was prepared to coincide with the 2007 Performance Excellence
Summit and the 23rd Canada Awards for Excellence to be held Wednesday, October
24th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

    The National Quality Institute is a not-for-profit independent
organization, with the goal to help Canadian private and public sector
organizations with programs of excellence. An important part of the quality
program is to work with organizations to manage self-assessment activities, to
review business processes, and to develop improvement programs. Today,
Canadian organizations and businesses recognize that a healthy workplace
attracts and retains staff.

    The Haskayne School of Business is an innovative business school with an
international reputation for influencing the practice of management and
leadership through quality teaching and research. With students enrolled in
bachelor's, master's, PhD and executive education programs, the school boasts
nearly 16,000 alumni in 60 countries.

For further information:

For further information: Allan Ebedes, President and CEO, National
Quality Institute, (416) 251-7600 ext 233; Bob Whitelaw, Coordinator Outreach
and Awareness Office, (613) 565-9778, Cell (613) 799-2299; Katie Wattie,
Communications Coordinator, Haskayne School of Business, (403) 220-6096

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