THE C-SUITE MUST HAVE access to all relevant data points to make informed decisions for the corporation including data related to marketing, sales, supply chains, distribution channels and regulatory compliance. In 2020, digital data is the way society in general deals with information and for companies it is mission critical. Digital data is now a fact of life and that is something CPCA chose not to ignore in its ongoing quest to provide value-added services for members. The association could no longer ignore the increasing challenges with respect to regulation of sub-stances used in thousands of finished products in the coatings industry. Companies work hard to stay current and associations like CPCA face a number of information management challenges as they seek to help member companies stay on top of their game. An association must strive to ensure members have current information on which to make sound business decisions to reduce business uncertainty, including managing and mitigating regulatory risks, which is CPCA’s core competency.
The generation, collection and storage of data is no longer as expensive as it once was, but it is not without costs. At the same time, the digital mindset of business has expanded, increasing the willingness to enhance digital solutions with higher expectations for the quality of user interfaces and levels of service for both company employees and customers. CPCA member companies now use advanced analytics to extract relevant management information from large amounts of unstructured data generated on a daily basis, which includes a much larger regulatory component. Legislative and regulatory data is used daily with respect to ongoing business operations in areas such as product development, product formulation, plant operations, work safety, environmental sustainability, product performance, cross-border shipping, and much more. Such information can even help companies make better and more informed decisions across the full range of a company’s business processes and divisions. The coatings industry includes critical raw material suppliers and distributors delivering a vast array of chemicals used in finished products – in multiple industry sectors – all of which translates into opportunities and challenges for manufacturing.
CPCA has inserted itself in the digital world as it relates to regulatory requirements for all chemical ingredients used in finished goods. A major component of that is quick and easy access to the existing ‘regulatory license’ for those chemicals whether they are additives for enhanced product performance or biocides used for in-can/film preservation. Regulatory requirements allow those chemicals to remain in commerce, dictate specific use levels, clarify use restrictions, benchmark exposure limits and detail other critical components that determine the final formulation of products. CPCA’s Canada CoatingsHUB is a quick resource for companies to help them confirm the status of a chemical in commerce in Canada. This information can, in turn, help confirm the performance attributes of chemicals, which sometimes can determine the success or failure of certain products. The Coating- sHUB helps address many of those critical elements for member companies in an expeditious manner as the old adage reminds us, time is money.
In 2019, CPCA embarked on a digital modernization effort that saw its entire public-facing website rebranded and redesigned. CPCA sought to create the first of its kind “digital issues management platform” to provide members with real-time data on regulatory development and a wide range of issues impacting industry, curated and searchable on all digital devices. The Canada CoatingsHUB was developed by CPCA staff along with a team of experts analyzing data, structure, and the overall requirements to create an online data platform that would provide maximum value for members. It’s no secret that the paint and coatings industry is a heavily regulated industry in Canada and that navigating the regulatory landscape can be just as complex as the regulations themselves. This is where the intrinsic value of the HUB rests. The HUB allows members to navigate the Canadian regulatory environment with ease, receive notifications on issue updates of importance for the sector and search a comprehensive database on all
digital platforms. Users have access to a fully customizable dashboard and can manage notifications from their personal profile. The HUB provides members quick access to industry-specific issue updates, formal positions and submissions, a compliance calendar, member notifications of pending government actions and much more.
The Canada CoatingsHUB will soon have a new feature added for the benefit of members: a database of more than 2,000 substances used in literally thousands of products in Canada. That database will be launched on the HUB early in 2020. It will contain information on the current status of chemicals in commerce used in the Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomer (CASE) sector. CPCA members can search the new substance database by chemical number (CAS-RN), providing them with substance-specific information as and when needed. This provides an at-a-glance overview of the status of substances of interest in commerce in Canada. This is something no other digital platform provides and it sets the Canada CoatingsHUB apart from any other offerings on the market. With over a thousand resources already posted on the HUB, the Cana- da CoatingsHUB is proving to be one of the most robust, rigorous and relevant online tools for association issues management today.
The new substance database will also indicate whether or not the chemical is being assessed or reassessed or evaluated and at what stage of that process. This means a company supplying or shipping raw materials in Canada or manufacturing finished products in Canada, who is a CPCA member, can immediately search the substance database to determine where things stand with respect to compliance requirements. It will also provide an opportunity for the company to provide direct input in cases where those substances are being assessed or re-evaluated. That input could help determine whether or not a chemical remains in commerce at reasonable use levels and continue providing the performance demanded by customers.
The Canada CoatingsHUB continues to revolutionize the way CPCA engages with members. CPCA members manage hundreds – in many cases thousands – of paint and coatings products with R&D and regulatory teams at the forefront of their companies. Their primary objective is to get their product to market following all Canadian standards and regulations. CPCA’s job is to support members by providing access to the latest information available on current regulations and issues, and those looming on the horizon, all of which is now easily accessible as and when needed on a searchable digital platform.