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Yuliia Honcharova
Head of Marketing at Gepard
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Cyril Dorogan Gepard PIM E-Commerce Consultant
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How to Ensure Compliance With Electronics Standards

6 min read
Published: June 27, 2024

Are you struggling to manage your product data and ensure compliance with industry standards in the fast-paced electronics industry? You’re not alone. Non-compliance can cost companies millions, with potential fines, business disruptions, and reputational damage adding up to a staggering $14 million annually. How can you avoid these pitfalls and streamline your operations?

This article explores the significant challenges faced by electronics manufacturers, retailers, and e-commerce businesses in managing complex product data. We will find out how a robust PIM solution can help you overcome these challenges, ensuring compliance and driving business success.

Challenges in Compliance with Industry Standards

Navigating compliance with various industry standards is a significant challenge in the electronics sector. Here’s how PIM solutions can streamline data management and compliance with key standards.

#1. EPREL

The European Product Database for Energy Labeling (EPREL) requires electronic products sold in the EU to have specific energy efficiency labels. This involves providing detailed product information, like energy consumption and efficiency ratings, to the EPREL database. Gepard’s EPREL Connector simplifies this process.

Gepard’s PIM solution, with its EPREL Connector, automates the submission of required data. It centralizes and manages all the necessary product details, making it easy for manufacturers and retailers to submit accurate information to the EPREL database. This reduces errors and ensures compliance with EPREL requirements, saving time and effort for businesses.

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EPREL EPREL connector

#2. RoHS

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive is crucial for the electronics industry, as it limits the use of specific hazardous materials in electronic products. Compliance requires manufacturers to ensure that materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, and certain flame retardants are either absent or present only in very low concentrations. This complex tracking process can be efficiently managed with Product Information Management (PIM) solutions.

For example, Apple Inc. has been proactive in adhering to RoHS regulations by eliminating harmful substances from their products. They use a robust tracking system to ensure all materials comply with RoHS standards. Similarly, HP has implemented stringent supplier requirements to ensure all components meet RoHS directives, thus maintaining their commitment to environmental responsibility.

PIM solutions help companies manage RoHS compliance by centralizing all product data, tracking materials through the supply chain, and providing real-time compliance reporting. This not only ensures adherence to regulations but also streamlines the process, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties. By integrating a PIM system, manufacturers can maintain accurate records and quickly adapt to any changes in RoHS requirements.

#3. WEEE

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive mandates that electronics manufacturers and retailers ensure the proper disposal and recycling of electronic waste. This directive requires detailed tracking and documentation of product components to ensure they are disposed of or recycled correctly. Product Information Management (PIM) solutions can streamline this compliance process.

For instance, Dell has implemented robust take-back programs and recycling initiatives to comply with WEEE regulations. They provide detailed reports on the amount of electronics collected and recycled, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability. They offer comprehensive recycling solutions, including free home PC recycling and asset recovery services, which help keep electronic waste out of landfills.

Since 2007, Dell has recovered over 2.5 billion pounds of used electronics, showcasing their commitment to sustainability and the circular economy.

Their goal is to take back as much equipment as they produce and increase the use of recycled and renewable materials by 2030. Dell’s efforts demonstrate how effective recycling programs can be integrated into a company’s operations to meet WEEE compliance requirements.

#4. CE marking

CE marking is required for electronic products sold in the European Economic Area (EEA). It shows that the product meets health, safety, and environmental standards. To get CE marking, companies must follow various EU rules and provide proof of compliance through detailed documents and tests.

Examples of products that require CE marking include medical devices like glucose meters, e-bikes, and personal protective equipment such as safety helmets and goggles. For instance, Signify (ex. Philips Lighting) ensures CE marking compliance by rigorously testing its products and maintaining detailed technical files.

PIM solutions help companies manage CE marking requirements by organizing all necessary product information in one place. This includes technical documents, test reports, and risk assessments, making it easier to prove compliance and keep records up-to-date.

#5. FCC regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates electronic devices in the United States to ensure they do not cause harmful interference with other electronic products and communication networks. Key areas of FCC compliance include electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radio frequency (RF) emissions. Products must undergo testing to meet these standards before they can be marketed in the U.S.

For example, Wi-Fi routers, smartphones, and Bluetooth devices are subject to FCC regulations. Apple ensures compliance for its iPhones by conducting rigorous testing and certification processes to meet all FCC requirements.

