Product Stewardship activities are poised to gradually transform from a reactive compliance-based function into a proactive, embedded and strategic function generating new business insights. In this transition, data management is increasingly relevant.
During the last years substantial data has been generated for the purpose of responding to various legal obligations including the EU REACH registration deadlines and the obligation to communicate on the presence of Substances of Very High Concern in articles. Valuable data is held in local folders, different databases, mail archives or sometimes even paper binders.
As a paradox, the risk of non-compliance could increase with the inaccessibility of relevant information. Moreover, it can be time-consuming to pull information together to respond to customer requests on product composition, or to provide data to compliance auditors or competent authorities.
Furthermore, Product Stewardship is often considered as a cost for reactively responding to external regulations such as REACH, RoHS, WEEE, BPR, MDR, with the only benefit observed that the company is on the safe side of the regulation. As a result, budgets and manpower are limited. Opportunities arise for streamlining operations, by making them more integrated, connected and digital.
Digitization often plays an important role in this transformation process. The collection of data through the implementation of software solutions as part of a wider corporate digitization strategy allows organisations to manage product risk, demonstrate compliance and to use Product Stewardship to drive brand differentiation in the market.
The Arcadis approach is to address these challenges through what we call Information Driven Performance: by identifying data management needs for your company, improving process flows, identifying and implementing the right (software) solutions, integrating the right systems, processes and data across business functions, structures and geographies to transform your business performance.
As each business is different, the focus is on more than just finding the right software solution. Arcadis employs a proven 5-step approach to prepare, implement, manage and reinforce the organizational frameworks required to simplify and operationalize product lifecycle management systems. This includes for instance the regulatory tracking of global product regulations or the restricted substances management.
A recent survey of Arcadis amongst EHS professionals revealed a clear gap between on one side the amount of data managed, and on the other side the critical insights the company could gain from this data. Often a silo-type of organisation, with barriers between entities such as Product Stewardship, EHS, Environmental and Social Governance hinders the generation of the right connections.
Eliminating data silos has become business critical. The REACH regulation for instance resulted into large amounts of data which could be used in other parts of the company supporting strategic, future-proof decisions. Also, as Environmental and Social reporting can translate to millions of dollars in investments in shareholder value, a good integration with other parts of the business is very important for getting the right intelligence.
In times of making companies competitive through digitization and implementing Industry 4.0, Product Stewardship is often unexploited territory with a high data potential. Arcadis partners with organizations beyond traditional environmental management services and looks at what drives your company’s overall performance for compliance and operational excellence.