When faced with the prospect of a truckload or warehouse full of defective, off-specification, returned or out dated merchandise, most manufacturers would prefer to take a sensible approach and up-cycle, reuse or generally find the most ecological and economical way of handling these waste streams.
However, sometimes just sending your product to the recycler or landfill is not secure enough to protect your brand. Certified product destruction is warranted whenever harm to your brand could come from products ending up in the hands of unsavory and unscrupulous characters that want to trade on your good name.
Certified product disposal, or product destruction service as it is sometime called, is a process whereby products are destroyed or disposed of and the process is authenticated in order to ensure that the product is not being resold or utilized illegally.
Product destruction is needed for a variety reasons.
Let’s look at the top 5.
Products that don’t meet your quality standards have a nasty habit of finding their way back onto the grey market. Whether through employees, street sellers, shops or online discount retailers, grey market products can do significant damage to your brand.
Consumers will still associate these inferior products with your company, damaging your reputation. The temptation for quick profits makes a tracked and verified disposal process necessary. Potential culprits to intercept your products on the way to the landfill can include drivers, shipping company representatives or workers at the dump.
Items that should be considered for certified product destruction include uniforms with brand identification, damaged goods, discontinued products, manufacturing overruns, obsolete inventory, blemished or off-spec items, promotional merchandise, seized counterfeit products, and unused or outdated product packaging.
Defective and expired products expose your company to significant liability risk if they’re not properly destroyed. This includes both recalled and off-spec products. Products and equipment no longer meeting government regulatory standards, and in some cases your own internal standards, should be destroyed.
Product returns due to a recall are a common and growing occurrence in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) are the regulatory agencies that oversee product recalls.
If you are subject to a product recall due to risk of injury, those products should be disposed of through a certified and verified process to limit the liability of the products making it back on the market and harming your reputation irreparably.
In some cases, certified product destruction is required to satisfy court orders. This is most common occurrence involves patent and copyright infringement cases and imported goods that are seized at the port of entry. Products most often involved include:
Specific media products including digital, films, or paper documents need thorough destruction to prevent disclosure of proprietary information or personnel data.
Oftentimes, electronic products contain embedded memory with easily copied software. Prototypes and product test runs also require destruction to protect the design and appearance of upcoming products that may cause damage to your bottom line if they find their way to your competitors
Compliance with hazardous waste regulations
Companies that work with hazardous chemicals or toxic substances require their own special handling to protect themselves from the complex regulatory environment of the EPA and California DTSC. Indiscriminately disposing of blemished, defective or expired products that contain hazardous chemicals has significant liability.
Products including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and cosmetics should take special care to with product destruction to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations. The industry slogan of, “Cradle to Grave,’ is never truer for these types of industries. Try to avoid to the proper disposal procedures and it will probably come back to bite you financially.
Companies should look for disposal companies that not only offer a certified process, but are also familiar with hazardous waste and recycling rules, regulations and laws.
Peace of Mind
The stakes are high for your company and your brand. Products that make their way onto the “grey market” can cost your company millions in brand erosion, increased liability and legal costs from potential violation of court orders.
It is important that companies have cost effective solutions and a secure certified product disposal option.
Proper certified destruction services maintain tracking and security throughout the disposal process. By maintaining a “chain of custody” throughout the process and providing photographic or video evidence of the destruction process you can be sure that your disposal is handled with the highest degree of professionalism, and ensure that your products end up where they are supposed to.
This protects your brand and provides you with peace of mind.