The Product Safety Journey
Like success and life, product safety and compliance programs are about the journey rather than the destination. Compliance programs are not a black-or-white, pass-or-fail, all-or-nothing exercise. I've heard plenty of skepticism from people on the veracity of other companies' efforts when perhaps an inward focus on what is actually within their control is warranted. Who knows, maybe those comments are a defense mechanism that allows them to deflect attention away from their own potential shortcomings.
I regularly hear questions or concerns about those companies who are on the product safety journey. Perhaps these comments are misplaced. Rather, we should be not only giving credit to companies that admit they need to get better in an area so critically important to Fortune 1000 companies, but also applauding the fact that these companies are actually doing something about it. Product safety and compliance efforts are not easy, nor are they inexpensive. They carry with them the associated costs and pain that so often accompanies meaningful change. These companies are making our industry better, and we should be encouraging their efforts to improve themselves and build the overall reputation of our industry.
A robust compliance program is a pretty good window into the overall quality of an organization. These programs are a reflection of a company's ongoing commitment to you, its customer. They also provide key insights into the overall quality and character of the company you are choosing to do business with. Does the company value the relationship it has with you? Does it value the relationship you have with your customers? Is it focused on growing your business? Or does the company just want to sell you more stuff? Seriously! Is it really an unfair expectation that the products you sell do no harm? That the products do not jeopardize the health or safety of recipients? We're supposed to be enhancing our clients' brands, not putting their brand reputation at risk.