Currently Material Declarations are submitted via email to a central exchange email box. We feel that Incoming email must be a closed-loop system.
The process is for Suppliers to email their Material Declarations in an XML format which requires users to attach their XML file. This file must be named following a naming convention specified in a configuration file.
This process is dependent on all 2000+ of our suppliers to follow a process of submitting only properly named XML files to an exchange mailbox address (forget about the fact we do not use exchange, and had to jump through hoops to set one up). There are a few issues:
Suppliers do not always name their files properly
Suppliers may zip up their files, and not name the zip file properly
Suppliers attach other types of files (supporting documents) and send them to this mailbox
There is no notification to the supplier that an invalid file name or type has been sent to the mailbox. As the notification does not exist, we’ve had delayed shipments, and confusion with Suppliers over files Motorola has not received. This has a large impact on the mobile devices business, which only has a 3-day window for turning around compliance data. Basically, if the file has not written to the WPA server, it will sit and rot in the mailbox.
XML file submission should not be done through a mailbox. There should be a web-based solution (self-serve kiosk) which allows the submission of a file and provides immediate feedback to the submitter on whether or not there are any issues uploading the file. This could also be used for the process that PTC is planning for supporting documents, allowing files other than Material Declarations to be automatically loaded into WPA. It simply is not possible to have a close-loop system with an Outlook mailbox, since you cannot control what a user will do.