Selecting software for your business can feel like a risky undertaking. You’ll be investing your time, energy, and your company’s money into its implementation, so there’s a lot riding on this decision. How can you make sure you get the greatest value out of those investments?
If you’re looking to level-up your Environmental, Health, & Safety (EHS) programs or modernize & streamline quality management processes at your company, here are some important things you should consider as a first-time buyer of EHSQ software.
#1: If it isn’t Usable, it Won’t Be Used
Most software companies will tell you that usability is a priority for them. In reality, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Ease-of-use is especially important in the case of quality management and EHS because user adoption depends on taking the friction out of every step, wherever possible. If using the software is burdensome and time-consuming, then some people simply won’t use it. If they must, then they’ll only do what is absolutely required.
If you want your user community to embrace the software starting from day one, then usability is key. Look for options that allow you to streamline data entry, remove fields, and re-design screens to meet your needs. Usability makes it easier to train and onboard new staff, and you’ll get more accurate results. When the software is easy to use, employees can work more efficiently and focus their energies on high-value activities.
#2: Change is Inevitable: Future-Proof Your Business
The software you buy today should meet your needs today, – but it also needs to adapt as you change and grow.
A lot of EHSQ vendors will offer a highly prescriptive approach. In other words, they expect you to change your business processes to fit their software. At Intellect, we believe the opposite is true. The software should be easily configurable to meet your changing requirements.
Most vendors will tell you that their software can be customized. What they can’t tell you, though, is how much it will cost. If every customization involves a programmer with specialized training, then you may be setting yourself up for an expensive project. Moreover, custom software makes it more difficult to upgrade.
At Intellect, we take a different approach. We’ve built our software for extreme configurability. That means virtually anybody can redesign screens, add new fields, and even create unique new functionality to help them manage their EHSQ processes more effectively.
#3: Cloud-based EHSQ Software Makes Life Easier
It seems like everyone is talking about the virtues of the Cloud these days. There are some very good reasons for that, including lower cost of ownership, vastly simpler IT administration, and zero investment in expensive servers.
Cloud software can also be accessed anytime, from anywhere. This has been especially valuable for Intellect’s customers over the past few years, as remote work and flex-time have gone mainstream. When employees can do their jobs from any device, wherever they may be, – it speeds the flow of information through your business.
However, some industries that require software validation find it easier to host on-premise. Choosing a QMS software provider that offers both forms of deployment helps you to keep your options open.
#4: Don’t Overlook EHSQ Mobile Apps
The best EHSQ software simplifies data collection by making it possible to gather information anywhere using just a mobile phone or tablet. If you’re moving from a paper-based system, it’s especially important to keep this in mind. If your new EHSQ software requires users to jot down information, then return to a workstation and enter it by hand, they’ll end up wasting a lot of time. For field reps visiting a customer location or remote facility, mobile apps are even more important.
Mobile EHSQ applications provide fast, simple data entry. Intellect’s mobile apps even allow users to snap a picture using their phone and make it part of the record. Whether it’s a violation of safety protocol or a product nonconformance, – the addition of an actual picture adds significant value for those whose job it is to follow up and correct the problem.
#5: It’s Not Just Software, It’s a Relationship
Software vendors vary widely when it comes to supporting customers after the sale. The best EHSQ software should be capable of adapting to fit the way you do business. That means having the right product experts on hand to help you optimize its configuration.
Look for a vendor who will take the time to get to know your business, then work with you to tailor their product to fit your goals and priorities. Ideally, they should understand the industry in which you operate, – including any specific regulatory compliance requirements, common EHS scenarios, certifications and audits, or other important facets of EHSQ.
Always ask for references. When you do, ask “What was it like to work with this vendor?” Ask whether there were any challenges during the implementation, and how the software vendor handled those. Intellect’s customers routinely express their deep appreciation for our team, including their extensive expertise with EHS and quality management, as well as an understanding of industry-specific needs.
How Can Intellect Help You?
At Intellect, we pride ourselves in building the most powerful, flexible EHSQ software on the market. Our goal is to ensure that every one of our customers is delighted with their investment, and that Intellect’s software is not only generating measurable value, but that it’s also helping to foster a culture of excellence at every company where it has been implemented.
How can we help you? Contact us today to set up a 1:1 conversation with a member of the Intellect team.