Best-in-Class companies are 50% more likely than their competitors to manage EHS through software. So they must be on to something, right? Here’s how EHS Management Information Systems (EMIS) are meeting the top business pressures on the department with returns in productivity, accountability and more.
Aberdeen Group research reveals that the top business pressures today are ensuring compliance with EHS regulations (67%), concern over the risk of an adverse event (42%), to reduce the risk of non-compliance (30%), and to improve manufacturing efficiency (21%). These pressures come up time and time again as the main concerns for EHS professionals, producing a common thread for large and small businesses alike: "Reducing risk is paramount." In this regard, proactive EHS Management Information System (EMIS) software is the great equalizer.
How EMISs help meet these pressures is something to be explored by EHS professionals looking to get buy-in for such software. This is your return on investment (ROI.) US-based consulting firm JSA Services has developed a framework for demonstrating the EMIS return on investment, which is an activity-based model that allows clients to estimate savings by activity for each module, with summary results. The following points are general examples of key operational benefits clients can expect as a result of using a centralized EMIS system:
- A. 15-20% higher productivity (efficient use of existing resources and avoid new hires)
- B. Greater data accountability at the site level eliminates time wasted by corporate environmental staff following up on missing data or incomplete tasks, which can lead to violations and fines
- C. Efficient data archiving and retrieval eliminates time wasted searching for records
- D. Lower consulting costs as manual data collection and reporting processes are replaced
- E. Higher production output due to more accurate environmental data
So how do the returns relate to the pressures?
When we overlay the returns on the pressures, we can see that it’s likely an EMIS solution can help. However, you'll notice an answer to concern over the risk of an adverse event is missing; on top of these ROI examples from JSA, the EHS professional also has to consider returns such as the generation of leading indicators to work with in reducing risk. This will, to an extent, alleviate concerns over the risk of an adverse event occurring (Pressure #2) as we know that organizations that track near-misses (a leading indicator) are able to more effectively prevent rather than simply react to incidents. This type of data can be collected easily and quickly with the investment in mobility for EH&S, which is enabling companies to boost engagement whilst reducing time-to-decision by 15%. Additionally, intangible values including employee morale, company reputation and more can be difficult to quantify – hence being ‘intangible’ – but are often key in meeting the top business pressures that EHS professionals cite: ensuring compliance, minimizing concerns, and improving efficiency.
Understanding the EMIS return on investment is one of the first steps in planning a successful software implementation. Overall savings can be significant, especially when investing in leading indicator technology – however, 31% of companies surveyed by Aberdeen Group are still not measuring or even tracking near-misses. To become an industry leader organizations must look to technology to support a culture of continuous improvement, which starts with cross-referencing the pressures you face with the returns that EMIS can offer.
Do you see the benefits for your company?
Building a Business Case for EHS Software
Drawing upon industry knowledge from experts in law, EHS and business, this whitepaper will help you get buy-in for new EHS software. Start building your compelling case now!