Conflict Minerals Analysis: Readiness, Technology and Questionable Practices

In this analysis, Lisa Reisman summarizes the key takeaways and compliance recommendations from the Spend Matters/MetalMiner event: Conflict Minerals EDGE.

How prepared are most companies to tackle conflict minerals compliance based on what you heard and saw?

One point that I came away with was that many companies have greater capability than they think to pursue conflict minerals compliance initiatives. For example, if you’re in pharmaceutical or aerospace, you’re likely doing part or lot level traceability already. Some companies might be able to piggy-pack on these initiatives.

The audience was a self-selecting bunch of over 50 from the manufacturing world (classic early adopters given the timing of the event). In this demographic, appeared to be headed down the right path to tackle conflict minerals compliance.

But the big question is: what about all of the other companies who have not yet started initiatives? It was notable that nearly all of the attendees were OEMs and not their suppliers. Suppliers are going to need to get their programs in place quickly this year and into next as the OEM programs steam into full gear. The traceability requirements cascade to them, and much of the real force of the regulation will hit tier one and tier two suppliers (and lower-tier). This group seems most unprepared as a general rule.

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