thinkstep Makes A Strong Push Into Compliance-Based Product Stewardship With Siemens Partnership

thinkstep, the German-headquartered product stewardship solutions provider, has partnered with Siemens PLM Software (a strategic investor in thinkstep) to deliver a holistic product compliance solution to current and future clients by combining its own BOMcheck, EC4P, and Compliance Process Manager (CPM) solutions with Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter substance compliance and integrated material management solutions. Whereas thinkstep already offers a plethora of robust voluntary product stewardship solutions – LCA software GaBi, for example – this new combined offering allows them to target a segment of the market more focused on navigating the complex web of regulations which govern the design, purchase, and end of life for components and their inner substances.

The value proposition of this partnership and solution can best be explained by an example workflow: first, a product engineer designing in a CAD tool connected to Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter creates material assignments using materials managed in Teamcenter. Supplier material data and declarations are gathered via integration with thinkstep’s BOMcheck (BOM meaning bill of materials). With BOMcheck, a request for data will automatically pull what information is available while simultaneously requesting information that’s missing. Integrations to other supplier material systems are also available, as well as automated processes to request, validate and aggregate supplier data into Teamcenter.

Second, once the final materials and substances have been declared, the employee runs the product through the CPM to ensure compliance with REACH, RoHS, TSCA, CA Prop 65, etc. Compliance is reported on a pass or fail basis until the product is fully compliant. Finally, compliance reports are automatically generated for the final product so that it can be sold and properly disposed of in any geography in which the parent firm wishes to operate.

For thinkstep, this move represents a shift in top level strategy from operating as a voluntary product stewardship firm with a limited product compliance value proposition to one of more balance between the two. It is clear that thinkstep values product sustainability as much as ever, but thinkstep’s decision reflects the reality of product compliance being a more vast and profitable market than voluntary product stewardship – Verdantix estimates the global product stewardship market to be $780 million in 2017, with $620 million representing compliance activities (see Verdantix Product Stewardship Market Size And Forecast 2015 - 2021 (Global)).