By | December 3, 2021

Product stewards and Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) professionals using SAP EH&S are continually asked to do more with less. Regulations have increased in scope and complexity; yet deadlines to comply remain unchanged and often feel rushed when compared to regulations of the past. Couple that with larger trends around digital transformation and RISE with SAP, it can become very burdensome to not only keep your regulatory content up to date, but also to rely on this data for critical business decisions. One approach to get over this hurdle is to leverage the expertise and capabilities of a trusted content partner.

Four Steps for Unlocking the Full Potential of Your Regulatory Content

Step 1: Understand the full depth of regulatory content and how your organization relies upon this data.

The first step in unlocking the value of your SAP EH&S data is to understand what regulatory content means to your organization and to ensure you have a complete picture of how your organization relies on this data. Many product stewards will tell you that regulatory content consists of chemical data, regulatory phrases, such as toxic if swallowed, and pictograms. While these are important aspects of regulatory data and many product stewards rely heavily on this information, they do not provide a holistic view of what regulatory content encompasses. By focusing on a such a limited definition of regulatory content, you may unintentionally be creating an organizational blind spot.

While regulatory phrases represent one of the most obvious components of regulatory content, a more business critical area are the rules that are used to determine those phrases; are the rules you’re using today accounting for all of the business scenarios in which your product could be used? Is there flexibility with how those rules are interpreted to properly support your business needs? Similarly, the translations of those phrases is paramount. Context is one of the most critical aspects of translation, so does your content include a robust process to ensure that the translation context for your phrases matches the intent of the country which adopted those phrases?
Asking yourself and your organization these questions will help you identify areas where you could leverage your regulatory content better.

Step 2: Inventory your current processes.

Are you reliably able to ensure your content is not only up to date but also complete? Do you have conflicting sources of regulatory content? Can you rely on this data to author safety data sheets as well as submit the corresponding European Union Poison Centre Notification (EU PCN) dossier?

Understanding the areas where regulatory content is needed and looking for ways to streamline the source of that data will increase your organization’s level of trust in the data and lower the compliance and brand reputation risk to the organization.

Step 3: Leverage the expertise of a partner.

Using a partner to ease the burden of your regulatory content needs can be crucial to enabling trust in the data you’re working with and giving your business scalability to support new regulations and geographies in the future. Look for a partner with robust processes to ensure data is up to date, complete from a regulatory standpoint and distributed in a manner that can be successfully and reliably loaded into your SAP system. Additionally, it’s important that your partner understands your needs as a business and has built-in tools to protect the intellectual property in the data elements you’re using for your regulatory content needs.

Step 4: Plan for the future.

Is your regulatory content positioned to support your business into the future? Do you have a plan in place to ensure that not only will you be able to understand the implications for future regulatory requirements but also will have access to professionals that can ensure those requirements are properly interpreted and the rules are implemented to enforce the intent behind the regulation? The rate of change in the regulatory landscape isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so ensuring that your team is set up to for success will help you focus on your core business objectives.