Herve Dehareng was working in our Airblade™ technology division when the call came in. Pulled from his usual duties, Herve's extensive project management expertise would be crucial in the weeks ahead – orchestrating one of the largest product recalls seen by a technology manufacturer.
It all started when an engineer discovered a potential fire risk in a previous generation of our fan heaters. The circumstances that could generate the fault were rare – in fact, investigation found that just four machines we'd sold had reported the issue. But it wasn't good enough.
"For some of our owners, their Dyson fan heater is their only source of heat," explains Herve. "We had to make things right, no matter what the cost. And we couldn't afford to take our time doing it."
Herve quickly pulled a team together. Engineers to design the fix. Project managers to put in place the global resource to make it happen. And marketing and PR people to keep our owners informed – every step of the way.
A team of more than a hundred Dyson people put in shifts around the clock to design a global, free-of-charge fix and return service for every affected machine. All one million of them.
"Our owners were always our top, top priority," adds Herve. "To keep them in the loop, we liaised with press to get the recall message out there, and took to social media – individually responding to those who had issues or concerns."
For any product recall, a return figure of more than 20% is rare. Yet just 12 weeks after discovering the fault, Herve and his team had been able to service 65% of all affected Dyson fan heaters. Including 30% during the first week alone.
"We'd never had to do anything like this before. But wider feedback has been overwhelming. And testament to this fact is that, despite the fault, we actually ended up beating our sales targets for fans during the recall year.
"So through our adaptability, and always focussing on doing right by our owners, we'd managed to turn something negative into a huge positive for Dyson."