Homologation Management Services
What is Homologation?
Homologation is the process of bringing a product into compliance with, and/or certified to guidelines established by a regulating authority, generally at a national level. Homologation is typically a prerequisite to distributing or delivering products to a country or region. The term Homologation, which has been used in the automotive industry for some time, can also be applied to regulatory compliance of non-automotive products, components, and systems. We use the term because of its concise ability to describe the industry.
Challenges with Global Homologation:
Manufacturers expanding into global markets, particularly developing markets, are faced with a growing number of regulatory requirements of which safety, EMC, wireless, energy, and environmental disciplines are becoming common. As a result of the increased complexity of global homologation, manufacturers can experience multiple hurdles in attaining and maintaining market access for their products, including:
- In-house staff becoming overburdened by extensive and ever-changing requirements;
- Excessive certification costs from over-certification of similar model platforms;
- Lack of in-house expertise to question homologation advise proposed by contract manufacturers or local test labs;
- Unexpected expiration of certifications causing lapse in market coverage;
- Loss of employee who was entrusted with company’s entire homologation knowledge.
Navigating global certification processes with an expanding number of compliance disciplines has become a full-time job. Instead of relying on one person within the organization to muddle through this ever-changing maze of compliance, it may make sense to partner with an organization that specializes in product certification services.
Insourcing Homologation Management:
G&M provides a service making use of our technical background, familiarity with global homologation schemes, and experience in working with certification entities. Our overall knowledge bank coupled with our autonomy from certification bodies, gives us the ability to serve as an ideal homologation management partner. As part of the HMS program, G&M provides customers with an industry expert to serve as the company’s homologation manager. This person works as part of the team to manage and streamline internal compliance related processes. This person not only relies on their own knowledge but can draw from the collective expertise of the G&M team. This service is similar to certification consulting but designed to be integrated within the companies infrastructure for more seamless results. The following are examples of how an experienced homologation team working as your in-house provider can provide value:
- Development of effective certification programs, maximizing models per certification, and reducing overall costs
- Management of outside vendors, ensuring their certification efforts are efficient, which improves time to market
- Removal of homologation tasks from company staff, allowing them to be more productive
- Tracking certifications with G&M CATS system to avoid unexpected expirations, minimizing loss of market access
- Having an established company manage homologation improves consistency and reduces the possibility of chaos due to employee turnover.
- Assistance in analyzing risk of homologation related business decisions can save both time and money
Insourcing Vs. Hiring:
For companies fortunate enough to have competent personnel managing homologation activities, such people are a rare find. We encourage companies in this situation to maintain these folks in their positions as they are a valuable asset to the team. In some cases where these individuals have a specific expertise (e.g. Tier 1 markets), or are just too busy to keep up with the number of projects, G&M is happy to take on the role of augmenting their efforts. Whether to pick up the slack in areas outside of their expertise, or simply to handle the overflow work, this model may be preferable to hiring on additional full-time employees.
The question for many companies is: Can we continue to treat the impact of growing homologation requirements as an adjunct responsibility given to one or more existing employees? If not, can we justify or afford a full-time employee? Before deciding that, are we equipped to identify a competent applicant? If we answered yes to the last two questions; does it make business sense to hire specialized personnel who do not directly contribute to the core competencies of the organization?
For companies in the situation described above, G&M’s HMS is the perfect solution. See figure below for an illustration of the division of responsibilities made possible by the HMS model: