ERP and REACh: From Compliance to Collaboration

This site first discussed the potential impact of the REACh era in a post from 2009. Since then, we at itelligence have continued to help small-to-midsized chemical enterprises prepare to meet the demands—and seize the widely overlooked opportunities—presented by the EU legislation known as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemical Substances.

Since REACh first became law in 2007, companies that manufacture or ship chemicals to or through the EU have faced a set of deadlines to register their products with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The registration process involves a large number of documents and dossiers, which companies ultimately submit via an ECHA database. Given the scale of documentation involved with this process, companies need an efficient way to create and track information.

Organizations that have partnered with itelligence have the full benefit of SAP’s REACh Compliance Workbench, which incorporates functionality for the SAP Environmental Health and Safety module. This solution not only allows companies to generate and monitor documentation, but also facilitates integration with the ECHA database. All of this functionality is contained within itelligence’s SAP Business All-in-One it.chemical solution.

These capabilities go beyond compliance by pointing a way towards enhanced organizational efficiencies. Before a company registers a chemical, key personnel need to develop a plan by deciding on several factors, including: the primary means of production for the chemical; how the substance will be repurposed and reused; and what documentation will be used in the specification process. Given the extent of planning, collaboration throughout the enterprise becomes critical. This might seem like a hindrance at first, but it actually presents organizations with an opportunity to streamline processes and make collaboration an integral part of day-to-day business activities.

Within the product lifecycle management component of SAP’s ERP package, a company can personalize information on chemicals and chemical content, based on the organization’s unique specifications. Access to this information is enhanced by the ability to fully document each step of the production process, and integrate that information with engineering change-management and workflow activities. The SAP solution allows engineers, research-and-development personnel and all other relevant parties to share information. Documentation remains centralized and comprehensive, with different iterations of documents and dossiers easily tracked. Further, the organization can optimize the software capabilities with workflow approvals to make sure that the appropriate people receive the appropriate information. This high level of collaboration might begin as a necessity to suffice government regulations, but quickly becomes a catalyst for a more streamlined enterprise.

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