Organizations in many industries have found themselves at the mercy of outside factors, such as changing consumer preferences, the economy and natural disasters. However, many manufacturers are feeling a particular squeeze from governmental oversight agencies. According to Manufacturing.Net, some organizations view compliance with new regulations as nearly impossible and fear they could have to close facilities.
In particular, manufacturers are concerned about their ability to meet to new Environmental Protection Agency's standards for coal combustion, cooling water intake structures and cross-state air pollution rules. While U.S. manufacturing is generally seeing growth right now, the increasing number and high expectations of new regulations impact nearly every organization in the industry. According to The National Association of Manufacturers, the costs of meeting the standards of new regulations could reach nearly $540 billion, according to the EPA, and industry estimates put the obligation at closer to $885 billion.
While the EPA regulations have received considerable discussion because of their costs, they are far from the only government standards that are forcing manufacturers and distributors to change the way they do business.
Automated Data Collection Can Ease Burden of FDA Compliance
Companies in the food supply chain have also faced increased regulation and expectations following the 2001 Bioterrorism Act and the 2011 Food Modernization and Safety Act. According to the white paper, "The Food Traceability Survival Guide" by RFgen, both laws give the FDA considerable power when requesting information about food provenance and overseeing a recall.
Penalties and fines related to recalls are increasing and the time allotted to complete them is also decreasing. For companies without data collection technology such as barcode scanning software that can populate product data in real time, it's not possible to keep up. Paper-based systems are neither fast enough nor accurate enough to meet the new expectations set by government oversight agencies such as the FDA.