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Copies in your cupboards? Fakes on your Floors? Replicas in your retail?

Terri Reeves Monday, October 27, 2014 Blog
Broadbent's Blog

Broadbent

Written by John Broadbent -National Solution Lead –Manufacturing 

When I think of counterfeit products I think of  the many streets across South East Asia  and their ‘copy watches’, or ‘Gucci’ handbags and fake-branded sunglasses.

But did you know that counterfeit products are now finding their way into pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive and other manufacturing industries?

And the problem is uglier than we might think.

Kevin Beard, President of the National Quality Assurance (NQA) body in the USA and the one of the most respected ISO registrars in the world, notes: “For years we have heard and seen signs of counterfeit products in the form of ‘Knock-Off’ handbags, watches and other retail goods. Now imagine a scenario were counterfeit parts are unknowingly being purchased by your company and integrated into the product you deliver to your customer. This scenario may seem unlikely for your company, but it is becoming a bigger threat than many organisations realise.”

As businesses compete in a global marketplace and are price-driven, the temptation to use cheaper products is a natural outcome. However, ensuring that the supply chain that provided these products is not compromised, is key to ensuring products and their stated origin are in fact, genuine.

Items such as ‘genuine’ oil filters for cars, mobile phones, laptop and car batteries, cosmetics, washing powder and even toothbrushes containing lead, all infiltrate our supply chain.

Last year Customs & Border protection seized more than 500,000 suspected counterfeit items for an estimated value of $43M and this may very well be the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, when a ‘branded’ counterfeit product carries your name and finds its way into the consumer market, it’s your brand that is damaged and often with little right of reply.

What’s your business doing to ensure the integrity of its supply chain?

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