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IMDS: No Need to Fumble With It

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Jennifer Guest knows how to teach IMDS, not only because she’s been doing it 14 years, but also because she actively works in the system for many of her clients. “I’ve taught over 3,000 people how to use IMDS,” she says.

As a senior consultant for product compliance and ethical sourcing at RSJ Technical Consulting, Guest begun working with AIAG members in November, teaching three different classes: a one-day Basic Concepts class for anyone who needs to understand and function efficiently in the system; a one-day Advanced IMDS class that focuses on the bigger picture and includes legislative input into the regulations as well as information on advanced tools like Chemistry Manager; and a half-day IMDS Version 9 update that covers what’s changed in the most recent version.  All classes are taught on the DXC Technologies training server (https://www.dxc.technology/)

IMDS, which stands for International Material Data System, is a global data repository where information is housed and reported for materials used in automotive manufacturing. The majority of the leading auto makers use IMDS to maintain data for various reporting requirements and regulations. IMDS grew out of increasing concerns regarding substance uses in various products and the recycling or disposal of these products. It is critical for suppliers to understand these regulations as well as the impacts of specific requirements on the future of their businesses.

“We see IMDS change hands frequently in companies, and the new IMDSer typically gets a 15-minute here’s how you do it,” she says. “What they fail to communicate is the magnitude and importance of it all. If anyone is currently struggling in IMDS, they don’t have to. Just one day with us will save you hours and hours of fumbling and trying to figure it out.”

The courses are geared toward the IMDS user, she says, because “those are the people who are doing the work.” The class size is kept to about a dozen participants. It’s very hands on. I use a lecture style combined with learn by doing. The material is class led. I’ve been teaching these courses twice a month for 10 years, and each one is unique. We teach to the class every time.”

A common question is whether she has considered offering an IMDS refresher course. “Actually, AIAG’s IMDS & Product Chemical Compliance Conference is a great refresher,” says Guest. “That’s what I would recommend.”  The next IMDS conference is scheduled for September 26 – 27, 2018.

Plus, if anyone has taken one of the AIAG IMDS courses, they can always contact Guest with questions. “If someone gets stuck, they can reach out to me,” she says. “I hate to see my students waste valuable time struggling when we can resolve the issue in minutes.”

Through AIAG’s partnership with the IMDS Steering Committee, who develops the policies on how the industry will do data reporting, Guest’s class is able to stay current with any new developments for IMDS. “This committee has direct feedback and input into the class content,” notes Guest, “and no other IMDS training course can say that.”

Visit here for more information on available AIAG IMDS courses and dates.