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EHS software: Customized or off-the-shelf

Among the various software modern businesses use, the QHSE software is sometimes an underrated hero. That’s partly because the software is about quality, safety and compliance, and hence the EHS management system doesn’t come across as something that’s as stylish or growth-focused as a CRM or something similar.

And yet, if there’s one software modern businesses need if they are to compete and grow in the most challenging situations, it’s EHS management software.

What is QHSE

A QHSE management software is a software technology used to automate safety program management, manage compliance requirements and protect the safety of employees.

The QHSE management system (the letters QHSE stand for Quality, Health, Safety and Environment respectively), is variously referred to as HSE or EHS software. It lets you centralize processes, documents and resources in a way that you can control quality levels, automate admin activities, and prevent undesirable events.

In addition to that, you can use it to assign tasks and trigger events or actions, based on deadlines or conditions.

Should my business opt for EHS software?

As digitization becomes the norm in businesses of all sizes, this question isn’t truly accurate, because software products are overwhelmingly superior to manual tasks. Therefore, it’s more a question of ‘how soon’, rather than ‘whether’.

Answering the following three questions will help you determine how urgently you must opt for QHSE software.

1. How much time does reporting (whether manual or spreadsheet-based) rob my teams of the time they might have otherwise invested in more meaningful activities, like chasing growth or process improvement?

If you think your teams are staring at a potential burnout, it’s time you engage them in more fulfilling activities and let automated systems do the admin tasks.

2. Are we spending more time than ever before, looking for the right data and formats?

If you are already spending more time in such activities than earlier, rest assured that compliance requirements will only rise. Bring in software and automation before you are completely swamped by such tasks.

3. Are we doing enough to simultaneously improve productivity and minimize operational risks for teams?

Chances are you’re opting for safety for your teams, but at the expense of productivity. It doesn’t have to be that way; you can achieve productivity and safety at the same time, if you have the right software in place.

Benefits of EHS digitization

For many years, businesses have digitized EHS and relied upon software to meet the various requirements. Digitalization has helped businesses bring in quality control, compliance with federal regulations, and, in general, ensure comprehensive digital transformation.

Businesses that have a manual EHS system are rare to find, and even businesses using spreadsheets are becoming difficult to find today. That’s because software is hugely more powerful, agile, and robust.

Here are the principal benefits of EHS digitization:

Centralized and organized

One of the biggest safety and compliance risks is that information is siloed. Compliance deadlines may pass by and your teams might still be searching for that one particular piece of data, just because different data resides in different places.

The digitization of the EHS management system ensures that all data is centralized. This makes it easy for your teams to collaborate and exchange data on a need-to-know basis. In other words, your teams know that every piece of data they’ll need will be available in one place.

Moreover, centralization of data means the formats of data remain uniform. In absence of a centralized system, one department may have to waste hours hammering data received from another department just to make sure they get the data in the format they need. Centralization means that your data formats are standards, making data collection, storage, and retrieval efficient.

Easy, accurate, and timely reporting

As you grow, more industry watchdogs and federal authorities come into picture. That puts more pressure on you, because you must ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Thankfully, EHS software will make compliance and reporting easy for you. Even with tons of data, you will always have easy and quick access to the report you need.

This means you’ll be able to report on a timely basis, even while you pursue your business growth goals.

Fully reliable and robust

On the one hand, advanced data collection tools can flood you with data. On the other hand, authorities ask for reports on the most unusual stuff. In the light of all this, inadvertent mistakes can be expensive in more ways than one.

A QHSE management software is not only comprehensive but also reliable and robust. Because the reports are automated, there’s no way human errors can jeopardize things. Besides, it is robust enough to keep churning out report after report, without any error or fatigue.

Easy to steer

Reporting isn’t the only goal you achieve with EHS software. Because it’s a centralized system, the software allows your teams to join hands and collaborate.

Because everyone is on the same page, it becomes a great deal easier and faster to assign activities and tasks. And because it’s an automated system, follow-ups are prompt and persuasive – a bit like tickets in customer service portals that remain open until they are satisfactorily closed.

Off-the-shelf vs customized EHS software

For some time now, SaaS products have been available to take care of most of your quality, safety and health requirements. As a part of your digital transformation, health and safety standards were mostly met with these products.

While many of these SaaS products are great, you’ll agree that theirs is a one-size-fits-all approach. Such products have multiple modules and you’re expected to select and use the features you need. In other words, an off-the-shelf HSE management system is a good idea as a quick patch solution, but it comes with lots of riders.

A ready-to-use system, while faster to implement, can only take you so far. That’s because of a variety of reasons. However, the main reason it doesn’t meet all your needs is that the system is designed for no one in particular.

A customized EHS management system scores over SaaS products in virtually all fields. Here’s the top 4 reasons why businesses choose tailormade health, safety and environment management systems over off-the-shelf SaaS products.

Customized EHS Software

Let us take a detailed view of both Off-the-shelf vs customized EHS software.

1. Customized EHS software means better reporting

In the modern world, no two industries are identical. The environment requirements for a company manufacturing headphones will be vastly different from a business offering advisory services. As a matter of fact, even two businesses within the same industry may have different needs, depending upon the scale of operation, geographies where they are present and so on.

It’s not possible for a SaaS product to serve each according to their needs. It means that if you use a SaaS product, you’ll always be short of some reports or data that the authorities absolutely need.

A tailor-made software, on the other hand, will have gone the extra mile to understand the smallest of your requirements. It will not only map out each of the reports you currently need but also lay out how you can generate reports in new formats, should your requirements expand in future.

2. Customized EHS software virtually eliminates non-compliance

When you rely on manual processes for compliance, there’s always a chance that some human error keeps you from fully complying. An off-the-shelf software doesn’t let things pass by but it has its own limitations.

For example, there’s no way you can generate a specific report out of the readymade QHSE software – a report that only your business needs. As a result, you end up either spending too many resources on that one single report or face the risk of non-compliance.

A custom-built EHS software already knows what your requirements are, so there’s no question of you wasting time on hunting for a particular report. In such a software, extracting data and compiling reports out of that data is based purely on your business needs.

Hence, it brings you peace of mind that comes only when you know you have fully met the statutory requirements and that there’s nothing pending. This assurance lets you focus on your business, marketing, talent acquisition or product development, whichever is the priority for your business at that time.

3. Customized EHS software keeps your real costs down

On the face of it, some SaaS products that are offered as solutions to your EHS management system appear to be cost effective. Even a quick fact-checking will tell you that’s not the case.

To begin with, a SaaS product is typically a subscription-based product, so you’ll be shelling out money every month or year. Against that, a customized EHS software is yours with a single payment.

However, there’s more. The readymade SaaS product isn’t designed to suit your requirements; you have to fit your requirements to whatever they offer. As a result, such SaaS products will be loaded with features that you will never need.

In other words, a SaaS product kind of forces you to pay for features that you’ll not be using. That drives up the cost and doesn’t make the product any leaner. Against that, your tailor-made software has only those features that you need. That means you pay only for what you really need.

4. Customized EHS software offers a better ROI

Aah, now we’re talking! A readymade SaaS product typically requires you to keep paying on a monthly basis. In many cases, upgrades will cost you extra even if you don’t need most of the features of the upgrade. Also, future monthly payments may be revised upwards, costing you even more money.

Against that, your customized QHSE management software is precision-made. You have made a one-time payment and that’s it – no future cash outflows. This ensures that you know what exactly it costs you – no uncertainties of future payments.

Summarily, it means the costs of a customized software are lower, clear and precise.

Closing words

There’s no two opinions that modern technology is hugely more effective when it comes to mitigating risks, ensuring safety, and streamlining incident investigation. Further, a custom-built software is more powerful and reliable when it comes to nailing deficiencies, reporting as required and putting in remedial activities.

So what should a business like yours do? How do you understand, with real-life use cases, the way other businesses have benefitted? Naturally you’d like to understand the challenges and the deliverables involved.

And yes, we’d love to answer any questions.

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EHS software: Customized or off-the-shelf?

Digital transformation: Impact and transformational technologies

Today, business is no longer about just producing and selling. Although these two remain important business functions, even industry-leading businesses and brands have to work hard on multiple fronts like innovation, technology, agility, and compliance, among others.

The advent and widespread availability of digital technology has led to massive opportunities for businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to enterprises. Organizations that adopt a customer-driven, technology-based, data-led approach to the way they source, produce, distribute, and promote are the ones that will survive in the coming days. Digital transformation has rapidly become a must-have for organizations.

What is digital transformation

Digital transformation is the strategic integration of digital technologies in order to improve processes, enhance stakeholder experience, and create value. This definition of digital transformation also acknowledges that it is all about adapting to change and being business-ready all the time.

The positive impact of the adoption of digital technology is nearly all-encompassing. From more efficient inventory to better financial controls, from cost-effective production to stellar customer experience, you’ll find digital transformation behind all this. Trends in digital transformation clearly show it has proved to be a massive enabler by creating opportunities.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of using technology that can make your business more resilient, more capable to face any unprecedented situation. At the end of the day, it is not just about using one tool in place of another, it’s about adopting something that’s clearly faster, more efficient, and responsive.

Functions benefited by digital transformation solutions

Businesses today, no matter what size, are process-driven. Each business function relies on processes to be increasingly efficient, consistent, and dependable. With every passing day, you want more out of your processes, because your customers want more.

Your modern-day customers want things to be simple, personalized, and prompt. And to meet their expectations, you’ll need to move to systems that are underpinned by strong, scalable technologies. Every touchpoint in the journey of your stakeholders, be them customers, employees, or suppliers, needs to be swift, frictionless and pleasant.

Operations, marketing, sales, procurement, supply chain, finance … every single business function stands to derive huge, future-proof benefits from digital technologies. For a compact understanding, however, we shall look at how four principal business functions are positively impacted by digital business transformation:

Supply chain management

The bigger your business, the more responsibility you have towards your buyers, customers and business partners. It’s no longer enough to say you’ve shipped the consignment. Whether you are an ecommerce entity delivering hundreds of items to different locations daily, a not-for-profit helping distribute pandemic relief supplies to myriad locations, or a paints company aiming to fulfil orders for three diverse projects, if there’s one thing you need, it’s data-visibility.

Your digital transformation strategy can help build data-efficient networks that can easily collaborate with other entities in the chain. While there’s always a lot of data available out there, your system would be able to aggregate that data, process it reliably into meaningful insights and provide you with all the information you need – all at the right time, at the right pace.

With a true digital solution in place, you’ll be able to track everything, without interruptions, without downtimes. You’ll be in absolute control because you’ll have the latest information on every element in your supply chain, from raw material procurement to successful delivery.

Human resources teams

Few people outside business organizations understand the complexities of human resources teams. As a human resource professional, you know what overwhelming challenges you face.

As the Human Resources head, or its senior decision-maker, two of your key priorities include making sure you hire the right people at the right pace and using data points to ensure current teams perform at their optimum levels. And reliable, efficient processes are the center of successful outcomes of both.

Digital transformation tools score well over your legacy applications when you try to stay on top of the classic HR triad of attracting, training, and nurturing talent. For example, are you all set to deliver a great candidate experience? Because even the candidates that you ultimately do not select contribute to employer branding. The better the experience you’ve delivered, the stronger your employer branding becomes, which, in turn makes it easier to attract better talent.


How much security can you wrap around your processes without impacting either their agility or security? Can you make things easier for your banking customers without crossing any compliance boundaries? Or will it be possible for your finance teams to close the quarter-end accounts without having to worry about it all through the quarter?

While computing technology has been assisting banking and finance for a long time – after all, computing is about numbers – digital transformation in finance has brought sweeping improvements in the workflow and work productivity for them. It has brought in transparency and predictability, two important pillars of resource management.

Finance is the custodian of the most important data – your financial health – so you want really robust, yet agile answers to the relevancy challenge.Sure, legacy systems did have solutions, but they were never able to give one composite view of the situation. Modern digital transformation services have been able to provide end-to-end solutions that give you a strategic, bird’s eye view just as easily as they can provide an operational, day-to-day ground-level view.

Sales and marketing

The first challenge in the modern world of intense business competition is finding customers. As if that were not enough, there’s a subsequent challenge: keeping customers happy profitably. Which is why all major businesses, from those selling expensive equipment to those selling inexpensive burgers rely on data to keep growing their number of customers.

Consider the way your customers interact with your products. A mother visiting a supermarket may look at six different breakfast cereals for her kids before she settles on one. Is your brand the chosen one? Did you have enough market intel on how to place your brand to improve visibility? Was your brand able to convey all the nutritional benefits (and taste) so that the mother would be persuaded enough to choose your brand over the others?

All this, and more, is possible if your digital transformation framework has ticked the right boxes. Right from enabling your frontline field staff with the correct software in their handheld devices to improving the massive number-crunching required before you give the go-ahead to the new multi-million dollar marketing campaign, everything pivots around how you’ve leveraged digital technology.

The transformational technologies behind digital transformation

Digital transformation, thankfully, isn’t one single monolithic technology that requires you to change anything and everything in your business overnight. Instead, it comprises a number of technologies, each of which can be independently deployed.

However, businesses will derive the maximum benefits by deploying the right technology. As an example, if your current business model doesn’t have ample scope for IoT right away, there’s no point chasing internet of things today. You can take it up all in good time, but today, you’ll want to focus on things you can really impact.

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