Title

A knowledge based reliability engineering approach to manage product safety and recall

Department/School

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version

2014

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Purpose Managing processed food products’ safety and recall is a challenge for industry and governments. Contaminated food items can create a significant public health hazard with potential for acute and chronic food borne illnesses. This industry study examines the challenges companies face while managing a processed food recall situation and devise a responsive and reliable knowledge management framework for product safety and recall supply chain for the focal global manufacturing and distribution enterprise. Method Drawing upon the knowledge management and product safety and recall literature and reliability engineering theory, this study uses a holistic single case based approach to develop a knowledge management framework with Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) decision model. This knowledge management decision framework facilitates analysis of the root causes for each potential major recall issue and assesses the reliability of the product safety and recall supply chain system and its critical components. Results The main reasons highlighted for a recall and associated failure modes in a knowledge management framework are to devise appropriate deployment of resources, technology and procedures to recall supply chain. This study underscores specific information described by managers of a global processed food manufacturer and their perspectives about the product safety and recall process, and its complexities. Full scale implementation of product safety and recall supply chain in the proposed knowledge management framework after the current pilot study will be carried out eventually through expert systems. This operational system when fully implemented will capture the essence of decision making environments comprising goals and objectives, courses of action, resources, constraints, technology and procedures. Implications The study recognizes the significance of communication, integration, failsafe knowledge management process design framework, leveraging technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) within all levels of supply chain for product traceability and the proactive steps to help companies successfully manage a recall process and also reestablish trust among the consumers. The proposed knowledge management framework can also preempt product recall by acting as an early warning system. A formal knowledge management framework will enable a company’s knowledge be cumulative for product safety and recall and serve as an important integrating and coordinating role for the organization.

Abstract

Purpose

Managing processed food products’ safety and recall is a challenge for industry and governments. Contaminated food items can create a significant public health hazard with potential for acute and chronic food borne illnesses. This industry study examines the challenges companies face while managing a processed food recall situation and devise a responsive and reliable knowledge management framework for product safety and recall supply chain for the focal global manufacturing and distribution enterprise.

Method

Drawing upon the knowledge management and product safety and recall literature and reliability engineering theory, this study uses a holistic single case based approach to develop a knowledge management framework with Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) decision model. This knowledge management decision framework facilitates analysis of the root causes for each potential major recall issue and assesses the reliability of the product safety and recall supply chain system and its critical components.

Results

The main reasons highlighted for a recall and associated failure modes in a knowledge management framework are to devise appropriate deployment of resources, technology and procedures to recall supply chain. This study underscores specific information described by managers of a global processed food manufacturer and their perspectives about the product safety and recall process, and its complexities. Full scale implementation of product safety and recall supply chain in the proposed knowledge management framework after the current pilot study will be carried out eventually through expert systems. This operational system when fully implemented will capture the essence of decision making environments comprising goals and objectives, courses of action, resources, constraints, technology and procedures.

Implications

The study recognizes the significance of communication, integration, failsafe knowledge management process design framework, leveraging technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) within all levels of supply chain for product traceability and the proactive steps to help companies successfully manage a recall process and also reestablish trust among the consumers. The proposed knowledge management framework can also preempt product recall by acting as an early warning system. A formal knowledge management framework will enable a company’s knowledge be cumulative for product safety and recall and serve as an important integrating and coordinating role for the organization.

Published in

Expert Systems with Applications

Citation/Other Information

41(11), 5323-5339. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2014.03.007