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GDPR In Manufacturing – Threat Or Opportunity?

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GDPR In Manufacturing – Threat Or Opportunity?

Although it feels like we’ve been talking about the new legislation forever, businesses in almost every sector have been very slow to react. And GDPR in manufacturing has been no different, with almost a third of small UK manufacturers not even beginning their GDPR preparations. Part of this is because many companies perceive it as a threat to their ability to improve. But is it really a threat, or more of an opportunity?


Another Data Challenge?

As manufacturing businesses embrace Big Data more and more, GDPR raises a new big challenge. But this one is about personal data. Any company that has employees, suppliers or customers in Europe must comply with the regulation. That means if you ship or sell into Europe, employ staff in Europe or buy from Europe, it applies to you. At its core, GDPR requires your manufacturing business to know everything about the data you have on your customers, employees or trading partners. You need to ensure you only have that data for legitimate reasons, and that you have consent for that information. And if they ask you to delete it, you need to know where to find it and how to securely erase all trace of it. While this is most certainly a challenge for every organization – but especially large manufacturers who have been collecting and storing data for many years – it is also an opportunity to gain greater (and granular) control of the data within your organization. By understanding where and how you use all the data within your organization, you build a foundation to gain more value from that data.


Threat Or Opportunity?


Many manufacturers are taking the view that GDPR is a threat to innovation. There are fears that, since Big Data has played such a huge part in revolutionising the industry, with its exploitation being used to fuel more tailored and specific products, taking that away may risk the restriction of progress. But things aren’t always what they seem. In fact, time and time again research has shown that while customers do want more personalised service, they aren’t willing to provide their personal details to get it. Research has also found that almost three quarters of global customers believe that some of the companies they deal with simply can’t be trusted with their data. 58% say that companies can earn their trust by being more transparent about how they use their customer’s data. So if you look at it this way, GDPR actually provides manufacturing firms with an opportunity to build trust with your customers and redefine the relationship you have with them.


At Tipac, we provide manufacturing businesses with the framework they need to build that trust, be completely transparent and demonstrate that you take your customer’s privacy seriously. Our bespoke content management solutions are designed to support your manufacturing business in achieving GDPR compliance and improve our efficiency along the way. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.