To achieve quality data, collection infrastructure must fit needsBy John Wagner, AEM Director, Materials Management, and Michael Wurzman, President, RSJ Technical Consulting

(This is the fourth in a series of articles that assist AEM members in meeting today’s stringent substance-in-products documentation and reporting requirements; reducing their non-compliance financial risks; and generating financial opportunities from their compliance activities.)

Take this truth to the bank: without a comprehensive and flexible data-transport infrastructure, it is impossible for your company and your supply chain to cost-effectively comply with REACH, Conflict Minerals, China RoHS and all the other global laws that target the toxicity in your products.  Failure to comply puts your company under substantial financial risk.

Others may tell you differently. But over the course of more than a year, AEM and nine of its OEMs and suppliers painstakingly reviewed the technical and business aspects of solutions from a wide spectrum of vendors.

What the Evaluation Committee found was:

  • Some data-collection infrastructures work very well for the electronics and other industries, where there is:
           - A much smaller number of supplier tiers than the average of 11 supplier tiers in our industry
           - Far greater transparency into the supply chain beyond a company’s direct suppliers
  • Some infrastructures work especially well for ELV, RoHS or some other single piece of legislation, but they fall flat on their face when it comes to handling all of today’s global toxicity laws – not to mention future ones
  • Several infrastructures were relatively strong, but they were developed by proprietary companies with a vested financial interest in selling their other offerings

On the plus side, the Evaluation Committee found that one infrastructure solution – CDX from HPE – was head-and-shoulders better constructed for the needs of the off-road equipment industry.

To cite just a few reasons, HPE:

  • Has evolved CDX from the auto industry’s IMDS platform and therefore represents more than 15 years of experience meeting the needs of OEMs and suppliers
  • Designed CDX to be a cross-industry solution, thereby:
           - Enabling traceability and updateability to the actual material manufacturers while maintaining their anonymity where required
           - Allowing your company, if it is a supplier, to send the same data to multiple customers in different industries
           - Containing the long-term costs of compliance as new companies from different industries use the system
           - Significant reduction in the cost of handling spreadsheet data exchanges
  • Is a neutral third party, i.e. it allows your company to integrate any legacy or new analytical software platform that meets your business needs
  • Has negotiated a very favorable fee structure for AEM members and suppliers who use the system

Companies are already entering substance data into CDX and/or receiving substance data from CDX. As your company and others learn to use CDX, the functionality will benefit the entire supply chain.

For More Information about CDX