Digitalization confronts many companies with the sometimes new challenge of dealing with an abundance of data and managing it professionally. Companies are constantly generating and collecting large amounts of data as a result of their business processes. Only efficient data management makes it possible to systematically organize, store, and manage this data. It ensures that data is easily accessible and quickly retrievable, which improves workflows and increases productivity. Instead of relying on so-called “on-premises solutions” (where the software is installed and operated in the company’s own network) as in the past, a trend towards cloud-based services (the software infrastructure is located and operated online in a cloud) can be observed.
This brings many advantages, including for example:
- Efficiency and cost reduction, as companies do not have to make high investments (be it for setting up their own IT experts or necessary network structure).
- Data security, as modern encryption and access controls are used.
- Scalability, as it is possible to react quickly to dynamic processes and requirements without having to replace the entire hardware.
- Availability that allows us to access the cloud service from anywhere and at any time – regardless of office hours or weekends.
- Backups that take place automatically at regular intervals and enable the rapid restoration of previous versions in emergencies.
- Control to adjust access rights and ensure that confidential information does not fall into the wrong hands.
Digital data management through cloud-based services can be applied in many areas of a company and optimize internal processes. This also applies to the management of those obligations that can be derived from the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). SynoptiCons has addressed this issue and developed the cloud-based software “calculate”, which can support companies in the digital management of their EPR obligations.
Packaging licensing and reporting obligations for companies in Germany
Companies that sell their products in Germany are subject to the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility under the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). They must act in a legally compliant manner if they want to remain competitive.
In concrete terms, this means:
- Companies are obliged to register with LUCID, run by the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Packaging Register Agency – ZSVR) if they place packaging on the German market.
- Companies have to contract with a Take-back-system, sometimes also called PRO (Producer Responsibility Organization), to transfer their obligations for collecting and recycling packaging.
- Companies must draw up reports about the packaging they put on the market, detailing data of the packaging and the corresponding sales and returns of the packed goods.
- Companies have to report summarized data about packaging distributed to the LUCID register as well as to the PRO they contracted with.
- Companies have to regularly present their reports for audits based on a nation-wide standard, to obtain a certificate of completeness for the records they reported.
Large companies with several branches or production sites often face major challenges here. Digital data management can help optimize processes and minimize risks related to compliance with the EPR regulations. Not complying with these regulations can lead to significant sanctions such as the forfeiture of their business license for selling products.
Cloud-software Calculate convinces with functionality and usability
The demands on the development team of “calculate” were therefore quite complex. First, it was necessary to understand how packaging licensing is organized in Germany, what volume of data is involved, and what data must be used as a basis for Calculate: Who is responsible by law for licensing their packaging sold on the German market? What exactly must be licensed? What is the definition of packaging? What types of packaging are there and how do product and transport packaging differ? Are there other reporting obligations for companies?
“As soon as we had defined which requirements had to be fulfilled, we looked for a practicable solution that was not only functionally appealing but also user-friendly and easy to understand, with potential for many useful features. During development, we considered, for example, providing interfaces to common ERP suites such as SAPand generating exports in industry-standard file formats that can be easily imported into our own systems,” says Lennart Schlegge, Software Engineer at SynoptiCons, describing calculate’s development process. “Once the required master data and/or interfaces for data exchange have been prepared, Calculate can be used within a few weeks, including training and test periods.”
Security and GDPR compliance are part of the internal standard at SynoptiCons
The topics of IT security and GDPR-compliant performance are now indispensable, especially for software solutions and cloud-based services. At SynoptiCons, advanced security measures to protect data from unauthorized access, loss or damage are state-of-the-art. Encryption, access controls, and regular backups are just a few examples of the security measures implemented in the development of “Calculate”.