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My best mistake: Overcoming a recall drama

How do you overcome a mistake that threatens your business’ reputation? Paul Solomon, co-chairman for Moose Enterprise, shares his story.

Moose Enterprise began in 1985 and is still proving to be a popular toy company with children around Australia.

In creating and manufacturing children’s products, health and safety is at the forefront of every design. However Moose found themselves in the middle of a dramatic recall in 2007 when the company was alerted to the presence of toxins in one of their products.

“Without doubt our biggest hurdle was the 2007 recall of our Bindeez toy worldwide due to toxins found in the product,” explained Solomon.This issue occurred after a Chinese manufacturer substituted an ingredient without warning.”

The company needed to act immediately to ensure that this issue wouldn’t affect the safety of their customers.

“Our initial concern was obviously for the children and families involved and the steps we were going to take to ensure their safety.

We dealt with this by acting immediately and fronting up to the issue. A call centre was set-up, a customer service team was trained, a website created, and retailer and consumer bulletins were released within hours of receiving the initial news. Employees were informed across the whole process, messaging was clear company-wide and this helped ensure the issue was dealt with immediately and efficiently.”

Solomon and the company learnt a lot about ensuring rigorous standards were being maintained during this time.

“It was a very tough experience to go through; however the overall experience has affected our business positively,” says Solomon.

“We now have the toughest and most stringent safety standards of any toy company and pride ourselves on only working with the best manufacturers.”

When asked if he thought the company handled this period well, Solomon said he wouldn’t change the company’s reaction if he could. “We think that it was our responsiveness during this time that meant consumer confidence remained positive.”

Confidence indeed remained positive and today the company is looking better than ever. “Business could not be better for Moose today.  With over 150 employees across Australia, the US, Hong Kong and with a gross revenue tipping $100 million, the sky is the limit.”

Solomon’s top three tips for other businesses facing a challenge like this are:

1. Act quickly

2. Act responsibly

3. Be honest

Rhiannon Sawyer

Rhiannon Sawyer

[NB: Rhiannon Sawyer no longer works for Dynamic Business]. Rhiannon Sawyer is the editor for Dynamic Business online. She also looks after online content for Dynamic Export. She loves writing business profiles and is fascinated by the growing world of homegrown online businesses and how so many people can make money in their pyjamas.

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