About Design Chain Associates (DCA)

Focus and Mission

Founded in 2001, DCA helps manufacturers understand, comply with, and get ahead of environmental and social regulatory and customer requirements that affect their products in their markets.

DCA provides management and technical consulting services to manufacturers of discrete goods ("articles"), their suppliers (including software, hardware, material and chemical suppliers) and their customers in the areas of environmental compliance and performance, product sustainability, social compliance and supply chain management.

Simply put, that includes

  • Substance-based requirements like RoHS, REACH and California Proposition 65,
  • Design and supply chain management requirements for the Circular Economy,
  • Energy Efficiency requirements for such items as External Power Supplies,
  • Environmental Performance Standards like the IEEE-1680.x series,
  • Extended Producer Responsibility requirements like WEEE (e-waste),
  • Conflict Minerals, and
  • Component Engineering

Typical services include education and training, business process evaluation and advice, software database requirements definition and selection, regulatory baselining and ongoing monitoring, data collection / management / reporting, and as-needed consulting on regulatory and customer requirements.

Why "Design Chain Associates"?

Design Chain Associates, LLC (DCA) provides services that help discrete product manufacturers increase engineering, procurement, and production efficiency, product and operational environmental performance, and corporate profitability by ensuring that the optimal decisions about supply base and the environment are made during the earliest stages of the product lifecycle, and are built-in to corporate strategies and tactics.

Maximum supply chain robustness and optimized risk mitigation can only be achieved by applying appropriate focus, strategies, and business processes in the early stages of new product development or outside the product lifecycle process entirely; thus we are "Design Chain Associates", not "Supply Chain Associates".

A Note About California AB 5

As an independent consultancy, DCA (the "business service provider") is exempt from coverage under California AB5, the "gig worker" law per section 2750.3(e). This section exempts business-to-business relationships as follows:

  1. The business service provider is free from the control and direction of the contracting business entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact. ✅
  2. The business service provider is providing services directly to the contracting business rather than to customers of the contracting business. ✅
  3. The contract with the business service provider is in writing. ✅
  4. If the work is performed in a jurisdiction that requires the business service provider to have a business license or business tax registration, the business service provider has the required business license or business tax registration. ✅ (DCA has a business license in San Francisco and is registered as an LLC with the California Secretary of State)
  5. The business service provider maintains a business location that is separate from the business or work location of the contracting business. ✅
  6. The business service provider is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed. ✅
  7. The business service provider actually contracts with other businesses to provide the same or similar services and maintains a clientele without restrictions from the hiring entity. ✅
  8. The business service provider advertises and holds itself out to the public as available to provide the same or similar services. ✅
  9. The business service provider provides its own tools, vehicles, and equipment to perform the services. ✅
  10. The business service provider can negotiate its own rates. ✅
  11. Consistent with the nature of the work, the business service provider can set its own hours and location of work. ✅
  12. The business service provider is not performing the type of work for which a license from the Contractor's State License Board is required, pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code. ✅
If you have any questions, please contact us.