As organizations grow, they often outgrow their existing business processes. To address new risks, greater complexity, and a constantly changing regulatory environment; they must be capable of adapting.
Unfortunately, the systems and processes that work well for a small organization often begin to break down as a company scales. If your workforce is small, usually pretty easy to track training and certifications, for example. When everybody knows everybody else in the company, communication seems to flow smoothly, and a lot gets accomplished through informal channels.
In fact, breakdowns can start to happen relatively quickly. Add a few new people, a new location, or a new product offering, – and all of a sudden, everything gets a lot more complicated. Manual systems become time-consuming and cumbersome. Responsibilities aren’t always clear. Tasks can start to fall through the cracks.
In many cases, there’s a diligent team member trying to hold it all together, but they end up being overworked, – spending an enormous amount of time on tasks that add little or no value to the business. As a company grows further, manual processes simply can’t support an organization’s fundamental mission of producing great quality products and services at a reasonable price.
What is EHSQ software?
Environment, Health, Safety, & Quality (EHSQ) software helps companies create order from all that chaos. In fact, most companies address the “EHS” and the “Q” as two distinct needs, – but these two areas are joined by a common set of requirements, often with overlapping benefits.
Tracking employee training and certification, for example, is a key requirement for most EHS programs. It’s important that the company be able to demonstrate that employees have the appropriate skills and knowledge to do their jobs safely and effectively. The same requirement applies in a quality management setting.
Tracking nonconformances, likewise, is a common thread throughout quality management and EHS. It’s important to document what happened, perform a root cause analysis, and take proactive measures to ensure that it does not happen again in the future.
EHSQ software provides a structured framework for managing those kinds of processes, along with a centralized database for reporting & analytics. That supports continuous improvement and reduces risk, lowers costs, and improves safety and quality.
In fact, quality and safety are interrelated. Employee safety has a positive impact on quality, for example, and vice-versa. Formal studies support the fact that adherence to ISO 9001 standards correlates with improved safety in the workplace and that poor safety practices align with increased levels of scrap, rework, and nonconformances.
Here are 5 ways in which today’s leading innovators are using EHSQ software to drive better business results:
#1: Protect your people
Every company’s most valuable asset is its people. When a worker is injured, it can lead to devastating results for that individual and their family. It also affects their co-workers, negatively impacting team cohesion and morale. For that reason alone, it makes sense to take a proactive stance toward employee safety.
There are also financial implications though, of course. Workplace injuries lead to higher insurance premiums, lower job satisfaction, fines and penalties, regulatory mandates, and negative publicity. When you lose a valuable employee, – even temporarily, – productivity suffers as well. Hiring, training, and onboarding new employees takes time and costs money. In today’s job market, finding qualified personnel can be especially difficult.
#2: Ease compliance and reduce audit risk
Whether you operate in a highly regulated industry or are voluntarily seeking ISO 9001 certification, – you are very likely subject to external audits. These are designed to verify your conformance to standards, and they typically involve a lot of legwork. Employees will be called upon to track down information about specific incidents, tests, or nonconformances.
The best EHSQ software will make it easy to find and access information, building trust and confidence in the process and the data. With all the information in one place, and fully up to date, audits can proceed smoothly and efficiently. Kristen Orlando, Director of Quality Control at BP Aero described her experience this way: “Our most recent ISO audits our auditors were extremely impressed with [Intellect QMS]. They claim they have never seen anything like it.”
#3: Increase management visibility and control
With EHSQ data centralized within a single database, managers have real-time visibility to the metrics that matter most. How many employees are up to date with safety training? How many nonconformances have there been over the past year, and are the numbers trending upward or downward? Have all necessary environmental tests been completed to maintain compliance with local and federal regulations?
#4: Increase profitability
Ultimately, EHSQ software is valuable because it delivers bottom-line results. Companies that use EHSQ software outperform their peers by 3-5%.
That’s no surprise. A culture of safety increases key performance indicators such as employee turnover, training expenses, and productivity. Companies with a strong focus on quality, likewise, perform well on efficiency, productivity, and revenue growth. In short, EHSQ software pays for itself by shifting the cost of quality to the earlier stages of design and production, when correcting errors is easier and substantially cheaper.
#5: Unburden your employees
Remember that earlier statement about the diligent employee who manages to keep everything running by meticulously handling all of the documents, incidents, and nonconformances? Chances are, that person is on the path to burning out. A flexible EHSQ system makes it easy to manage information. It automates workflows, ensuring that the individuals responsible for actions and approvals are proactively notified whenever necessary. EHSQ manages data and makes it possible to shift from manual recordkeeping to value-added tasks that truly benefit the business.
Choosing the best EHSQ software for your business
If you’re considering an investment in EHSQ software, here are some of the attributes you should look for:
Flexibility and adaptability: Software shouldn’t force you to conform to rigid, predefined business processes. Instead, it should allow you the flexibility to adapt the software to meet your unique needs. Moreover, it should be capable of accommodating the inevitable changes that will occur as your company grows. Look for EHSQ software that is easy to adapt, without custom programming or extensive technical training. Intellect has built this software around the concept of “extreme configurability”, offering maximum flexibility for our customers.
Simplicity and ease of use: When software is difficult or inconvenient to use, employees will be slow to embrace it. Intellect is designed to be user-friendly and easily configurable to the specific needs of each customer. By simplifying and streamlining the interface, for example, our customers avoid cluttering up the user experience, so the software is simply easy to use.
Anytime/anywhere access: As a cloud-native product, Intellect offers web-based access from anywhere in the world, without the need to install client software. Our mobile applications make it possible to capture important data and complete essential tasks from virtually anywhere, – from the shop floor to a conference room, or anywhere in between.
If you’d like to learn more about EHSQ software, Intellect would love to talk with you. Contact our team to discuss your goals and to find out if Intellect is the right fit for you.