Data Compliance Strategies You Can Adopt Now for Effective Data Management

September 7th 2021 11:00:00 AM

All businesses are familiar with their responsibilities around financial compliance. They must keep accurate, up-to-date records for tax purposes. As the business grows, there are more areas where the company is required to demonstrate it is compliant with specific regulations. To avoid compliance issues, including sanctions and supply disruptions, businesses in various industries are required to take steps for effective data management.

Data Compliance Examples by Industry

data complianceEach type of industry comes up against its types of “pain points” around data compliance. The following list is not exhaustive by any means. Industry rules and regulations set out how companies manage their data.

Compliance in the Aerospace and Defense Industries

Products produced by the aerospace and defense industries are complex. The regulations these companies comply with are also convoluted. Aerospace and defense industries may be producing products with tens of thousands of parts (or more). Each part must comply with applicable regulations. Some examples are as follows:

  • The industries work with a declarable substances list to make complying with international regulations easier. The substances on the list must be reported to users and enforcement bodies if manufacturers choose to use them in their products. Manufacturers can find an alternative for the listed materials if they don’t want to report their use. They can get permission to use declarable substances if no other option is available.
  • The supply chain must be kept free from corruption, unfair labor practices, and human rights violations.
  • The use of certain metals in the industry is restricted.
  • Companies are required to meet specific conflict materials requirements. They must also track the country of origin data and customs codes for each part used in manufacturing. Companies are required to report the data to the appropriate authorities.

Pharmaceutical Industry Compliance

The pharmaceuticals industry is highly regulated. Patients and their healthcare providers need to trust that the products they are consuming are safe and effective. Authorities want to do everything possible to ensure a high-quality product. They also want to reduce the risk of corruption.

Mergers and acquisitions are commonly used among players in pharmaceutical markets to boost their holdings. When companies fail to perform adequate due diligence before proceeding, these significant transactions can prove damaging.

Food Industry Regulatory Compliance

The food manufacturing and distribution industries are also highly regulated to preserve quality and standards. Companies need insight into their entire supply chain to remain compliant. They must be prepared to take action quickly if contaminants or other risks put customers’ health in jeopardy. Constant, precise data collection, monitoring, and assessment are needed, especially for companies in the global marketplace.

Tips for Improving Data Compliance Now

How can you improve your data compliance if you work in one of the above-noted industries? The tips apply to the industries we have already mentioned and any industry where data compliance is a concern.

  1. Understand regulatory compliance is not a One and Done” idea.

There is never going to be a time when your business has finished complying with regulations. It is an ongoing part of being in business. Consider how any new technology you want to add to your business will impact regulatory compliance before making any final decisions.

For example, you may be looking at updating your warehouse scanning software to improve efficiency and lower costs. Cellphones are one available input device. They are quick, convenient, and familiar to the vast majority of warehouse workers.

Cellphones with internet access also can record and store sensitive company and customer data.

Regulatory requirements around data protection may take employer-provided cellphones off the table. You may need to consider other input devices in the warehouse to remain compliant.

  1. Keep track of regulatory compliance updates in one location.

It is not unusual to do business across multiple jurisdictions. Companies operating in more than one jurisdiction need to invest resources to stay current with regulatory compliance. This necessary activity can be cumbersome and time-consuming, though.

One highly effective option is to store and track this information on a cloud-based platform. Upload regulatory content from multiple sources (publications, news media, industry associations, government departments, etc.) and refer to it as needed. Ensure the platform is searchable by keyword, jurisdiction, industry, and date so that the latest information is available to your team.

  1. Hire (or appoint) a compliance officer.

Compliance is a critical part of running a business. No one can afford to be making missteps in this area. Multiple jurisdictions mean having to deal with several sets of regulations. Each one has its own rules and deadlines.

Someone in the company needs to be the resident expert on compliance. The compliance officer works with employees and managers to identify possible sources of regulatory risk and mitigate them.

  1. Automate your due diligence work. 

Pharmaceutical companies are an example of an industry category facing more aggressive corruption investigation and enforcement proceedings from regulators. These investigations are involving several business areas, such as:

  • Patient safety
  • Product pricing
  • Sales and marketing
  • Supply chain management

Companies will need to extend their due diligence to avoid compliance issues. Instruct employees to conduct more rigorous checks on customers or more detailed research before signing any preliminary mergers and acquisitions documents.

The best way to track due diligence work is to run it through one platform. Automate the steps involved. Team members can use the same procedures for new suppliers, customers, joint venture partners, or potential acquisitions.

  1. Use a robust ERP to track and manage data for compliance purposes.

Businesses must take a proactive approach to understanding the applicable rules and regulations for their industry. They need to ensure that the company policies and procedures are appropriate for remaining compliant. Companies are also responsible for providing proper compliance training to employees.

Supply chain management is a crucial part of compliance. A company must track the impact of a regulatory issue backward through the supply chain to its source. The business must also be able to track the problem forward to customers, if appropriate.

An ERP allows the company’s management team to stay up-to-date on current regulations. The software makes generating real-time reports on issues affecting the company, including data compliance, quicker and easier.

The ERP also makes end-to-end visibility of the supply chain a reality. If there is a compliance issue, company managers can take appropriate action quickly.

Scanco is Your Source for Data Management Solutions

At Scanco, we are experts in using mobile technology to solve our valued customers’ challenges. Our solutions allow you to meet your compliance obligations while increasing efficiency and growing your business. Would you like to learn more? Contact us today.

Topics: Data Management


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