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RoHS | March 20, 2006

New RoHS business compliance program

US based Design Chain Associates, LLC, an electronics industry RoHS/WEEE services firm, announces a service designed to help Electronics OEMs ensure their ability to continue to develop and produce RoHS-compliant products.
While the electronics industry has spent an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money to make sure products comply with the upcoming implementation date of July 1, 2006 for the European Union's restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances directive (RoHS), far less attention has been paid to remaining compliant after the date has come and gone.

RoHS compliance must become part of how Electronics OEMs operate, which is conceptually no different than having to comply with other legal and safety requirements that already exist, such as the EU's CE mark or the United States' FCC rules part 15. This means identifying business processes and tools within the company that may require some modifications in order to achieve continued compliance. Most of these business processes center around product development; supplier and component selection, qualification, management, and maintenance; procurement and supplier contracts; sales; and product field maintenance. Tools used for product design (CAD); BOM, supplier and component management (PLM); and product sales and customer management (CRM/ERP) will often require incremental changes in order to support the new requirements of the business processes that rely on them.

DCA offers a suite of services intended to both help and validate Electronics OEMs' approaches to the challenge of continued RoHS compliance:

* Gap Assessment – What is the delta between your processes and Design/PLM/ERP/CRM tools today and where they need to be to ensure continued compliance with RoHS?

* Gap Closure – Already know what the gaps are but are unsure of the best way to close them? Each company is different, but the general rules of the game are the same. We know how to get you from where you are to where you need to be and will guide you through the process of achieving corporate long-term compliance.


* Process/Tool Audit – Companies that have already modified their tools and business processes can benefit from an expert-level review of those processes. Are you ready for an ISO9001 audit, or a “due diligence” questionnaire from an EU enforcement body? We will validate your preparedness.

* Best Practices – How can your business processes and the supporting/enabling tools that underlie them be improved to become more efficient and effective?

Michael Kirschner, President of Design Chain Associates, LLC, notes that “while there are various EU RoHS self-audit programs and narrowly-scoped RoHS audit services (and even a proposed industry standard for business process compliance that was rejected by the IEC) out there, nothing we have seen shows the level of understanding, depth, or breadth of scope required to identify all the 'nooks and crannies' in an Electronics OEM that could be impacted by RoHS. So while we have been delivering these services for the past eighteen months anyway, we have now formalized them.”

Any company that is ISO9001:2000 certified already must review its operation in light of new legal requirements. With DCA's extensive experience in developing, implementing, and auditing to ISO9001 level requirements, our second-to-none expertise in Design Chain and Supply Chain definition, and our acknowledged leadership in RoHS, DCA is the obvious choice for OEMs needing to achieve or verify their ability to continue to comply with RoHS.

Kenneth Stanvick, Sr. Vice President of DCA and leader of DCA's RoHS focus, also finds that “when we're doing these reviews and audits, because of our backgrounds and decades of direct experience in these areas, we often identify areas where companies can improve their efficiency and effectiveness. As a famous doctor once said, 'as long as the patient is open…' We try and make this process ultimately beneficial to the organization; RoHS does not just have to be a cost center. We help turn it around so our clients can improve their profitability and shareholder value.”

Comments

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