Each and every chemical company strives to achieve product integrity. But in 2014 that entails a lot more than just meeting product safety and stewardship targets. Companies must engage in what is known as operationalizing product integrity. This is done by extending the product safety and stewardship process with integrated systems to ensure a product is safe, compliant and trustworthy.
In traditional product safety and stewardship processes companies were able to answer three basic questions:
1. What is in my product?
2. How do I label, handle and transport my product?
3. How do I handle my products end of life?
However, streamlining and operationalizing traditional compliance systems is not enough to achieve true product integrity. Companies that wish to achieve true product integrity must be able to answer the following questions for example:
1. What is the impact of each substance in your formulations?
2. What do my customers do with my materials?
3. What are critical thresholds of hazardous materials? And are my product designs within these thresholds?
Having true product integrity also means companies are able to successfully deploy a recall if something goes wrong. Take a chemical company producing hazardous materials at third party stores for example. A customer notices a leak in the packaging and notifies the company. An investigation is started and with the help of genealogy, batch traceability and item serialization the company is able to pinpoint the defect batch and recall all faulty packages.
Without the integration of the right solutions, this small leak could have caused the company to undergo a huge financial investment to find the faulty batch. This small example highlights why integrating various compliance, safety and sustainability solutions is essential in achieving true product integrity. With increased pressure to meet both customer and compliance demands, chemical companies that wish to achieve operational excellence and mitigate risks will want to ensure they are achieving true product integrity.