Product Compliance management

Link Services is used by many of the world's largest brands for managing Restricted Substance List (RSL) compliance data, product quality/performance data, and supplier certificates such as general certificates of conformity (GCC), declarations of conformity (DOC), and third-party certificates (e.g., OEKO-TEX, bluesign, etc.). Link is a Supplier Performance Management (SPM) application focused on product testing and conformity, with tools for supply chain partners to manage and communicate tasks and analytics associated with product and material testing programs and specifications, test ordering, test results and lab reporting, corrective actions, product certificates, bills of materials, and related product quality management activities. Bridging the gap between brand/retailer enterprise systems (e.g., PLM, ERP/SAP), suppliers, and analytical testing laboratories (in-house or third-party), Link harmonizes and centralizes the data into a single, lab-agnostic system.

CONNECTING SYSTEMS, WORKFLOWS, AND PARTNERS

Consolidate all laboratory data – not just PDFs but the underlying raw data – into a single, laboratory-agnostic portal. Systems integration (PLM, ERP, other) is provided through web services/APIs, file uploads (XLS, CSV, XML), or FTP file transfer. Link's data management framework ensures:

  • • Data accuracy through the enforcement of test specifications, analytical methods, reporting units, and validation rules;
  • • Harmonization across all suppliers, labs, products, and materials;
  • • Testing compliance through integrated production forecast data, online test requests, and management reporting, and;
  • • Proactive supply chain management through systems connectors, alerts, dashboard analytics, and corrective action traceability.

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Lab Test Ordering and Reporting Workflow in Link Services

 

 

Automated Lab Test Results Upload in Link Services

MATERIALS MANAGEMENT, TEST ORDERING AND REPORTING

Link is a centralized materials management, lab test ordering and reporting portal, used to create, track, and close out test requests related to brand- and supplier-requested product/material quality and compliance programs. Both in-house and third-party lab testing workflows are supported, as are single sample and multi-component sample specimens.

If bills of materials/substances are used, they can be uploaded from a file, entered manually, or exchanged automatically with your PLM. Link handles any type of product or material, as well as any type of testing, test result, specification, or conclusion (e.g. pass/fail, meets, retest required). You configure the system to conform to your terminologies, workflows, test program specifications, and lab data. Or let us analyze your requirements and configure the system for you.

Upload Bill of Materials into Link Services

PRECISION SOURCING THROUGH PRECISION TESTING

Has this material been tested before? Did it pass? Is it being tested for chemicals that aren't even used by the manufacturer, or aren't even regulated? Though tariffs can't be ignored, the path of least resistance is to focus on reducing production costs by minimizing defective materials and rejects. That requires identifying potential quality and compliance issues pre-production, at every tier in the supply chain. Precision sourcing is possible by focusing  the right sampling and testing protocols on the right materials and product components. Link helps you optimize testing by fine-tuning test package selection and even alerting the requester when a material may have been recently tested (even by another supplier) and had a passing conclusion. When a specific test or limit fails, Link can identify alternate uses for which the material is still in compliance.

Material Matching in Link Services
Supply Chain Partner Document Management in Link Services

SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNER DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT

Are you sure the lab tested this material against the current specification? The only way to know for sure is to enforce the selection of testing protocols at the time the test request is created. Communicating changes in specifications through emailed documents and spreadsheets leads to a version control problem — the end-user is never certain they have the most current version. Link not only serves to enforce the current specifications but also to provide a centralized reference library for all your supply chain partners. We will even administer the library for you and notify your partners of updates.

PLM, SAP, LIMS CONNECTORS

Use Link connectors to integrate with your ERP, PLM, and laboratory information management systems (LIMS), automating the exchange of data with the rest of your enterprise. This integration ensures that test and product specifications, including style/SKU numbers, stock/model numbers, colors and other supplier- and R&D-related data remain in sync across your supply chain.

Link Services Connectors to Enterprise Applications
Corrective Action Loop in Link Services

QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Exchanging emails and corrective action forms with your suppliers is no way to effectively close the loop on defects and corrective actions. Identify the test failure in real time, notify the supplier of the corrective action expected, and document that the action taken eliminated the source of failure and opportunity for recurrence. Link's alerts are used to initiate the corrective action within the test request and allow the supplier and brand to document the steps taken and approvals necessary to close the loop. Or provide us with your quality manual and we'll administer the corrective action program with your suppliers and provide your team with real-time management updates.

CERTIFICATES MANAGEMENT

Compliance to the CPSIA, REACH, RoHS, and other product safety regulations requires a highly specialized and innovative approach to managing and reporting test certification results. Link addresses the stringent reporting requirements of consumer product safety regulations in the US, EU, and around the globe, creating and managing CPSIA General Certificates of Conformity (GCC) and Declarations of Conformity through a secure, cloud native Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) data management system. Link helps you and your suppliers manage self-certification and third-party certificates (e.g., bluesign, OEKO-TEX, Eco-Passport, etc.) through both private and public portals.

Certificates of Conformity and Third-Party Certification Management in Link Services
Failure Rates by Supplier

DASHBOARDS, ALERTS, AND ANALYTICS

Link is delivered with standard supply chain performance dashboard charts and tables, analytics, and alerts, all of which can be customized to your specific business requirements. Interactive charts allow you to visualize patterns and "drill down" to identify root causes and implement corrective actions. Heat map graphs illuminate problem suppliers, materials, test classes/parameters, and test methods, so you can bypass your spreadsheets and jump directly to decision-making.

Failure Rates by Materials
Automated Data Validation

BETTER DATA, BETTER DECISIONS

Link automates data validation to detect missing dates, values, and other unexpected results and flag them during entry/upload. You can choose to enforce allowable test methods, units of measure, significant figures, and even whether to require entries for every test group/parameter or allow the user to leave non-detected or non-reportable values blank.

Unexpected Significant Figures Detected in Link Services

 

BRAND/RETAILER PORTAL INTEGRATION

White Labeled Web Site in Link Services
 

WHITE LABELED LAB TESTING PORTAL

Link can be branded with your logo/graphics, either as a standalone lab testing portal or integrated into your corporate web site. We can also provide a vanity/branded URL for you to share with your supply chain partners.
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Branded Test Request Form (TRF) in Link Services
 

BRANDED TEST REQUESTS

Laboratory Test Request Forms (TRFs) can be branded with your logo, customized with your lab's contact information and other footer details, and even generated with lab-specific Terms and Conditions.

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Branded Reports and Certificates in Link Services

BRANDED REPORTS AND CERTIFICATES

Link-generated test reports and certificates can be branded as well, with custom formatting, signature blocks, logos and footers. Third-party certificates and lab reports are uploaded directly by suppliers and labs (as PDFs).

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