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Blog: Volcanic Ash, the Economy, Reach...Challenges of Modern Business!

11:25 AM MDT | May 28, 2010 | By LISA ALLEN

It’s just over a month since Jo Lloyd and I made it safely back to the UK after our unexpectedly extended trip to Mumbai for Chemspec India.  Now that the dust has at last started to settle after the recent volcanic activity, many companies are realising they have yet more threats to business continuity than Reach alone.

Having our two-night stay in India extended to a full week, Jo and I had plenty of time to reflect on the impact of an event that was not only beyond our control but also completely unexpected. In what was a very stressful time of not knowing what the next day would bring, having the facilities to “carry on regardless” and work remotely meant we could minimise the effect of the volcano on our business while we were stranded abroad. In many respects we were perhaps the lucky ones. Maybe the recent disruption caused by the volcanic ash should serve as an early warning to companies to ensure they are able to manage risk in the event of future major business challenges.

As the first Reach registration deadline approaches, companies around the world are working hard to ensure their business in Europe can continue come 1 December 2010. ECHA have been encouraging companies to reduce the risk of non-compliance by campaigning for early submission of complete dossiers. In addition, they have been improving the IT systems available, including back-up systems, and providing industry with tools and a myriad of guidance to help the potential registrant produce acceptable IUCLID dossiers. Failing to meet their registration obligations will leave such companies facing tough business decisions come 1 December 2010.

The challenges presented by Reach are not easy to overcome and, as ECHA reminds us, the clock is ticking. Time is fast running out for companies to be able to meet the first Reach deadline – and that is without any unexpected interruptions or delays!  In just a few weeks we have experienced the drama of a volcano, industrial action by cabin crew of one of the world’s major airlines, worries about currency collapse, a complete change to the political landscape and now the prospect of economic stringency. These are not good times to be caught out by the unexpected. Reflecting on personal experience, spending some time in contingency planning for when we are faced with another challenge looks more than ever to be a very wise investment.














 
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