We can all agree that a certain amount of regulation is necessary. This is what makes modern society function as efficiently as it does. Certainly, it can function more efficiently, but that is a topic for another day.
In business, we often see regulations as purely a cost, and in some cases they may be. Another way of looking at this, though, is that those very regulations, applied equitably across the board, just may be protecting you from a competitor or a supplier who, left to their own devices, might cause extra costs to your business or cause you not to be competitive.
However, today I want to take this topic down a different path. Let's think for a little bit about regulators, the humans, that we have to deal with regularly. Yes, once we cover the caveats I listed above, we see them as a cost. That is not how they may see the matter, though.
There are many regulators who view their jobs with a passion. Often found in the environmental or employee safety areas, their passions may have started at a young age. Perhaps they had a parent who was injured at work when he or she was a child and grew up resolved to make sure that it did not happen to anyone else. Perhaps they had a relative that died of some hideous disease attributed to a workplace environment. Or, in school they became passionate about the environment and are determined to do something about it in their careers. And, of course, on top of this deep-seated passion, they earn their livings as regulators.
Treat such persons as a nuisance, a cost and with contempt at your peril. All you are doing is reinforcing their preconceived negative notions of businesses, particularly manufacturing businesses.
It goes without saying, like everyone else who comes on your property, they need to be treated professionally and with respect. This does not mean you should open your books and data to them any more than you would to any supplier. But, on the other hand, do not be overly protective nor suspicious.