The header of this article contains two terms:
The term “Content” and the term “providing”.
Let us start with term “providing”.
For a lot of reasons: if you (as e.g. a chemical company) would like to use EHS classic to generate e.g. MSDS/SDS and support many subprocesses existing in EHS you need “legal/regulatory data” to do so. In many cases you as the acting company do not have the many ressources to look at the many regulations out there to be considered. And therefore you try to get the data (= content) using a “Provider”. This provider sells many kind of services. One service is: the option to get data to be uploaded in EHS. In our days the services provided are really extended in comparison to e.g. 5 years ago. E.g. you can as well acquire service to maintain “raw material data” in your system as well. So the “providers” have extended their business model. And you can now select which services you would like to use etc.
Now let us focus on the term “content”. The meaning of this term has changed in the last years. At the beginning you received “only” legal data and nothing else. Now you can get e.g.
– Phrases (or translation of phrases)
– Expert Rules
– Layouts (e.g. MSDS/SDS)
– clearly still the “legal data”
– and many other stuff
To “load” the data you need some tools embedded in SAP. E.g. OCC. For the other areas:
You need to e.g. updated the WWI layouts yourself (by using the new delivered layout), you need to change/adapt the “Expert Server” rules etc. Depending on the “service level agreement” with your provider sometimes the provider will do the job for you.
There is some “conflict” in understanding the difference of “Legal data” and “other data” (which you can get both sometimes from the provider)
Many regulations are described by some “written papers” (e.g. REACh …) and these are more or less “word” oriented documents and are available partially in internet as well. But the needed data for EHS is therefore “hidden”; that means: it is not “structured” in such a way that you can do an upload in EHS. The job of an “provider” is now: analyse the “legal document”; try to understand structure and content. At the end prepare a kind of data base with the “legal data” as “listed” in the document which can be used to be uploaded in SAP EHS using whatever kind of tool (e.g. OCC). Such an example is the topic of “OEL” (Occupational Exposure Scenarios). I believe most of the providers are supporting may be 150 up to 200 lists (I do not have counted them; and the number is changing all the time). For any list you can have something between 50 and may be 2000 entries (only a very “simple” assumption; never have checked all of the lists out there). Some “regulations” are quite stable; some not. But what is the change here?
Option 1: Only new chemical objects are listed
Option 2. some “general” review of the regulation has been done and many more objects are effected.
Option 3. You have a complete new regulation (e.g. old classification/labeling system is moving to GHS principle).
Option 4. As with GHS principle. Some regulations are now “obsolete” (the old ones)
Option 5. Some times CAS numbers are removed from a list
Many other options might exists as well.
Option 1: as long as the newly listed objects are not used in your company: this is not of interest to you
Option 2. We can imagine that a lot of objects still exist in EHS as you are using these objects (CAS numbers) and therefore an update of data is needed
Option 3: this is one of the “biggest” challenges. In most cases you need to prepare first EHS so that an upload is posible. The work involved can be big depending on the number of objects which are of interest in you company
Option 4: Here you need “only” to delete old data to avoid that this data might show up in MSDS/SDS etc.
Option 5: Only of interst if you use the CAS number
The “Regulatory Data” as shown above is listed in some “official documents”. But data as e.g. density, flash point etc. are available as well using official available books, other documents or other data bases. But as well here we talk about only data which is specific to an e.g. CAS number.
If you act as a chemical company you will get e.g. documents of many kind from the seller (e.g. MSDS/SDS/Label etc.) of the material you need to generate your one chemistry. This kind of data belongs to a “REAL_SUB”.
Some providers are providing as well services which analyse the MSDS/SDS etc. and maintain the data in structured form in EHS.
It can be assumed that the providers will extend their services step by step and that more and more companies will use their services. The topic of “cloud” solutions will change as well the services and how chemical companies will use SAP software in the future.
One of the many reasons: the use of a rule set can really simplify data maintenance in EHS.
A rule set can be executed by “mass” in EHS. In one run you can get many data (e.g. rule set MSDS maker). The need to look for persons which are well knowning the many regulations (and how to prepare a MSDS) is therefore reduced. If you start from scratch you may need some days to populate a “spec” “best” so that the “spec” does have “good” data for any needed MSDS/SDS. And this is not an easy job. Depending on the amount of REAL_SUBs to handle it is quite obvious that using at least “Rule Sets” can reduce dramatically the “manpower” to maintain the data.To have the chance, by using up to date rules sets, WWI layout etc., to reduce the “manpower” is a clear strategic driver to look for service providers.
The CAS number is in most cases used as “reference number” in the many other regulations. But not always entries in regulatory lists related to s “specific” CAS number
Take a look at this quite nice overview document regarding “content” (from SAP)
Some threads collected (how to handle content how to use a provder, which tool to load, how to set up the tool etc.)