Once roles and responsibilities for handling EH&S data are defined, it’s important to assess how to promote compliance across the board. A shift of perspective can lead supply chain staff in the right direction for determining best practices. Typically, a product supply chain perspective is the most effective.
Simplify the review process
With a fresh outlook, supply chain professionals can start to assess the company’s total product risk profile against the framework of the company’s product lifecycle and supply chain. Steps in the review process may include:
1). Review product compliance, safety and stewardship functions
- Thoroughly analyze three distinct levers that govern EH&S regulatory compliance: Regulatory content and information management; compliance tasks and activities; and technology applications and platforms.
- Determine how the company manages regulatory content and information across the product supply chain, both upstream and downstream. Ask the critical question: What are the activities, tasks and controls a company has in place to manage compliance and risks associated with the products that are purchased, produced, stored, sold, distributed, transported or disposed? The company should strategically implement the right mix of platforms, applications and automation tools, optimized for both compliance-related tasks and for keeping management informed on how the company is tracking against its overall EH&S compliance plan.
2). Continue to develop, implement and optimize key strategies
- Ideally, a company should review its business from a product life cycle vantage point—from research and development all the way through to disposal—to gain a better understanding of the critical activities associated with each stage of the product life cycle.
3). Educate executives, directors and managers across the enterprise
- Show them where and how they can research and apply best-in-class global regulatory content and information, technology platforms and applications and activities and tasks associated with delivering compliance.
- Obtain current and accurate global regulatory data from reputable sources.
- Test a variety of solutions available in the marketplace for technology platforms and applications.
- Identify one comprehensive, integrated and qualified provider to supply the content and associated support services.
To achieve and sustain compliance improvements, supply chain executives should take a comprehensive view of compliance performance and risk management throughout the entire supply chain and product lifecycle. Compliance tasks and activities must be evaluated closely to discern which activities are best managed in-house and which can be outsourced most effectively.
Choose the right service provider
When outsourcing certain aspects of the EH&S compliance or risk management program, it’s important to engage with a service provider that supports a comprehensive approach to corporate product stewardship and compliance efforts—beginning upstream with research, development and manufacturing; continuing midstream with transportation, distribution and sales; and concluding downstream with use in the workplace or by consumers and on to the product’s final disposal, recycling or reuse. The benefits of this integrated approach will then reach throughout the extended supply chain.
The most helpful service providers bring scalability, breadth and accurate data within comprehensive and timely solutions to the enterprise—all in the framework of a global platform. Data quality is often a key driver of success and the most valuable service providers are those that offer it in the most robust way available—broad, updated, high-quality and accurate data. This information must be developed, managed and maintained by highly-qualified regulatory and geographic-specific experts. These solutions can then be leveraged to support comprehensive and mission-critical applications across the supply chain and product lifecycle.
Managing information associated with EH&S compliance is a time-consuming, resource-draining and often expensive task. Environmental compliance can be more daunting and onerous than many financial regulations due to the intricacies of the requirements and the financial and human cost of noncompliance. To combat the challenges, companies must shift their attention and resources to focus on EH&S compliance at a higher level.