In today’s global economy, OEMs must comply with strict and ever-changing regulatory requirements imposed by governing agencies around the globe. Companies without the tools to meet RoHS and REACH compliance standards will suffer from product shipping delays that can jeopardize their business.
Fortunately, there’s a solution for companies to mitigate such risk.
Arena Solutions has formed a strategic partnership with Q Point Technology to allow Arena PLM users the ability to purchase Q Point’s Green Data Exchange (GDX), the largest online exchange for compliance data. Simply put: GDX allows Arena customers to obtain RoHS, REACH, substance disclosure, and Conflict Minerals information from more than 10,000 suppliers worldwide.
We recently spoke with Q Point CEO Bill Robertson to discuss the amazing benefits that the Arena & Q Point partnership offers to product design companies everywhere.
Arena: What exactly is Green Data Exchange?
Bill: Green Data Exchange (GDX) is a cloud-based system that allows companies to connect directly with their suppliers to obtain real-time compliance information. When a supplier updates a declaration, that information is immediately available to all customers of that supplier. In our model, GDX is free for suppliers, so customers can invite all their suppliers to participate.
Arena: What are some of the benefits of using Green Data Exchange?
Bill: First of all, it's a cloud-based SaaS system, so customers can use it right away.
Second, as membership in the community continues to grow year over year, customers have access to a large amount of existing supplier declarations. This reduces the data collection burden associated with compliance — now you just need to issue requests to suppliers for parts that aren't yet present in the system.
With the means to view compliance status at a BOM level, companies can more easily manage compliance of a product throughout the product lifecycle. For example, many RoHS exemptions are getting phased out. Now I can see which exemptions are taken by any of my products and make better planning and sourcing decisions.
Arena: Why should OEMs choose Green Data Exchange over alternative approaches to managing compliance?
Bill: Environmental regulations have expanded significantly over the years, and more industries are subject to regulations than ever before. Compliance is now required to do business. Companies increasingly require certification as part of contracts, and demand deeper levels of disclosure.
The key question then becomes what is the best way to address this area? Manual data collection is economically untenable, whether done in-house or through a third party contractor. Database information resellers aren't the answer either. They only address a narrow set of common off-the-shelf commodities and often don't have the latest information. The manufacturing partner doesn't own the bill of material (BOM) and does not face the liability that the OEM does.
The better way is a solution than can manage the entire product and all its commodity types, including custom parts, mechanical, optical, specialty, chemical, electro-mechanical, and electronic parts. A solution that both gives the OEM access to existing ready-to-use compliance data as well as the means to obtain the remaining information required directly from suppliers.
Arena: How does this partnership benefit Arena customers?
Bill: With Green Data Exchange, Arena PLM users can evaluate the compliance of any BOM to regulations, such as RoHS, REACH, and Conflict Minerals. By providing a system that allows companies to connect with their suppliers, organizations are able to reduce their compliance costs and stay up-to-date with ever changing regulations.
Arena: What is the value each company offers the other?
Bill: GDX offers Arena PLM users a comprehensive solution to their compliance challenges. For Q Point, adoption of GDX by the extensive Arena customer base will continue to expand the GDX community, which in turn makes it easier for each member to obtain the supplier information they need, increasing efficiency and driving down the cost of compliance.
Arena: What advice do you have for companies that are formulating their compliance strategy?
Bill: OEMs need to take a long-term view of compliance and understand that regulations will continue to change, and new regulations will continue to appear on the landscape. The main challenge is one of staying up to date. So think about what the most efficient way is to accomplish that.
To learn more about this exciting partnership and the value it offers customers, click here.