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How will digital product passports impact your control over quality?

Similarly to digital product passports expanding the definition of what a PRODUCT is, as we have written about before, we can pretty safely expect that they will also expand what QUALITY is...and improve both the level and consistency of quality.

Adding parameters for quality and consistency

To begin with, digital product passports bring added specification parameters, parameters to monitor. Beyond the customary specifications, we will suddenly have parameters like CO2 emissions, composition and origin of components, reparation-friendly design... All to be adhered to continuously – all the way down the supply chain. If one link breaks, the product risks being impossible to sell - the ultimate failure of quality.

Consumer pressure rippling down the supply chain

We can expect consumer preferences and pressures to propagate down the supply chain from retailers via producers to sub-suppliers, raw material suppliers, and all logistics in-between.

Will your suppliers step up their game? Or will you need to choose between changing suppliers, take products off the market, or – which is part of the intent of introducing digital product passports – to redesign your product to avoid the problem or the need for the unwilling sub-supplier?

Added professionalisation of industries?

We expect these factors to boost professionalisation in manufacturing. Throughout the entire chain, from the smallest sub-supplier to the supposedly already highly professional manufacturers, there will be an increased need for control and quality of not only your final physical product, but the entire process of producing it.

The quality of DPP data and data supply as well

Remember the first sentence in this piece, about digital product passports expanding the definition of what a product is to comprise also the data about it?

That applies to the concept of quality. Also, the quality of the data provided, updates, continuous validity, and the reliable supply of the data will be instrumental quality aspects of the total product.

Even a perfectly compliant physical product with all the demanded data will be unsellable if the data isn't kept up-to-date, valid, and easily accessible by the data supply chain for digital product passports. It looks as if we're heading for an increased demand for skills and capacity in data management and distribution.

Changing industry composition and dynamics?

Would you be surprised to see some producers deliberately forego sales to the EU rather than changing their production to comply with the new regulations? We wouldn't.

It will surely be interesting to see which changes digital product passports will bring in the long run.

Image by olm26250 on iStock

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