Our recent consignments have arrived, and I think the stock has been damaged by mould and damp – is there anything I can do?
Most retailers will be familiar with the risks posed by mould and damp, with goods sometimes in transit for up to eight weeks. But while stock damage can cause significant problems, the good news is items can be returned to their former glory.
Ozone treatment should be the first port of call to make stock safe-for-sale again; it restores products at a fraction of the product cost and allows large volumes to be treated quickly. The dry process eliminates any trace of chemical residue, it is colourfast and prevents shrinkage issues. The treatment also allows tags and labels to be treated without having to be removed, and often allows product cartons to be treated and reused.
In short, it’s a proven way to remove unwanted odours, improve biological safety and prevent the redevelopment of visible mould, restoring contaminated products to pristine condition.
But while Ozone treatment is a highly effective solution, retailers should bear in mind lead time; it’s a complex process and capacity is dictated by the size and type of product, by the nature and severity of the problem, and by the time it will take for unpacking, inspecting, cleaning and repacking the product. Although Ozone can treat up to 20,000 units a day, overall lead-times can vary.
That being said, at Advanced Supply Chain Group (ASCG) the available workforce and skills base is completely scalable; and we can upscale operations to fulfil high volume orders when required. Plus, if the product requires any additional re-processing, ASCG’s capabilities are readily available.
In summary, yes there is something you can do – although prevention is better than the cure.
We recommend that retailers ensure that suppliers have appropriate processes in place to protect stock during packaging, storage and particularly in transit. Products such as clothes and leather goods are subjected to damp conditions in transit from overseas factories, often moving between hot and humid and cooler conditions, providing an ideal climate for mould growth. If the end-destination is a damp warehouse, the stock is at risk of damage. When goods are in transit, suppliers should make sure that moisture is controlled as much as possible, prevent improper storage in warehouses and ensure that goods are packed and shipped appropriately.
Just one hole in a shipping container will allow moisture to enter and create mildew odour – a container inspection programme carried out by suppliers would make sure that any holes are spotted and improve the chances of the stock arriving at its destination in the same pristine condition as the day it was made.