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GDPR and Manufacturing

26 April 2018

On 28 May this year, the way manufacturing companies handle personal data is set to change in a big way with GDPR. Short for General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR is an EU regulation that covers all industries and sets new limits on how much of their customers’ personal data companies can keep. GDPR’s aim is to give consumers rights over how companies use their personal data. Not only can customers and employees now find out exactly what information a company has on them, they also have the “right to be forgotten”. This means that if a consumer requests that their name or date of birth be deleted from a company database, the company is legally obligated to delete the data. In order to facilitate GDPR compliance, companies need to get on top of their databases so that they know exactly how much personal data they’re holding. The EU will impose severe penalties for any company in any industry, including manufacturing, found violating GDPR. These include fines of E20 million or 4% of a company’s annual turnover, whichever is the greater. For companies caught out by GDPR the consequences could be very bad for business, a recent survey found that 20% of companies said that a maximum EU penalty would result in bankruptcy.

Any company which is focused on marketing in the manufacturing sector (yes, that’s all of our clients) needs to understand how GDPR will affect them. Marketing in the 21st century manufacturing landscape uses big data in a big way. Companies like our clients make great use of analytics, CRM and xRM databases to deliver products that are tailored to personalised customer requirements. Moreover the processes of deep data mining can often cause companies to collect personal data accidentally. GDPR will require manufacturing companies to keep track of all this personal data, even if currently they aren’t aware of holding it. This may be particularly tricky for large organisations which retail to lots of European customers and have large CRM databases that their staff haven’t had the time to update. Manufacturing companies will also need to change the way they collect data, designing forms that make it much more obvious when a user has or hasn’t consented.

Many of you will be thinking GDPR is the last thing manufacturing needs, more EU red tape that stifles innovation and increases overheads for an already costly sector. At Bridge PR and Media though, we think GDPR may be a cloud with a silver lining. Many manufacturing customers object to companies keeping their personal data because even though they value personalised service, they feel they can’t trust companies with their personal info. With GDPR compliant companies putting the customer’s privacy at the top of their agenda, customers and employees will have the assurance they’ve been waiting for that their personal details will be handled according to their wishes. Hopefully this will make them more open to giving personal info a company needs to satisfy their requirements. And when there’s data honesty on both sides of the table, everyone’s happy.


To find out more about how GDPR affects manufacturing and how to implement effective GDPR compliance check out these links

Here or Here


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