Bringing together its cloud capabilities and manufacturing background, SAP has announced two new cloud-based sustainability solutions to help ensure products are safe and compliant with regulations.
To comply with evolving environmental regulations, such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) and Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in Europe, companies need to know what chemical substances are in the materials and products they purchase from suppliers. They also need to declare those substances and tell people how to handle them safely. The new SAP solutions are aimed at simplifying this process.
SAP Product Stewardship Network allows manufacturers of discrete products, such as electronic equipment, to collaborate with suppliers and collect detailed information about the substances that make up their products. For example, a high-tech company that wants to bring new products to market must ensure compliance for each component against a growing list of regulated substances. The SAP solution allows suppliers and manufacturers to collaborate online, rather than necessitating email enquiries up and down the supply chain.
SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand is a content service to manage the creation of creating regulatory documentation in process industries, such as chemical or pharmaceutical manufacture. By networking with the customer's own EHS solution, the content service takes the product data, generates country-specific data sheets and labels in the cloud and then delivers the documents back to the customer. SAP estimates that the content service can decrease on-going safety data sheet costs by up to 50%.
Review: A lot of IT expenditure has gone into compliance in recent years, starting with the finance sector and moving on to hazardous chemicals and materials. With environmental and sustainability compliance expanding, SAP is looking to offer customers broader, cloud solution support in this area and there is certainly going to be a need.
I’m not sure how much is new here, though. The press release focuses and REACH and RoHS, areas where there are already lots of solutions on the market. My guess is that, as with other low-carbon/sustainability solutions, SAP is looking to leverage its extensive customer base and keep specialist providers at bay. But then again, the company has more experience in providing enterprise solutions to manufacturing companies than anyone else.