PIM solutions play a crucial role in managing FCC compliance. They consolidate all necessary product information, including test reports, certification documents, and technical specifications, into a single system. This makes it easier to maintain up-to-date records, respond to regulatory inquiries, and demonstrate compliance. By using a PIM system like Gepard manufacturers can streamline the complex processes involved in meeting FCC standards and ensure their products are fully compliant.

#6. EMC directive

The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive ensures that electronic devices don’t emit electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can disrupt other electronics and are protected from EMI themselves. This is essential for any electronic product sold in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Companies like Bosch, and Siemens take EMC compliance seriously. Bosch tests its power tools and household appliances to ensure they don’t interfere with other devices. Siemens follows strict EMC guidelines for its industrial equipment, and Sony ensures its audio and visual products meet EMC standards for high performance without causing interference.

#7. Medical Device Regulation (MDR)

The Medical Device Regulation (MDR) is crucial for medical devices sold in the European Union. It ensures that these devices are safe and effective by setting strict guidelines on quality and performance.

Medtronic, for example, has adapted to these regulations by updating product labels, technical documentation, and clinical data. They have also integrated new technologies and redefined supply chain responsibilities to meet MDR requirements.

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PIM PIM software product content syndication product information management

How a PIM Solution Addresses Compliance Challenges

Are you struggling to keep track of compliance data for your electronics products? A Product Information Management (PIM) solution can make a big difference. By storing and organizing all relevant product information, such as certifications, test reports, and documentation, a PIM system ensures that everything is easily accessible and up-to-date.

Gepard PIM systems are particularly effective at managing compliance:

  • Attribute Management: This feature helps you define and manage key product attributes, ensuring all necessary compliance data is accurately captured.
  • Version Control and Syndication: Track changes to product information over time, ensuring the latest compliant data is always available while keeping older versions archived for reference.
  • Automated Data Validation: Automated checks ensure that all entered data meets required standards and regulations, reducing the risk of errors and non-compliance.

Real Life Examples of Using PIM

Opple Lighting and EPREL Compliace

Opple Lighting, known for its LED and energy-efficient lighting in Europe, faced challenges with EPREL database compliance. Managing a wide range of product data and keeping up with changing regulations was tough. Ensuring teamwork across different departments—product management, regulatory affairs, marketing, and IT—was also essential.

To solve these problems, Opple Lighting teamed up with Gepard. Here’s how Gepard’s PIM system helped:

  • Simplified Data Management: The PIM system centralized all product data, making updates easier and saving time.
  • Automatic Updates: It ensured all product info stayed current with EPREL guidelines.
  • Improved Accuracy: Centralizing data reduced errors and improved transparency.
  • Better Team Collaboration: The system improved communication and workflow across teams.

This partnership helped Opple Lighting meet compliance standards, avoid issues, and launch new products faster. This success shows how the right technology can help overcome compliance challenges.

Stiebel Eltron Case

Stiebel Eltron, a leader in sustainable heating, faced major challenges with EPREL database compliance. Managing diverse product data and adapting to frequent regulatory changes was overwhelming. Ensuring smooth collaboration between product management, regulatory affairs, marketing, and IT was also critical.

Teaming up with Gepard brought remarkable results:

  • Streamlined Data Management: Automated integration with SAP Hybris simplified uploading and updating product data into the EPREL database.
  • Effortless Compliance: The PIM system ensured all product information met EPREL requirements with up-to-date QR codes and labels.
  • Reduced Errors: Centralized data management minimized manual input, cutting down on potential errors.
  • Enhanced Team Collaboration: Gepard’s system improved communication and workflow efficiency across teams.

Thanks to Gepard’s PIM solution, Stiebel Eltron easily met regulatory standards, reduced manual labor, and swiftly adapted to new requirements. This partnership showcases how the right technology can streamline compliance processes, keeping Stiebel Eltron at the forefront of the green energy market.

Conclusion

Recent studies show that the financial impact of non-compliance extends far beyond fines, including significant business disruption and damage to reputation.

Don’t let compliance challenges hold your business back. Contact Gepard today and discover how our technology can help you stay compliant, efficient, and ahead of the competition. Let’s make compliance your competitive advantage.

Yuliia Honcharova
Written by Yuliia Honcharova
Head of Marketing at Gepard
18+ years in Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM. Driving the strategy, planning, and execution of the company's marketing initiatives to achieve its international business objectives. Created and implemented Digital marketing and SEO strategies for businesses in varied domains including eCommerce.

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