Complying with the conflict minerals law doesn’t have to be a huge headache. It also doesn’t have to be expensive.
We chatted with Lawrence Heim of Elm Consulting Group about perhaps the simplest compliance program out there.
MetalMiner: Why did you decide to build the compliance kit, and what did you find to be most valuable to include?
Lawrence Heim: CMCheckPoint℠ was born of two inspirations. First, checklists (or protocols) are commonly used audit tools to provide consistency in assessments and capture helpful “how to’s” and valuable commentary. As auditors, we gravitated toward that framework as a structure for our own client conflict minerals work. Second, since 2010 we have had hundreds of conversations with companies about their concerns related to compliance – and cost was almost always in the Top 3. We chose to release CMCheckPoint℠ as a unique, low-cost and consistent way to deliver knowledge to a far wider audience than would be otherwise possible.
MM: What’s the value prop?
LH: Fundamentally, the compliance kits were developed to help companies reduce the costs of conflict minerals program development and implementation. CMCheckPoint brings in-depth third party expertise to companies for a fraction of the cost of a consulting engagement. It effectively blends a do-it-yourself approach with third party expertise.
MM: Take us through the “pain points” – what are companies struggling with right now? What do they need to know?
LH: The conflict minerals law and regulations have been roundly criticized as both the wrong tool for the desired humanitarian goal, and a significant cost burden that put US companies at a competitive disadvantage in global markets. In many cases, companies don’t have the budget for necessary resources. The pain companies face is how to comply with legal obligations and customer demands in an absence of available (or adequate) funding. Before CMCheckPoint℠, companies could either spend five or six figures for consultant engagements, or use in-house staff to create programs with no funding/ability to assess, validate or confirm strategies, direction or documentation. Now the benefit of the external expert perspective is accessible at a far lower cost than before.