Withdrawal of dangerous or faulty products : DDS Logistics creates online alert platform for Carrefour

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DDS Logistics has developed an SAAS web alert solution for the Carrefour group to speed up the process of removing faulty products from the shelves.


What is the fastest way to inform your stores and warehouses a product is dangerous or faulty? At Carrefour, procedures have been enforced to anticipate all eventualities. When a fault is detected, faxes are immediately sent out to the group’s 5.500 outlets and warehouses in France, and the products removed from the shelves. Each store faxes back the quantities held. “A reliable but heavy procedure” according to Carrefour BtoB competence center head Ghislain Esquerre and food projects manager Séverine Tomme. “But as far as quality and safety are concerned, we have to be perfect”. With group quality head Hervé Gomichon they encourage the group to turn to the project of one of its computing partners, DDS Logistics, the provider of its import flow management software. The decision to launch an online collaborative alert platform www.alertenet.com is made. The objective is to speed up information diffusion, secure validation phases, trace 100% of the operational process and pinpoint the outlets of the Carrefour network where products must be withdrawn (hypermarkets, supermarkets, maxidiscounts, local stores and warehouses).

Optimized traceability
The platform is available in SAAS mode and accessible to Carrefour’s suppliers, quality departments, outlets and warehouses depending on their authorization level. DDS Logistics and Carrefour quality group managers are on call seven days a week late into the night. Practically speaking, the supplier enters the fault recorded for his product on the www.alertenet.com website. To do so, he fills in the information with which the product can be quickly identified: brand, product family, barcode, packaging, use-by date (for foodstuffs), batch number, production site…whatever the type of problem is. In next to no time, Carrefour quality department can rely on information that is comprehensive, secure and validated by the supplier.

More responsiveness
“The DDS Shipper platform has algorithms with which the warehouses and stores that have the products can be modelled and targeted very quickly” Ghislain Esquerre underlines. “Alerts used to be sent to the whole network. For outlets and warehouses, this definitely saves time: stock control is limited to the relevant sites”.
Carrefour’s quality departments are advised in real time (by SMS and e-mail) of a supplier’s request and must validate the information they receive so that it is faxed to the staff on sites. The fax is used because it remains a legal obligation, but the information is also sent by e-mail through www.alertenet.com. “With e-mail and SMS, the information is shared more quickly so it can be validated before it is faxed” Ghislain Esquerre insists.
The items are removed from the shelves in the following minutes. Each site enters the exact quantities held on www.alertenet.com. Information processing is faster, with no re-entry.
“The driving forces behind this project are fast execution, optimized targeting and traceability” Ghislain Esquerre confirms.
The whole process relies on DDS Shipper’s workflow modeling, traceability and alert management capabilities.

What happens after products have been withdrawn?

Depending on the faults detected, the products can undergo new tests in independent analysis laboratories, they can be destroyed in accordance with specific procedures or retrieved by the supplier.
www.alertenet.com can analyze data and make statistics to identify the types of products and suppliers that “underperform”.

“Because of the number of departments and sites, two years were needed to design and implement this tool” Ghislain Esquerre insists. The collaboration between the different teams (quality, supply chain) was instrumental in this project’s success. And DDS Logistics was able to support us in this far-reaching quality approach effort, for which unwavering reliability and responsiveness was crucial”.