If you have read our previous article (New EU Product Compliance Requirements [2023 version]), you may be wondering, ‘how can we manage all those compliance requirements?’
We have prepared a short list of alternatives that may make sense for you. We included our (friendly) competitors. After all, we are working toward the same goal – helping companies buy safer products and, also, if possible, less unsustainable products.
ProductIP was set up by professionals of the Testing, Certification, Inspection industry and they have been operating for over 10 years.
We see their software as the ‘gold standard’ for managing consumer product compliance for the EU market. They have amassed a very large amount of information about most applicable requirements, at the EU level and at the national level. They can give you a list of documents you need to prepare, in very granular details. And they can support your process of requesting that information from your suppliers.
You need to follow their process. It is great for product categories you don’t know much, and especially in cases where safety risks are high.
The downside is, it is not cheap, and it is not very flexible. Some companies that import a large number of products have found it cumbersome, others found it is too expensive in their situation. As always, no product is a great fit for 100% of its potential customers. You can try and see for yourself.
2. Manual work (typically, email + Excel + a shared server)
This is what most companies seem to be doing, to this day. It can work for a company that always buys the same type of product (since it’s much easier to know what the requirements are) from a few suppliers who can be trained over time to present the information in an organized manner. In other cases, it leads straight to a serious failure to comply.
The process typically looks like this:
It is very time consuming, and it doesn’t work well for several reasons:
In other words, it is not an effective process as required by the upcoming General Product Safety Regulation. It calls for too much manual work and oversight. Invariably, during the peak season, a lot of “must do” steps are skipped.
3. Alternatives for getting the list of requirements
a) Compliance Gate
Compliance Gate is a good way to have a 360 view of the requirements for the most common categories of consumer goods, for the EU and the USA. Very good value for the service they provide, and SME-friendly (not primarily for huge companies).
b) Large testing companies’ databases
Some large testing companies also allow access to their database of applicable requirements. It is usually geared at their large customers and the price is usually relatively high.
4. Alternatives for managing the requests to suppliers, labs etc.
Here comes the plug for our own software, SynControl. It is a good fit for companies that want a simple-to-use and flexible solution that can also be configured to provide clear guidance on what documents are needed (for a certain product category). All the usual documents (DoC, risk assessment, soon also digital product passport) are easy to generate. And it is a great hub for pulling in certain files from suppliers or testing labs.