EHS Digital Transformation

Keep it Simple: 5 Tips for Starting Your EHS Digital Transformation Journey

This week I talked with two of our global environmental, health, and safety (EHS) software customers, one from oil and gas, and one from fast-moving consumer goods. I was curious to hear the advice they’d give to organisations setting out on the same EHS digital transformation journey. The feedback was surprisingly consistent.

Their top tip? Keep it simple.

As anyone in business knows, this is far from easy but essential to success. Both companies had been driven by their Business Users to take into account every nuance, every regional wish (even if it wasn’t strictly necessary), and had replicated some processes they only used because their previous way of working made it necessary.

We see complexity increase most in the early stages of the EHS software selection process and then sometimes at the implementation stage. Often the stakeholders’ desire to replicate exactly what Business Users do now in the new system becomes the focus, instead of a focus on the business outcome. Some opportunities for taking advantage of the efficiency, ease of use, and superb reporting that this new digital future opens can be lost. Here are some of things our clients told me:

1. Keep it simple

You can always add things later, but if you want to remove something – one user or another (only) will want it. If there’s already some data there, where can we put it? What use is the data anyway if hardly anyone enters it?

2. Only deviate from the global standard when legal requirement demands it

Everyone thinks they’re unique. Your teams will often be doing things in different ways – but getting a similar outcome. A large corporate business needs standardized processes and common reporting. If you play the why game with your teams, digging down to the core needs, most requests for deviation are actually desires, not requirements.

3. Involve your system administrators from the start (and listen to them)

The Business Users will have their own wish list -and these can be contrary to efficient use of the EHS system. Ensure the balance is there.

4. Secure leadership from the top

It’s vital that the Executive Sponsorship champions consistency and manages the expectations of regional leads. A software partnership should be long-term. Gain some quick wins and then refine over the years.

5. Listen to the advice from your software implementation team

Your implementation team have seen what works well and what can be problematic. They’re on your side and want you to be successful – so work together and take their best counsel.

Related: Global EHS Software Implementations: Tips and Tricks from a Professional Services Project Manager

Kickstart your EHS digital transformation

To learn more about what to consider when preparing for your EHS digital transformation journey, read The Ultimate Guide to EHS Software Success: How to Ensure a Smooth Journey from Buy-in to Implementation and Beyond

Howard Pullman
Howard Pullman is a NEBOSH qualified safety professional with over 20 years experience in EHSQ. He joined Cority in 2017 and works with European-based global clients helping translate their business requirements and objectives into effective software solutions.

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