Establishing Effective Chemical Management for Multinational Life Sciences Companies

Chemical Regulations

biovia world

When life sciences companies expand beyond national borders, chemical management software can help them tackle the logistical challenges of operating labs in different countries so that researchers can focus on advancing the firm’s goals. Image Credit: Flickr user Jonathan Gross

Around the world, life scientists are thriving in an increasingly globalized industry. Life sciences companies are expanding quickly, reaching beyond national borders and taking advantage of increasing opportunities abroad. Not only does this growth allow them to make their products more available in other countries, but it also provides the opportunity for them to employ uniquely talented scientists from around the world. Collaborative efforts between scientists in different countries who have different perspectives can lead to innovative research solutions that give the firm an edge over its competitors.

While the economic and scientific benefits of crossing borders are clear, multinational life sciences companies face logistical challenges when it comes to chemical management. Labs in different countries must be able to comply with a different sets of safety regulations, and chemical information may need to be available in languages other than English. Chemical management software makes it easy to deal with these technical issues so that scientists can focus on maximizing the research benefits of multinational expansion.

Complying With Safety Regulations in Different Countries

When it comes to chemical safety, regulatory standards in different countries vary considerably. Some countries are more restrictive about particular chemicals, and some require regulatory reports. In countries where the life sciences sector is just emerging, regulations are still in flux. As the industry grows, some laws are being more strictly enforced, while others are being relaxed.1  For instance, in 2012, China began requiring registration for imported toxic chemicals and doubled the size of the catalog of subtances that were legally considered to be hazardous.2  In 2015, South Korea implemented K-REACH, a set of new regulations that have become progressively stricter over time.3 In this ever-changing regulatory environment, keeping track of standards can be a major logistical challenge for life sciences companies.

Clarifications about safety standards can tie up communications between labs that would otherwise be focused on collaborative research, and the slightest error can result in noncompliance and possible legal consequences. With chemical management software, it is possible to configure and manage safety data based on the regulatory requirements of a particular country. The software can also generate any required regulatory reports, reducing the chance of human error and leaving scientists free to focus on the firm’s research goals.

Configuring Chemical Information in Multiple Languages

Another significant logistical challenge of going multinational is the language barrier. Many life sciences companies in the United States are choosing to expand into countries where the life sciences sector is growing at a rapid rate, such as those in Asia.4 In these countries, not all lab researchers and employees speak English, or only speak English as a second language. Regardless of the lab’s location, it is critical for all lab members to have a comprehensive understanding of chemical handling and disposal procedures. This will guard against miscommunications that result in serious consequences, such as lab accidents, destroyed experiments, inaccurate results or legal censure.

By configuring safety data in multiple languages, chemical management software ensures that chemical information can be easily understood by all lab members, even in countries where more than one language or dialect is spoken. The software also streamlines the overall research process since non-English speakers won’t have to waste time deciphering chemical safety information that is unavailable in their native language. Instead, they can concentrate their efforts on advancing the firm’s scientific and economic interests.

Implementing Chemical Software in Different Countries

While chemical management software offers clear benefits once it is implemented, many life sciences companies are concerned about the installation process. Some scientific software packages need to be installed manually on every user’s computer by a technician, who would have to be dispatched to a lab in another country for weeks on end. The technician would have to install it on all lab computers, run operational tests and train another employee to maintain the software. This would be extremely costly for the firm, not to mention a major hassle, but it can be avoided by choosing chemical management software with web-based delivery. These packages are much easier to install and maintain from afar.

It is important to note, though, that internet connections may not be ideal in foreign countries, especially those where the life sciences sector is just taking hold. The solution is to choose a chemical management system that can work with low bandwidth connections. That way, it can be efficiently installed and operated no matter where the lab is located.

Overall, modern chemical management software can greatly simplify the process of international expansion for life sciences companies. By eliminating key logistical challenges associated with global growth, new technology allows firms to maximize the scientific and economic benefits of this new interconnected economy.

BIOVIA CISPro is a chemical management software package that can be installed via internet and configured based on the language preferences and regulatory requirements of any country. By making it easy to overcome the logistical challenges faced by multinational life sciences companies, it allows firms to focus on developing new ideas and marketing innovative products—the real reasons for going global. Contact us today to find out how this software package can streamline chemical management at your company.

  1. “A Year of Global Change – 2015: What Multinational Life Sciences Companies Should Expect in China,” March 4, 2015, http://www.sidley.com/news/2015-03-04_global_life_sciences_china_update
  2. “China’s strengthened regulatory program looks increasingly like REACH,” August 3, 2012, http://blogs.edf.org/health/2012/08/03/chinas-strengthened-chemicals-program-looks-increasingly-like-reach/
  3. “K-REACH: one year on,” February 2016, https://chemicalwatch.com/45255/k-reach-one-year-on
  4. “Disruptive Forces in the Global Life Sciences Sector,” October 22, 2013, http://nbr.org/research/activity.aspx?id=364