Applying the Six-Step Process to the EU REACH regulation
Step one: Materially important issue
The deadline for REACH regulation was fast approaching which would restrict the use of certain hazardous substances in products made and sold in the EU. As a beauty product retailer operating globally, adherance to this regulation before the deadline became a materially important issue. This meant that the first step of the process had already been complete. Around half of our customers begin working with us at step two, having identified the important issues to their business and stakeholders internally.
Step two: Smart Goal
The primary goal of the project was to communicate REACH requirements to a vast amount of suppliers, collect data for thousands of products, and ensure all products were compliant with the regulation before the deadline.
Step three: Benchmark
The purpose of establishing a benchmark was to understand how well the beauty retailer were currently performing against their SMART goal. Before the project could be properly underway, it was necessary to know how much detailed product data the retailer already had, and how many products already met the new REACH standards.
Supply Pilot's Campaign Team ran a supplier contact accuracy campaign to ensures that, when suppliers were asked to provide detailed product data, it is sent to the right person within the their organisation. As part of this phase of the project, Supply Pilot also made sure that alongside communicating the regulatory requirements to suppliers, the purpose and importance of the project is also made clear. This helped suppliers understand the project’s significance and the steps that needed to be taken.
Typically retailer and brand supplier data is only 18% accurate. This low level of contact accuracy means that supply chain data collection exercises can be delayed by months whilst emails are sent to:
- inactive inboxes
- incorrect contacts
- commercial contacts who don't have the appropriate level of knowledge or the right information to hand
Step four: Activation
Failing to adhere to the new REACH legislation before the deadline would have had drastic consequences for the global beauty retailer and would affect its ability to sell certain products in the EU. Therefore, all suppliers had to be effectively engaged and activated in this project in a short space of time.
This required a highly collaborative approach with suppliers, the retailer’s team, and their chosen third-party REACH partner. During this stage of the process, suppliers were asked to provide substance-level data for products to assess compliance. To reduce the burden on suppliers of inputting duplicate information across multiple forms, the Supply Pilot Platform automatically pre-populated known data for suppliers which further ensured the efficiency and speed of the project.
To help suppliers understand what was required of them, they were directed to the platform’s self-help function which delivered knowledge and resources specific to REACH legislation which helped them to make compliance progress with more autonomy.
Step five: Data-driven KPI
The Supply Pilot Platform provided supplier dashboards that showed what substance level product information had been provided by suppliers. This enabled a more structured approach to supplier chasing by email and phone; Supply Pilot’s Campaign Team were able to target specific suppliers and tailor the support given based on their progress. The live supplier dashboards on the Supply Pilot Platform also meant that the retailer’s leadership team had full transparency on how much work each supplier had left to do before the deadline.
Step six: Commercialisation
Understanding the retailer’s position on their product compliance for REACH was a large and complex piece of work. Over 9,000 products and raw materials were individually reviewed, and the retailer now holds more detailed data for its product portfolio than ever before.
The solutions implemented by Supply Pilot enabled suppliers to achieve full REACH compliance successfully and the retailer could eliminate all non-compliant products and substances from their portfolio. This, in turn, ensured they remained a competitive retailer in the EU market.
The success of this campaign highlighted where the risks were within the supply base and product portfolio, and enable contingencies to be put in place to maintain business continuity. All suppliers continue to input information into the Supply Pilot Platform to ensure a comprehensive and easy to access source of information going forward. This amount of up-to-date data - not to mention the subsequently strengthened supplier relationships - also lends itself well to any product compliance or sustainability projects in the future.