Your product is done. You have incorporated all the necessary changes and have made improvements based on the consumer's feedback.
During your sample testing, you gauged the overall capabilities of your product and its features. After market testing, you have proven that your product can compete against similar designs.
The next step in your checklist is to pass the product compliance step.
What is Product Compliance?
Product compliance refers to regulatory requirements, rules, and standards by the law that your product must meet before you can place it on the market. The requisites differ from market to market, and from product to product.
Regulations are in place to set the standard for citizens, businesses, the government, and the community. It is indispensable for economies to function correctly. These regulations are enacted to protect the citizens’ rights and safety and to ensure the proper delivery of goods and services to the public.
What is Product Compliance Management?
Product Compliance Management monitors future regulations to ensure that your systems, team, and processes are prepared for them. Product Compliance entails evaluating materials in your products' components to ensure they adhere to environmental compliance standards.
You should monitor each product's components for its chemical makeup to communicate with the stakeholders in your supply chain and report the required chemical data to regulatory bodies and consumers to keep products in the market. The product compliance process covers all these.
Product Compliance - Best Practices
Improve your Product Compliance Management with the following practices:
1. Legal obligations
"Ignorantia legis non-excusat" is a Latin maxim that means ignorance of the law does not excuse you from compliance. Hence, the importance of understanding your legal obligations.
Legal obligations vary depending on what jurisdictions your products fall into. If you are in Europe, the European Union (EU) will require you to meet the reporting requirements for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and use of Substances of Concern Products (SCIP) database. These are just a few requirements that vary if you operate in different countries.
There are instances where you will find yourself in conflict with the law where the materials allowed in another jurisdiction are not allowed by the other. You need to adjust your product again for the product component to meet the requirements of another jurisdiction.
Understanding your legal obligations is the first step in any successful product compliance product. And it is also a crucial part of the process. Failure to meet your legal obligations can lead to costly penalties and may cause you to lose access to some of your key markets.
2. Know and understand voluntary standards.
Your company may have qualifications of its own that need to be met. These may cover additional reporting on sustainability standards or certifications, etc.
These standards are not imposed on you by regulatory bodies or customers, but they can embody your company's commitment to ethics and sustainability, and build customer trust.
3. A well-trained compliance staff
For your compliance program to succeed, you must also ensure that you have a team that will assist you in meeting the requisite standards. Product compliance includes using various tools; you must train your staff to use your systems to avoid costly compliance errors.
4. Communicate with your supply chain
The supply chain facilitates the transfer and change of raw materials into your end product during manufacturing. Once the product is done, the manufacturer will transport and distribute the product to the retailer until a consumer gets their hands on it.
Incurring delays, especially as you move through the manufacturing process of your production, will be costly on your end. It will also cause delay in the introduction of the product to the public. However, you may ensure compliance requirements are met by effectively communicating with your supply chain.
There are several factors to consider if you are working in a supply chain. Regardless of the order's quantity or frequency, other stakes, demands, and constraints affect transactions. Communication connects your team with the stakeholders and suppliers.
Lack of communication may lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, loss of revenue, and the possibility of late deliveries. Although there are factors that affect supply chain delays that are outside of your direct control, the reduction of the likelihood of delay is addressed by effective and clear communication between members of the supply chain.
5. Use the right Software Systems
The software system you use should align with your goals and meet the demands of regulatory bodies. Various regulatory agencies and customers require the accurate reporting of chemical data imposing an additional burden on the company.
Ensure that the software you are using will work best for your requirements. Bear in mind that different companies must meet different compliance needs. Use software that can assist you in efficiently inputting data into the system.
6. Full disclosure
Always maintain a database of all materials and substances used to manufacture your products. You can use database systems to help you gather this information into a single system.
By fully disclosing all materials and substances involved in creating your product, you can assure the exchange of high-quality data and efficient compliance reporting. It will also help you trace every material you have used whenever there is a new regulation or requirement.
7. Regular assessment
Regular assessment of your compliance system can save you more in the long run. You need to ensure that your compliance system is operating efficiently. Be sure to conduct any assessment before your compliance system.
Sometimes, erroneous reporting may arise if your compliance system needs to report data accurately. Any issues with your compliance system would also lead to errors in your production and overall operations.
8. High Data Quality Standards
Your data reporting covers material compliance. You may encounter difficulty in material compliance requirements if you do not have accurate and high-quality data, and inaccurate data can lead to noncompliance and the resulting fines.
Ensure that you are meeting the standards regarding high data quality standards across your data reporting. It will save you time in the future as you keep track of all your data quality and provide accurate compliance reporting when demanded.
9. Customer Requirements
Product design and manufacturing aim to satisfy the consumer's demands; hence, it is equally important that you meet their requirements.
Some consumers may demand more from their suppliers to meet additional compliance requirements or expand the scope of their reporting. Conduct sample testing to better understand your customer's expectations, receive feedback and improve your product based on their specifications.
10. Address issues promptly
You should address any issue and should be prompt. If you wait before you correct any issues, regardless of whether they are related to compliance or not, they can incur additional costs to your company.
Regulations are in place to set standards that a product should meet. Regulatory bodies want to ensure that products are safe and secure to consume. Compliance management is necessary to ensure that your products meet these standards.