Supply chain compliance can be turned into a competitive advantage, say Kami Blake and Kirsten Wallerstedt of 3E Company
Data is playing an increasingly important role in today’s supply chain product compliance initiatives but, given its complexity, many questions surround its use and optimisation.
Organisations often question the scope of their data – or conversely, wonder if their data set is too vast – and struggle to determine its value.
Whilst this confusion is certainly understandable, given the relative complexity of accumulating, managing and analysing data, it is important to remember that decision making is difficult without the right people, dysfunctional without the right processes and downright risky without the right information.
A crucial emerging area is in the traceability and origin of materials. This has become a key data stream necessary to file required information accurately (e.g. conflict minerals), validate responsible sourcing claims (e.g. fair labour practices and/or anticorruption laws), qualify for exemptions to existing regulations and achieve eligibility for trade preferences.
Filing incorrect disclosures, making false claims or receiving exemptions or trade preferences based on incorrect or incomplete information can have host of negative impacts, including regulatory agency audits, organisational and brand damage and the revocation of exemptions and preferences, followed by a series of financial penalties.
Evaluating supply chain content
Finding the right mix of content can be a difficult task and determining how to apply it to mitigate supply chain compliance risks effectively can be even more difficult. What follows here is an overview of the current and emerging compliance and market access environment that can be useful in helping determine if a piece of data is, in fact, relevant.
Regulations pertaining to products, substances, materials, and packaging are exploding in number and type from every corner of the globe. Keeping track of and analysing compliance requirements, information sources and demonstrating due diligence have all become necessary competencies.