Today's manufacturers face a massive number of strict federal regulations. Depending on their industry, organizations may be subject to a bevy of guidelines stipulating they retain and disclose certain operational records. While many of these government-mandated guidelines have been enacted to support public safety and increase corporate accountability for potentially harmful operational choices, this is not always the case. For instance, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act states that businesses must report to the SEC if they use tungsten, gold, tantalum or tin in any of their products, as well as provide information regarding where those metals were acquired. According to Supply Management, the aim of this piece of legislation is not to prevent consumers from being exposed to these materials, but to limit the amount of funds being funneled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and its ongoing armed conflict.
The first reports in observance of this legislation will cover the entirety of 2013 and must be submitted to the federal government by May 31, 2014. According to the news source, approximately 6,000 U.S. companies, including automakers and electronics manufacturers, will be subject to these regulations.
Sedex Head of Communications Mark Robertson argued in a recent Supply Management blog entry that federal regulations mandating the disclosure of certain records has driven the need for comprehensive supply chain management solutions.
"When it comes to responsible supply chain management, ignorance is not bliss," he wrote. "Without supply chain transparency, it's impossible to gain a full understanding of where the key [environmental, social and governance] risks are."
Robertson explained that the fallout from a regulation violation could extend beyond fines handed down by a governmental body. If a company is found to have neglected public safety by failing to disclose certain practices, its reputation could be irreparably damaged. To prevent such scenarios, manufacturers should implement a data collection software solution that will allow employees to gather information at every stage of the supply chain. With this technology, they can maintain a superior level of operational transparency and ensure they remain compliant with all applicable regulations.