The Cry for Help
The process of capturing accurate data for Supply Chain management, Compliance or Regulatory needs is challenging. It becomes much harder to do if information is needed from multiple suppliers with multiple administrators in many cities and countries scattered around the world.
The Need for Data
Manufacturers need to know component composition of materials that are being supplied by independent local or global suppliers for the production of their end products. Therefore they need to collect data about those products over their entire lifecycle (from production, to use, to disposal) in order to understand critically important information about the products they are selling.
Manufacturers need to capture data about the lifecycle of products from suppliers who are scattered all around the world. It is difficult to obtain accurate supply chain data because manufacturers source numerous products from numerous global suppliers. There are many moving parts and data is rarely available in one centralized data hub. This makes it difficult to source data, update it and share it with interested parties.
Unfortunately the process is further complicated by the common practice of using emails, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and many different online survey platforms to capture and update data. These documents all create disconnected silo's. Accurate and timely updates are almost impossible to achieve in these circumstances so the process usually has to start again from scratch. Of course this is a highly inefficient approach - time consuming, expensive yet the data is usually incomplete and of poor quality.
The Growing Need for Transparency
Need for this data could be voluntary or regulatory. Even when it's voluntary, there are often strategic advantages to knowing everything associated with the lifecycle of their products. We have seen that some companies have been required to respond to more than 200 requests for data about products (and services) each year!
Like catching bubbles in a hurricane
Data records are often inaccurate and incomplete despite best efforts by many hard working folks in their many different offices. Recipients are also being crushed by multiple similar requests from different customers so there needs to be a way to re-use answers already provided in previous surveys. Capturing and organizing all this data feels like "catching bubbles in a hurricance"!
There are consequences
Although Compliance costs are significant, the costs of non-compliance are significantly higher! Lost opportunity costs include missing out on access to new markets, damage to reputation, liability penalties, product recalls and much more ...