Is Your Business Adapting to a Changing World?
In a world that is constantly changing, it’s important to keep up with all the latest developments in your industry.
Last month we attended the ICPHSO International Symposium in Dublin, Ireland.
ICPHSO (Pronounced IK-FA-SO) is the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization.
It is an organization “which attracts a global membership of health and safety professionals which meets annually to exchange ideas, share information, and address health and safety concerns affecting all consumers.”
This symposium was an eventful one, with just under 200 attendees coming in from all over the world.
It was a diverse group of participants that included representatives from law firms, service providers, consumer advocacy groups, brands, retailers, manufacturers, and governmental organizations.
This provided fertile ground for many interesting discussions to take place around the topic of product safety. One of the key themes that emerged was the idea of adapting to a changing world.
We have three main takeaways from the event that we would like to share with you.
3 Important Product Safety Takeaways From the ICPHSO International Symposium
Let’s begin with our first key takeaway.
#1 When it Comes to Product Safety, Change is the Only Constant
In the world of product safety, change is always happening.
That change usually trends towards the need to increase enforcement and improve consumer engagement.It is important to have a “compliance culture” within your organization and to always be thinking ahead. That way you’ll be ready for these changes as they come.
This means you need to keep up with the latest news stories and trends in your industry. It also means taking advantage of resources offered by regulatory agencies like the CPSC in the United States.
In the past, we’ve talked about some of the tools the CPSC offers, like the Regulatory Robot which is especially helpful for small businesses.
In order to develop a compliance culture, it needs to come from both the top-down and be grassroots up.
The leaders at the top of the organization need to empower those below them so that everyone can strive to create the best outcomes.
#2 The Wearables Industry Provides a Lot for Brands to Think About
Wearable devices have been around for a long time, but a lot has changed since the calculator watches of the ’70s.The global wearable technology market is “expected to exceed more than US$ 67 Billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 15.5% in the given forecast period,” according to Market Research Engine.
This creates a lot of opportunities, but the regulatory framework for these devices can be confusing to navigate.
If you are manufacturing wearable tech, it is important that you bring in regulatory counsel as early as possible. It is also important to keep in mind the potential for unintended uses of these products.
We’ve talked recently about foreseeable misuse and how to avoid safety issues.
This is important to consider because, when it comes to technology, hacking poses a serious risk.
Also, since these devices are generally designed for adults, you need to consider what might happen when children get hold of them.
#3 Political and Economic Events Affect Sourcing and Product Compliance
The U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, and other global issues are having an effect on the costs in traditional markets.Less-traditional markets in Africa and South America are getting more attention as sourcing destinations. At the same time, the markets you are selling into can have changing regulations.
In an ideal world, there would be global standards for testing, certification, and licensing, but this is not the case.
This means that a lot of attention needs to be paid to the requirements of both the country you are sourcing in and the country you are importing to.
Sometimes, your product might be compliant with all regulations, but if you don’t pay attention to your packaging, you can become non-compliant in certain countries or regions.
It is best to put extra effort into ensuring you have compliant packaging and be sure to not launch new products in all countries at the same time.
When considering new sourcing destinations, it is also important to consider factory audits to help with the qualification process.
Summary: Adapt Your Product Safety Practices to a Changing World
We live in a changing world where technology is continually advancing, new regulations are being written, and political events can be unpredictable.
It is important to stay aware of the changes around us, consider the unintended uses for products we’ve developed, and always keep a pulse on the regulatory situation.
In February 2020, Insight will be attending the ICPHSO Annual Meeting and Training Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
We encourage those who are interested in the product health and safety space and its international trends and developments to attend.
For more information, visit the official page here: