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How Do You Implement EHS&S Technology?

Environment, health, safety and sustainability (EHS&S) technology can help businesses transform their environmental performance, protect their employees, and help keep up with ever-evolving regulations. EHS&S technology makes everything more efficient and easier, drives confident data-driven decisions, and saves organizations time. 

EHS&S technology

Technology can improve employee productivity by reducing administrative burdens and increasing overall transparency and accountability. It can also help organizations stay compliant by avoiding hefty fines and penalties. Another benefit is boosting employee morale by creating a healthier and safer workplace where people feel supported and that they have access to online risk reporting tools whenever and wherever they need. 

Imagine your EHS&S function operates via manual, paper-driven processes that slow down and demoralize your organization. By having technology-driven processes, it frees your EHS&S professionals to focus on creating a healthier, safer and sustainable workplace which greatly boosts employee morale.  

If the technology is not implemented properly, it can impact the adoption rate, diminishing your technology’s return on investment. But why do companies often run into problems when implementing EHS&S technology? Here are some steps you can take to improve processes so the technology that is implemented proves well worth the investment of time, cost, and resources. 

Why Does Most Digital Transformation Fail to Take Off? 

 Today’s digital landscape is no longer fit for in-house capabilities, said Verdantix’s recent webinar, Building A Business Case For EHS Platform Consolidation And Integration. Digital transformation in ESG, said Verdantix, now involves dynamics. These new dynamics reveal limitations in poorly designed solutions architecture, increasing the attractiveness of system consolidation.  

For example, in many global and complex organizations operating across countries that may have differing Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) selection tools criteria, business units with siloed business decision autonomy have failed to establish a coherent solution. This drives inconsistency, Verdantix said. 

The increasing complexity of workplaces and internal and external demands on companies is a key driver of digital transformation in Health, Safety, and Environment. 

As Bryn Vaughan, Group Manager – Health & Safety at Decmil, and Christine Adeline, Vice President Product Management, SAI360, emphasized in the webinar Execute Effective Digital HSE Transformation at High-Speed, as workplaces become more complex, it becomes more difficult to manage safety risks manually.  

Digital technologies, this webinar emphasized, can help organizations more effectively and efficiently, such as the ability to:  

  • Automate safety processes 
  • Identify and manage risks  
  • Communicate safety information to employees 
  • Collect and analyze data 
  • Identify and address safety risks 
  • Improve safety culture 
  • Reduce the cost of safety by automating safety processes 
  • Reduce safety incidents 
  • Improve safety culture

But many organizations fail to leverage EHS&S technology to drive innovation. Seventy percent of all digital transformation projects, reports McKinsey, end in failure. Common reasons include going over budget, not hitting company objectives, and not making enough progress within a certain timeframe. Or perhaps poorly managed training sessions lead to the opposite effect than intended, leaving employees feeling uninformed and lacking confidence when using new technology.  

Some organizations, for instance, try to manage digital transformation in-house, but with little success. For example, as Verdantix’s webinar, Building A Business Case For EHS Platform Consolidation And Integration, pointed out, when firms develop in-house tools that are highly customizable to their specific organization’s needs if the people behind building out these capabilities leave the company, change roles, and so forth, the ability to make further technology updates while lacking the right resources can become complex and confusing. 

Nonetheless, of critical importance is the implementation of a well-structured design process versus following a standardized blueprint.  

How Can You Ensure Successful Digital Transformation? 

A single solution can help organizations standardize their processes and reduce costs by consolidating multiple disparate software from various vendors, achieve greater efficiency and cost savings by reducing the need to manage multiple vendors and improve their compliance posture by providing a centralized platform for managing EHS&S data and records. 

Here are four best practices for implementing EHS&S technology in your business so you are working smarter versus harder: 

1. Set clear goals and objectives

The first step in implementing EHS&S technology is to understand your “why.” What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to streamline compliance needs, alleviate risk, or become more efficient? Once you have a better understanding, you can find a technology that meets your organizational needs. 

Remember that innovation does not start with technology. Before buying technology, clearly define your main problems, challenges, and objectives and understand your hazards and risks first. Then identify where technology can help you address these pain points.  

2. Get buy-in from stakeholders

EHS&S technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to get buy-in from all stakeholders in your organization, including employees, managers, and executives. Ultimately, everyone needs to be on board with the implementation of new technology for it to be successful and drive meaningful organizational transformation. 

Understand what matters most to members of the C-suite and those working across departments such as Information Technology, Operations, and Human Resources. Align what different teams prioritize, considering how technology can benefit them. Such alignment increases the likelihood of future stakeholder buy-in. 

Your users are also your key stakeholders. Understanding their needs, sharing your goals early, and engaging with them during the purchasing and implementation stages will help you achieve high adoption rates. 

3. Implement the technology gradually

Implementing EHS&S technology bit by bit will give you time to learn how to use it correctly and better identify potential challenges. Consider a phased approach, starting with addressing immediate needs. Gradual implementation will give you time to train employees on how to use technology.  

Digitization is a journey. Implementing technology over time ensures users have a more successful adoption experience when they successfully understand what the technology is and how it may solve process challenges and improve greater performance levels.  

Decmil, for instance, went from paper and spreadsheets to going live with a no-code HSE Enterprise platform in about ten weeks. Critical success factors, said Bryn, included choosing a best practice out-of-the-box module, starting small by focusing only on what data is necessary to capture and prioritizing change management. And about ensuring a tool does not become yet another task but a driver for change. 

4. Monitor and evaluate ongoing results

Once you have implemented EHS&S technology, seek to analyze and understand your findings to turn data into actionable insights. Doing so will help you determine whether the technology is meeting your goals and objectives. If it is not, you may need to make adjustments to how you are using the technology. 

Set metrics, goals, and KPIs and then regularly review them to align initiatives with stakeholder needs. Along the way, don’t lose sight of data and information needs. For example, avoid collecting data just because you can or with the hope you might use it later. Instead, collect necessary data only—information that traces back to the initial problem you wanted technology to help you solve in the first place. 

Finally, monitor how your users are using your product and get feedback from them. Configurable EHS&S software and mobile apps allow you to tailor your product to their specific needs, so you can continually improve it based on user feedback to drive higher adoption. 

How SAI360 Can Help

For more information, click here to read our EHS Buyer’s Guide: Integrated Digital Approach for a Structured EHS&S Strategy: https://www.sai360.com/resources/ehs-sustainability/ehs-software-buyers-guide  

SAI360 offers a personalized, customizable, and comprehensive EHS&S software solution that can help you improve compliance, reduce risk, and boost efficiency. Let’s start a conversation: https://www.sai360.com/request-demo/request-demo-ehs  

Watch SAI360’s webinar—Execute Effective Digital HSE Transformation at High-Speed—featuring a presentation from Bryn Vaughan from Decmil about how they executed HSE digitalization to redefine their workplace safety: https://www.sai360.com/resources/ehs-sustainability/execute-effective-digital-hse-transformation-at-high-speed  

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