Compliance for Established Brands

Our service philosophy is to tailor your product compliance program to your company’s needs. This could be fully outsourcing it to our team, from evaluation of customer complaints to developing testing protocols. It could mean a 3 hour consultation and evaluation of current business practices and guidance on how to solve your compliance problems yourself, or something in between, such as an implementation strategy that you take over yourself, or ad hoc document review from suppliers you’re considering. Our regions of specialty are the US, Canada, and Europe, but we also have experience and training with regulations in Mexico, China, India, and Australia as well.

Product Compliance Strategy – A holistic compliance strategy is the best way to ensure that your supply chain is secure, you’re buying what you think you’re buying, and your customers get consistent value for their money – whether this is deliberately high quality or a more value conscious product. Just as important, your strategy should meet minimum regulatory requirements in the regions in which you operate, to reduce potential fines. A holistic compliance strategy includes receiving and responding to customer complaints; recalls contingency planning; product testing and certification; inspections and quality audits; and records maintenance, with the details of this strategy dependent on your brand goals and your willingness to take risks.

Start-up Evaluation – For Innovators, FBA/3P Amazon sellers, and other small businesses who may be asked for compliance documentation by retailers such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, or distributors, product compliance can be daunting with the many agencies involved in regulating products, to the inconsistencies in applying regulatory guidance, and how there is no consistent global approach to product testing. I can support with a simple program evaluation and guidance document providing you the tools to solve your problems yourself or continue to reach out for support whenever you need. This toolkit includes:

  1.  Brand strategy driven evaluation of your current compliance approach;
  2.  An evaluation of your company’s appetite for risk and whether your current compliance approach fits with this;
  3.  Evaluation of your current compliance program, from recalls to customer complaints to testing and certification document retention;
  4.  Management tools and development of basic KPIs to manage your program in a technology driven way; and
  5.  Access to product compliance providers with excellent rates and turnaround times for consumer goods (primarily Toys, Home Goods, and Textiles).

At the end of the evaluation, you will be provided with a guidance white paper with detailed areas for improvement and how to ensure that your compliance program meets your brand strategy and risk profile.

Building a Compliance Program – whether you’re on a budget and just need to set up the bare minimum compliance program to reduce your risk, or you plan to import or manufacture infant pacifiers and clothing and need a solid program in which you have a high degree of confidence in your program, I can provide guidance and ongoing feedback. For those looking to establish their compliance program, here are the features I can offer:

  1. Development of recall preparedness approach to ensure you are ready if the worst should happen with a product;
  2. Development of social media presence to receive, validate, and respond to customer complaints about safety;
  3. Development of testing protocols and inspections procedures using input from the top service leaders in the industry;
  4. Implement SOPs and documentation retention procedures using Amazon AWS free service tier and MS Office tools for those more budget conscious, or implementing a more robust program with in-house development for those with the means;
  5. Monthly and Quarterly repeatable reporting developed with Excel or Tableau software, depending on your budget;
  6. Identify gaps for moving into new marketplaces, and where there may be opportunities to tap into an existing logistics ecosystem, such as Fulfillment by Amazon; and
  7. Twice yearly audit to ensure that processes and procedures are being followed appropriately

Maintaining a Compliance Program – if you’ve already evaluated and built your Compliance program, it’s now time to maintain it. Perhaps you only have need for a full-time employee all year, but during your peak seasons (pre Chinese New Year or pre-Christmas imports peak), you find the need for extra support. Perhaps you’ve decided to add a new product line, or go into a new marketplace. Here are the services I can offer:

  1. Evaluate and review documents from suppliers or third party labs;
  2. Handle overflow testing management for ongoing product testing needs;
  3. Evaluate current documentation on hand and provide guidance as to what further testing would be required to move into a new marketplace; and
  4. Ongoing recall and customer complaint management, with recommendations provided as to what steps should be taken next by your company
About the Author
Rachel Johnson Greer is a global business strategist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs increase their internet product sales, curate their brand image online and avoid catastrophic legal threats. After getting her MBA in international business at Seattle University, she spent nearly a decade at Amazon working in product development. Since then, Rachel has founded companies that reached both multi-six figure and multi-seven figure growth in under three years.

As a business coach, she supports clients in everything from international product expansion to 4x-ing their sales through online retailers. Rachel is frequently sought out by the media and has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. When she’s not working with clients, she’s scaring friends at parties with stories about the most problematic online products she’s found in their homes. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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