This is the second post in our blog series about choosing an OEM legislative compliance partner. Click here to read the first article.
In my previous article, I discussed 10 questions that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need to ask potential legislative compliance partners. Today I’d like to take a closer look at one fundamentally important component of your evaluation process: partner competencies. From my own experiences, as well as industry observations, I’ve identified four areas of competency that warrant careful consideration.
Each state with a legislated compliance program covers a different set of devices that must be recycled. There are many other variables, too, such as recycling volume obligations, who are covered by the program (consumers, small businesses, schools, etc.), and collection site requirements. The consequences of noncompliance can be severe, ranging from penalties and fines to loss of selling privileges in the state — not to mention costly damage to the OEM’s brand.
Your OEM legislative compliance partner should possess an in-depth knowledge of each state’s current legislation. They also should have open lines of communication and good relationships with the agencies in charge of their states’ e-recycling programs. At the same time, a large national footprint helps ensure that your partner gleans ideas and best practices from working in other states and then applies their findings to your specific challenges.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
Some OEMs choose to partner with a vendor that specializes in program management (i.e., compliance, registration, and reporting) while outsourcing e-recycling services. Other OEMs work with a recycling-focused vendor that offers limited program management and compliance services. Shortcomings exist with both models. Because they’ve outsourced the recycling component, program management-only vendors typically can’t quickly grasp and respond to changes happening “on the ground.” On the flip side, recycling-focused partners often don’t possess the robust program management expertise that’s essential for full regulatory compliance.
By contrast, a partner that has mastered both program management and recycling can bring efficient, seamless coordination, as well as full visibility, of a complete spectrum of legislative compliance activities. But, what if you don’t need a comprehensive set of services? The partner should give you the freedom to choose the individual services that fill gaps in your current capabilities.
LEVEL OF COMMITMENT
A robust service portfolio is a good sign that the partner possesses a strong commitment to OEM legislative compliance. So is a team with many years of experience in the field and, perhaps even more importantly, a long track record of service with the same company. OEM legislative compliance requires an in-depth understanding of intricate federal and state laws, and this can take years to fully develop. In addition, look for a partner that has an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement in its services and support.
Although it may be difficult to quantify, partner responsiveness plays a huge role in ensuring legislative compliance and risk avoidance. Let’s say that a state requests a report on your recycling volumes. How quickly can your partner produce this report? Not responding promptly to the state may result in punitive action and even jeopardize your ability to sell products in that state. Also, take a hard look at the track record of your partner in generating accurate data and consistently meeting myriad contractual and regulatory deadlines.
Finally, your partner should be proactive, anticipating your needs and helping you avoid potential pitfalls. Ongoing touchpoints, such as regular “check-in” phone calls, can enable you to stay current with pending legislation, get answers to questions and discuss emerging threats or opportunities. In addition, through periodic business reviews, you can identify what’s working well in the relationship and where there’s room for improvement.
Take a closer look at Dynamic
I invite you to discover how Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations lives up to these high standards. Download our “Legislative compliance for OEMs” information sheet, and then contact us if you have questions or you’d like to discuss your legislative compliance needs.
Amanda Buros is the director of program compliance at Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.