[ID] => 9338
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-03-19 08:39:21
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-19 08:39:21
[post_content] => Those responsible for dangerous goods (DG) and hazardous materials (hazmat) compliance recognise the inherent business value in investing in resources, technology and training that support compliance and enable them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. They also recognise that having the tools necessary to ensure compliance (and to do so efficiently) is more critical than ever as the number of dangerous items continues to grow and shipping regulations become increasingly complex.
Unfortunately, that view is not always shared by executive leadership within an organisation – which is demonstrated by the level of investment (or lack thereof) in resource allocation, budget ownership, infrastructure and training.
While some DG professionals feel they have adequate tools in place, the majority do not believe their existing infrastructure and training programmes have the ability to quickly adapt to instruction and process changes across their supply chain. This sentiment was evident in Labelmaster and HCB’s 2017 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook, conducted to gain insights from DG pros around the world. Survey results showed that there is a general lack of confidence in their organisations’ ability to meet changing compliance mandates, with the key barriers being:
- Continued reliance on manual processes: Despite the latest technology innovations, many shippers still rely on manual processes to handle DG compliance. In fact, more than one-quarter of survey respondents are still doing everything manually – including searching through regulatory publications for guidance on packaging, labels, marks and documentation, as well as manually maintaining classifications for products and parts that qualify as hazmat.
- Resource reallocation: As companies look to cut costs and gain resource efficiency, many seem to identify DG compliance as one area where roles can be combined in order to save money. In fact, 39 per cent of survey respondents believed their increased compliance responsibility is due to cost-cutting measures. Additionally, 56 per cent have or expect the role of DG compliance to be combined with other roles within their organisation.
- Insufficient infrastructure and training: 33 per cent of those surveyed were not confident that their current infrastructure and training can adapt to the changing needs of the business. This is in part due to the fact that many organisations view training as a ‘necessary evil’ and are simply doing just enough to comply with applicable training regulations. In fact, nearly half of those surveyed said their training is conducted solely to meet regulatory requirements. Likewise, 48 per cent said they DO NOT believe their current training regimen adds real business value.
- Lack of awareness among leadership: There remains a real lack of awareness among leadership – not only regarding what those responsible for DG compliance actually do, but also about how a forward-thinking hazmat shipping function can drive business growth. Case in point: more than one third of all survey respondents agreed that their supervisors are unaware of exactly what they do.
MAKE YOUR CASE
Asking for additional resources when you may not even be on the executive leadership’s radar is a difficult to say the least, but it is important in order to be able to establish a true culture of compliance throughout an organisation. Those responsible for DG compliance need to elevate the conversation with executive leadership and make a real business case for why resources, compliance technology and advanced training are not only necessary but critical to the organisation. But how is that done?
The first step is to recognise (and define) the true financial impact of a safe and compliant organisation – going well beyond simply the fear of a fine.
Corporate leadership cares about profitability and growth. That’s why it is critical to connect DG compliance to revenue, profitability and operational costs. Demonstrate how better management of the DG shipping process can improve operational efficiency and reduce the chances of stopped shipments, which in turn can lead to a faster supply chain, improved customer satisfaction, a competitive advantage, and ultimately drive more revenue. But just as important as showing the positive financial impact of compliance is showing the negative impact of non-compliance, which includes fines or, in the event of disaster, damage liability, increased insurance costs and more.
Try this: if your supervisor granted your wish and increased your operating budget by 25 per cent, what would you be able to do for the company?
o Reduce the cost to process a DG shipment
o Reduce the time it takes to manually record and track DG shipments
o Accelerate the time it takes to process a DG shipment from order to final delivery
o Reduce the time it takes to research the latest regulations for a specific shipment
o Acquire new customers faster with increased DG awareness among your sales organisation
o Reduce insurance costs tied to hazmat shipments
o Add revenue by getting items through the supply chain (and to end users) faster
o Reduce the costs of onboarding a new customer who ships DG
o Reduce fines, penalties and researching costs related to stopped shipments
o Increase awareness and consistency of DG process, rules and policies
o Reduce the cost of DG training records and documentation tracking
o Better manage and stay up-to-date on carrier variations
o Better manage employee DG training records and documentation
o Reduce training cost per person.
COST OF FAILURE
The cost of a stopped shipment is more than just a fine. When a hazmat shipment is stopped for failing to meet shipping regulations (whether it is due to incorrect packaging and shipping papers, wrong markings and labels, or some other mistake), it ends up stuck in customs, on the tarmac, or at a port until a way can be found to make it compliant. These mistakes cost businesses millions of dollars in fees, expenses and lost revenue. Additionally, stopped shipments can cause late customer deliveries, which can lead to additional fines and penalties from the customers themselves, and can permanently damage customer relationships.
While DG pros know that non-compliance can lead to more than just a fine, company leadership may not. Shipping hazardous goods is a high-risk business and has the potential to impact public safety and, as a result, brand equity. Show leadership what is actually at stake, including potential brand damage, if the necessary steps to ensure the safe, compliant movement of your goods are not taken. And if a company isn’t easy to work with when it comes to handling DG, customers will likely find a company that is.
WHAT’S A POOR PRO TO DO?
By making hazmat compliance a priority and investing in forward-thinking technology, shippers can be confident that their operations teams, suppliers, distributors and partners are all fully compliant with the latest rules and regulations and can better position their companies for success. DG pros know this, but it needs to be clearly communicated to corporate leadership in a way that they can understand and that appeals to their priorities for the business.
Consider what data and proof points would help them truly see that DG compliance equates to so much more than the mere cost of doing business or an avoidance of fines. Show them how compliance can ultimately impact whether the organisation experiences delayed shipments that negatively impact customer service and brand equity. By making a real business case, DG pros can better position themselves to get the resources, advanced technology and training they need to effectively do their jobs – and ultimately improve the business.
*Pia Jala is vice-president of operations at Labelmaster; more information on Labelmaster’s work can be found at www.labelmaster.com.
Labelmaster has once again teamed up with HCB and has brought IATA on board as well, to carry out another survey of DG professionals; survey forms will be circulated soon – make sure your voice is heard by taking part.
[post_title] => Compliance: Get it right and win
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[post_name] => compliance-get-right-win
[post_modified] => 2018-03-19 08:39:21
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-19 08:39:21
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