Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Important Topics for Assessing EH&S Software

It is important for an organization to choose an EHS Software solution that best fits their needs. The following topics are useful and should be considered when deciding which software solution is best for your organization.

Longevity: It is important to search for a vendor that has been in business for a significant amount of time for the experience they bring to the table. The software solution will reflect this experience.
Coverage: The software system should cover all aspects of EHS data to fit an organizations needs because every business focuses on different areas of EHS and collects different types of data. But more importantly, as a company’s requirements grow, you want a system that can accommodate the new areas of EHS that they expand into.
Change: The software should provide system updates periodically and keep up to date with technology, industry and government changes. Businesses need to stay in compliance with government regulations and the software system should help them stay organized in this matter.
Analysis: The software should have an easy to use custom reporting system for trending, analysis of data and data snapshots. The most important aspect of a good EHS system is its ability to indicate problems and mitigate risk through analysis.
Configuration: It is important to have a software system that an organization can manage and make changes with an easy point-and-click interface when necessary on their own without having to go back to the vendor for costly changes. Companies should have the ability to change languages, field names, edit drop down lists, move fields around and add and remove additional fields from any form because every organization follows its own unique process. A company should have the ability to run a piece of software their way. This will save the company money and time.
Architecture: The software system should be able to work and run as a Web or Windows application and have built in security that limits what specific users or groups of users can see and do in the system. This gives an organization flexibility to access the application from any location or facility securely.
Ownership: A vendor should allow an organization to maintain ownership and control over their own data. Any good EHS vendor has a policy where the organization has ownership and full access to all their data.
Security: EHS Software should have a security system in which an organization is able to control which reports and forms that a user or groups of users can see and work with. Companies should feel safe and secure about who can access the data in their software.
Notifications: The software should have automatic settings where an organization can set up email notifications that are sent to employees and managers warning them about deadlines and other announcements so that no appointment or deadline will be late or missed.

Businesses should spend some time investigating EHS Software and the vendor from which they are purchasing. If done right, the EHS data management solution can provide valuable feed back through trending and analysis that will ultimately maximize return on investment. Reviewing the topics listed above will be a strong first step towards acquiring a system that will have the power and flexibility to grow with your organization for years to come.