GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force on 25th May 2018. Businesses and organisations from all industries, including the manufacturing sector, will be affected, and will need to make sure they comply with the new regulations.

GDPR is a hot topic at the minute, and all types of businesses are trying to understand what they need to do in order to become compliant. We’ve put this guide together to help explain exactly what GDPR is and how those working in the manufacturing industry will be impacted.

What is the Purpose of GDPR?

The reason for GDPR is to align data protection laws across Europe, and to help create more transparency in how personal data is collected, used and transferred, by organisations of any capacity. Manufacturing organisations are always dealing with data from employees, customers, suppliers and trading partners from all over the world, so these unified GDPR rulings can only be seen as a good thing.

It’s crucial that all businesses highlight how they store and use the data to ensure that they don’t mishandle or misuse personal data.

The Impact of GDPR on Manufacturing Businesses

GDPR will see an introduction of new regulations and rules that businesses will have to conform to. Failing to meet the regulation will result in heavy penalties. A company can expect to receive a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of their annual turnover (whichever is greater) if they breach the new legislation. It’s thought that around 20% of manufacturing businesses wouldn’t be able to survive if the maximum fine was imposed, so it’s imperative that all businesses are aware of the new rules. So, how will businesses specialising in the manufacturing sector be affected?

Processing Data All businesses will soon have to be extremely careful when processing data. Businesses will have to provide a valid reason and justify why the data they are storing is relevant. This applies to all data that manufacturing businesses are keeping a record of, such as the contact details and bank account numbers of their employees, sub-contractors and customers.

Acquiring Consent The GDPR will introduce new regulations concerning how organisations obtain consent to store data, stating that consent needs to be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. In circumstances where a manufacturer is processing sensitive data, there is a heightened standard for consent. Manufacturing organisations should be aware of this when acquiring the health and contact details of an employee, or when dealing with subcontractors.

The Right to be Forgotten The GDPR has also introduced a right for individuals to have their personal data erased. The “Right for Erasure” allows any individual to request the deletion or removal of personal data, as well as request to view any and all data a company holds about them. This will particularly apply to large manufacturing companies with a considerable workforce or customer base, as they will have to be prepared to dedicate time and resources to provide and delete information on request.

Data Security & Breach Notifications Manufacturing businesses already appreciate the importance of data security to protect confidential information, trade secrets and other intangible assets, but the GDPR is also increasing the pressures put on organisations to protect personal data. In the event of a data breach, the appropriate authorities must be notified within 72 hours. If the breach has the possibility of resulting in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of the individual affected, they should also be immediately notified.

The Benefits of GDPR

Although it might initially appear as a burden, GDPR can be extremely advantageous to manufacturing businesses of all sizes. It provides a framework for the company to build trust with customers and employees, and also a chance to redefine the relationship the business has with them. The new regulations by no means prevent businesses from using personal data, it instead requires them to come to an agreement with the individual as to how the data will be used. If the business is able to acquire consent and is able to transparently demonstrate that they are using the data securely and comply to the regulations, customers will be substantially keener to give consent to their data being used. This will allow the manufacturing companies to tailor the service on offer and continue to develop innovative ideas and products.

BMR Solutions & The Manufacturing Industry

Here at BMR Solutions, we help match top manufacturers with reputable manufacturing companies throughout Bristol and the surrounding area. If you’re looking for the very best opportunities, please submit your CV with us today, or browse our current vacancies. We often have manufacturing jobs come available, as well as other related careers. Be sure to sign up for job alerts up to avoid missing out on any future vacancies. For more information, or if you’d like to learn more about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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