Many of our customers say that we’ve simplified the complex processes of digitalizing the lifecycles of products, materials, and supply chain relationships with our CARE principle:
C – collect the relevant data
A – analyze the relations and impact
R – report the right information to the permitted stakeholders
E – evolve to minimize risks and identify opportunities
CARE starts with connecting systems and databases in a scalable and cost-effective way. iPoint offers both standard and purpose-built system interfaces, enabling integration between various ERP systems, PLM/PDM systems, CAD systems, as well as industry standard platforms and standards such as IMDS or IPC-1752.
C – Collect
With systems and data sources connected, our software largely automates data collection from various sources, including suppliers and customers. Our supplier data collection & management tools are being used by thousands of companies in different industrial sectors and are ready to handle all products, part, material, and substance data. Collected data is processed and standardized – which turns it into usable information that can be searched, analyzed, and cross-referenced.
A – Analyze
Data analysis, rulesand processingis the backbone of material compliance and sustainability processes. Whether you are looking to phase out certain substances, increase recycled content, or calculate the carbon footprint of your product, iPoint’s software solutions largely automate the process. Comprehensive rule groups can replace manual processing and reduce the risk of errors and duplications. For example, the iPoint Restricted Substance List (RSL), kept up to date by our specialists, automates substance compliance analysis, and enables the complete alignment of approval processes for all types of materials and chemicals across business units and departments. Customers may also choose to include their suppliers and customers in the approval process.
R – Report
Reports drive decisions. Based on official, internal, and custom reporting requirements, iPoint software not only provides pre-formatted standardized reports to fulfill regulatory reporting requirements, but also provides ad-hoc reporting capabilities.
iPoint’s software helps support standardized reporting and certification requirements from different government agencies that require specific data formats and structures to be followed, including CQC (China Quality Certifidation) and RoHS Certificates (China), RRR Type Approval certificates (EU), REACH SVHC registration (EU), WFD SCIP (EU), and the SEC Conflict Mineral Filing (US).
Data Analysis capabilities feed directly into the reporting. This can help companies save money and time, for example by narrowing their focus to only affected Conflict Mineral suppliers after analyzing 3TGs contained in products.
E – Evolve
Like our customers, iPoint wants to leverage today’s technology and opportunities to create a better future. This means that we must stay ahead of the requirements and have solutions ready before the deadlines are approaching. This is exactly what we have done by integrating compliance and sustainability.
With a holistic material life cycle management approach, the software solutions coming together within the iPoint Suite provide many extra functions, data analytics, and detailed assessments to tackle sustainability tasks as listed in the last article of this series, which oftentimes address future regulatory initiatives and improve engineering/manufacturing efficiency, reduce cost and risks, and decrease negative environmental/social impact.
Failure to properly manage compliance and sustainability has significant risk implications for organizations and their value chain.
One prime example is the Conflict Mineral regulation. It is a regulation, but strategically, it is closely linked to Corporate Sustainability, Responsible Sourcing, Human Rights, and Fair Trade. Failure to “do you best” in any of these areas come with significant reputational and financial risks.
The same holds true for carbon footprint. Even though carbon emissions aren’t globally regulated yet, we can see a heavy focus on decarbonization.
From all directions – consumers, customers, regulators, and investors – we can see an increasing demand for transparency.
We help our customers to safely achieve the transparency needed to facilitate a deeper understanding of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of products throughout their entire lifecycle.
This article is the eighth in our series of nine articles dedicated to the topic “From Compliance to Sustainability – Managing Material Lifecycle in the Circular Economy Era”. It is addressed to senior decision makers, managers, compliance officers, engineers, and any corporate citizen interested in the most important steps of your journey from compliance to sustainability. Starting with material compliance, we will explore the entire material life cycle and the connections between corporate sustainability goals, circular economy, and digital technology. Thereby, we will lay the focus on business processes, IT solutions, and the utilization of data as the three key elements which – in combination with sustainability and the circular economy – create greater value for companies and their value chains.
Stay tuned for our next article in this series, which will cast a glance into the future.
About the authors
Maroye Marinkovic is the Product Innovation Manager at iPoint, where he brings in his skills as a solution designer, digital strategist, and a communicator with a passion for improving sustainability, efficiency, and compliance across value chains. Based in Melbourne, Australia, he has more than 10 years of experience in conceptualizing, designing, and implementing enterprise compliance, sustainability, and risk management software solutions. Maroye’s specializations include chemicals management, platform design, blockchain solution design, circular economy, and business strategy.
Dr. Bing Xu joined iPoint in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the North America main office in 2019 as Director of Business Innovation. In this role, he supports iPoint’s customers in different industries with their material compliance programs as well as their sustainability, circular economy, and digital twin projects, to integrate material compliance programs into their core product development processes and reduce non-compliance risks and improve engineering efficiency.
Before joining iPoint, Dr. Xu was Ford Motor Company’s Global Materials Compliance Program Manager. Spearheading Ford’s Global Materials Management program in early 1997, he was one of the original OEM members who developed and launched the International Data Management System (IMDS) for the automotive industry in 2000. He was Ford’s global attribute leader for material/substance compliance and material life cycle management, and a member of Ford’s Sustainability Council, managing both internal compliance and external suppliers’ compliance. He also led Ford’s cross-functional teams and developed various material compliance-related processes and IT tools for Ford since 1997. Furthermore, Dr. Xu was the owner of Ford’s Restrictive Substances Management Standard (RSMS) and the owner of the Ford’s internal material/substance compliance processes/tools.
He has served as chair and co-chair in several committees of leading industry organizations and work groups, such as the US Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)’s Chemical Management Advisory Group, the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR)’s Substances of Concern Group, the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL)’s Steering Group; and he has supported projects of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Alternative Assessments, and TSCA industrial data collection and evaluations.
A recognized and highly respected expert of the automotive industry, he has been invited to speak at many conferences and forums hosted by different industries and governmental agencies, e.g., Electronics, Building Materials, Heavy Machinery, Chemicals, Apparel, Home Appliances, California Safer Consumer Products and Alternative Assessment conferences/workshops, and SAE US Government Industry Meeting.