This article appeared in the July 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
Manufacturers strive to stay in compliance with regulations at the federal, state and local level. They have to be. But the process of getting there and staying there isn’t always easy. For many business owners, compliance is a word that carries an adversarial feeling — an “us against them” fear that government is out to get them and that they could be one slip-up away from a hefty fine or even a closure.
Compliance doesn’t have to be scary.
“The fact is that most regulatory agencies aren’t typically looking to shut any business down — that isn’t their goal,” said Mike Colvin, a principal with Fishbeck. “In my experience, they are willing to work with any business who is trying to do things the right way and most problems that pop up are ones that could have been avoided.”
Fishbeck is a full-service engineering and environmental compliance firm with locations all across the state. Their team is well-respected and known for high responsiveness and decades of proven success for manufacturing clients of all sizes.
“When manufacturing succeeds, everything else seems to rise up and succeed,” Colvin said. “Too often, manufacturers feel like they are all by themselves. It’s so easy to get bogged down in hundreds and thousands of constantly changing regulations. Staying on top of it can be a full-time job for a business that just can’t afford to hire a full- time environmental, health and safety manager. They don’t always realize there are resources to help.”
The proper environmental consultant should show a commitment to their client beyond an occasional phone call or quarterly visit.
“Your time is increasingly valuable, but it’s also important that you understand the reasoning behind various regulations as much as the compliance requirements,” Colvin explained. “You can be assigned a dedicated professional to assist or train your in-house team on common concerns including plant expansion, federal or state reporting and issues like chemical storage, tracking, and waste or permit inspections.”
Committed to the personal and professional growth and success of their clients, the Fishbeck team is full of problem solvers who would rather give you the tools to eventually succeed on your own than force you to depend on others.
“It can feel like a thin line between being confident in compliance and worrying whether you’ll be able to stay afloat,” offered Colvin. “By applying the proper strategies, asking the correct questions and having access to trusted resources, you’ll have confidence in the health and safety protocols you are implementing and maybe even breathe easier at inspection time.”
For those businesses that want to handle it in-house, an experienced team can provide the training necessary to help your team excel while offering a built-in backup — just in case.
“Especially now, with additional safety protocols in place, you should want to be recognized as a manufacturer that does business the right way,” reminded Colvin. “If I could give every small business owner out there some advice it would be this — proper compliance can be an achievement of every business and you don’t have to go it alone.”