The cost of not following the rules, and not managing quality, can be very large indeed in regulated and safety critical markets. A LIMS provides a defendable quality control framework and, through standard operating procedures, ensures repeatable quality that you can trust.
It’s not just the immediate loss of business when a manufacturing plant stops that has an impact; it is also the future loss of earnings when consumer confidence is lost. Indeed, losing consumer trust can be even more costly. It is claimed that the 2008 contaminated milk scandal in China cost Fonterra up to $700 million. The scandal involved infant formula milk being adulterated with melamine. The chemical was used to increase the nitrogen content of milk, giving it the appearance of higher protein content to pass product quality standards. 54,000 babies were hospitalized, and 6 babies died.
Chinese dairy farmers had unwittingly added ‘protein powder’ to the milk to ensure it was not rejected. This adulteration was not detected during testing by Sanlu (43% owned by Fonterra at the time). The scandal caused widespread product recalls, a loss of consumer confidence within China, and led to other countries banning formula milk imports from China. It has taken many years for the Chinese dairy industry to recover, with much improved quality control testing now in place. The loss of brand reputation can indeed cost you dear.