Full Material Disclosures: Overcoming the Data-Collection Challenge

Full Material Disclosures: Overcoming the Data-Collection Challenge

Complying with restricted and declarable substance regulations requires companies to collect vast amounts of data from their supply chains.

This process must be repeated annually in order to keep up with evolving regulations and capture newly-added restricted substances. For companies this means investing time, energy and money into data collection, while suppliers must be prepared to satisfy recurring customer requests for information.

The entire process is inefficient and poses significant challenges from one end of the supply chain to the other. Full material disclosures (FMDs) provide the solution.


Why Full Material Disclosures

Although widely utilized in some industries, FMDs have yet to gain traction throughout the majority of supply chains.

Initially, the problem with FMDs was a lack of standardization. Suppliers didn’t know what information to provide, or how to provide it in a way that could be universally understood. This led to the development of several FMD standards that are now in use, the most widely implemented of these being the IPC-1752A Standard. With these standards, suppliers have a roadmap for exactly what information to provide and how.

Full material disclosures are created using .xml. This allows the data to be easily communicated between systems, provided those systems can read and interpret the data. Only certain third-party compliance solutions, one of which being the Assent Compliance Platform (ACP), are equipped to create, read, utilize and manage FMDs.

The benefits of FMDs are significant. For companies, FMDs provide a roadmap to the composition of their products. The data captured in these disclosures contains information on every substance within the product, including their concentrations. Regardless of what new substances are added to the company’s in-scope regulations, they have all the data they need to comply with any requirements.

As for suppliers, creating FMDs can simplify the disclosure process. By creating one FMD for their supplied product, they have the ability to quickly respond to any customer request for information pertaining to restricted substances.

The challenge with FMDs lies in creating the disclosures while adhering to the appropriate standard, and being able to read and manipulate the data.


How Assent Empowers Your Company

Assent Compliance has specifically developed an FMD solution and incorporated it into the ACP. Both companies and suppliers can take full advantage of this functionality to vastly improve their data collection and reporting processes.

The ACP’s FMD Module reads and manages FMD .xml forms, making the data available at the click of a button. Not only can the data be used to build reports, but the FMD Module also maps supplier information to specific products and parts.

This is where Assent’s unique platform solution truly shines. The FMD Module fully integrates with the ACP, meaning the FMD data is available across any regulation managed within the platform. While FMDs may be collected specifically for compliance with the REACH Regulation, for example, the data is available for RoHS compliance and even custom restricted substance lists.

Assent’s FMD Module is by far the most efficient way to collect and utilize your compliance data.

Using Assent, companies can seamlessly transition to FMD requests as their primary method of collecting data for their restricted and declarable substance programs. Although this will require participation from suppliers, Assent’s solution is designed to make their transition equally simple.

Assent’s Supplier Portal makes life easy for suppliers who are under immense pressure to provide a significant volume of data to a number of their clients. With that goal still in mind, Assent has created the Assent Materials Declaration Tool, a free tool used to upload, edit and export IPC-1752A data and IPC-1754 declaration files.

The Assent Materials Declaration Tool can be used to submit data and, with the click of a button, create a standardized disclosure ready to be sent to the client. Disclosures can be created using a variety of standards such as IPC-1752A and IPC-1754. With this tool, users do not require FMD expertise. The Assent Materials Declaration Tool troubleshoots its own issues and guides users through the entire process. It is built to be simple and easy-to-use.

Through its innovative FMD products, Assent is helping companies and suppliers manage their compliance programs with more ease than ever before. For more information on how Assent can help your company with its FMDs, contact our regulatory experts at info@assentcompliance.com.

Still not sure if full material disclosures are right for your company? Click here to download our eBook Full Material Disclosures: A Better Way Forward.