Today’s advancement of technology has made competition even harder to keep up with. Buying an EHS software, for instance, initially sounds like a simple task but the plethora of options the market is currently flooded with makes the choosing rather complicated.
Just a little background…
EHS software is a type of data management system that features tools that can significantly aid in better regulatory compliance with EHS or Environment Health, and Safety; a discipline that comprises of rules, regulations, laws, programs, and other necessary components that help protect the safety and health of employees, the public, and the environment where work-related activities take place. It is considered an efficient digital solution to do away with the disadvantageous manual EHS management.
How to spot the right EHS software…
You can ask for recommendations from fellow companies or just extend yourhunt for a good EHS software on Google. The latter will most likely suggest to you a number of seemingly great options but as they usually vary in terms of price and features, spotting the one that your company exactly needs will require important considerations. Here are important factors to check:
The evolution of EHS which facilitated the expansion to additional areas makes EHS software one of the most sophisticated and complex software that are sold in today’s market. If your company plans to invest in one, the first thing you have to take into consideration is the requirements that your company truly needs in line with EHS management. Do not be easily overwhelmed by the many promising features; more often than not, only a few of them are actually necessary while the rest are just an additional breakdown of the expensive price. The extra features can be a disadvantage too in terms of the following:
- The amplified complexity of using the software.
- If the system’s backend is poorly designed, the crammed features can slower the processes which downright hampers the efficiency of the program.
- Unnecessary spending for a facility that is barely used.
Nowadays, software providers have already developed modular features which enable the customers to pick and buy only features that they need at the present. The price then would depend on the number of features included in the customized package. Moreover, modularity also means that customers will also be allowed to scale their EHS software in case of business expansion that opens new EHS software feature demands.
Important featuresof an EHS software, aside from automation of EHS management and auto-generation of EHS-related reports, include:
- Management of Change– where companies are given an automated systematic solution to manage organizational, operational, and equipment changes.
- Incident Management –an automated facility where users can input and monitor incidents, near-misses, audits, and related EHS events. Incident-related data will be stored in a well-designed database. This feature will help track incidents and craft preventive and corrective actions correspondingly.
- Learning Management –where latest changes in the EHS regulations are easier managed and reflected in the company’s policies. This feature aims to inform and train employees to carry out work-related activities in line with the safety protocol.
- Feedbacks and Reviews
Social media is one of the most unfiltered platform where users not only engage but also air out their sentiments without constraints. The good news is, you can use social media to your advantage to see if the EHS software you’re considering to buy truly does the job or is a lousy investment. Feedbacks from the previous buyers matter but research shows that ratings you can find on social media are less biased and more genuine than those shown on the software provider’s official website. To simply put, if you want to know the real deal, social media is stuffed with hints and clues you will need.
Just a reminder though: as black propagandas may still be present, reviews and feedbacks should not be your sole basis in making decisions. Rather, these are just one of the aspects that should be looked into. A wise approach would be to read multiple reviews from different social media sites or profiles to ensure that you are not getting one-sided or biased opinions.
Integration with three important areas should be assessed: personnel, workflow, and other systems.
Personnel – Personnel are the system users that are considered fuel to the vehicle. Without them, EHS software is useless. Hence, the company should acknowledge the possibility that if the software is complex to use, the competency of the users may be affected. Personnel integration means that the software provider should be able to provide appropriate technical support in a timely manner until necessary.
Workflow –EHS compliance obviously involves different sets of rules and policies to conform to. Workflow integration means that how the software manages EHS should be in line with the actual EHS management process of the company. Otherwise, harmony between the personnel and the EHS software will be hard to attain.
Other Systems –Integration with other systems is important to ensure that all the existing data stored in other systems the company has been using won’t be put to waste. This ensures that the EHS program the company has started will still be continued. Migrating to a system from a manual approach takes time and a couple of steps to succeed but with a software that has constraints in terms of integration, success is barely achieved.
Price is another important consideration when it comes to buying an EHS software. But here, even if the EHS software is sophisticatedly priced, it does not automatically mean it is the best deal that guarantees high ROI. More often than not, the high priced ones are sold as is because they are packed with many features that a company does not need. The key here is to not look at the price as a measure of how bad or good the software is but to get the best option taking into account the company’s budget.
Other factors that you might as well want to look into are the stability (of the software provider that defines the availability of technical support), reliability (in terms of how the software is built and the software provider’s support), and the security of the software. As much as possible, only invest in a software that can give you that sense of security and confidence knowing your data is safe while your EHS team is working on the compliance.