Microsoft 365 is a diverse platform attracting over 345 million users worldwide. With popular apps like Teams, many companies choose to leverage it in new ways. Specifically, here we’re exploring how to use Microsoft for safety inspections, and should you?
Microsoft 365 has a range of functionality to assist with safety management such as forms, spreadsheets, and intranet sites.
Custom building with these functions may work for small companies as an alternative to buying commercial inspections software.
However, for large enterprises, configuring Microsoft’s out of the box features is not going to cut it as a modern safety inspections system.
Alternatively, these companies can consider Microsoft 365 as robust foundation for an integrated inspections solution.
Let’s explore the options.
What is Safety Inspections Software?
First let’s define what we mean by Safety Inspections Software.
The purpose of safety inspections is to help prevent incidents, injuries, and illnesses by ensuring workplaces are operating in a safe manner.
For example, monthly facility inspections, weekly vehicle checks, or behavior-based safety (BBS) observations.
Typically, inspectors complete a checklist to evaluate if conditions match safety expectations, either from company policies or local regulations. If any item is not up to scratch, corrective and preventive actions are assigned to set things right.
Software takes this process online, providing visibility and automation to assist safety managers.
Creating Safety Inspections in Microsoft 365
Sometimes, instead of purchasing a commercial solution, IT departments attempt to build custom safety systems using Microsoft 365 apps such as SharePoint, Outlook, and Forms.
This may work for small businesses but unfortunately, it comes with several problems.
For example, internally built systems quickly become outdated as IT lacks time to maintain, or the original developers retire.
More recently, Microsoft rolled out ‘low code’ options in Teams to encourage business users to continue building.
Although Teams apps can augment commercial safety inspections software, there are still too many negatives to be an attractive solution for busy Safety Managers:
- Lack of structured inspections data
- Overly simple workflows
- Technical knowledge required to fix problems
We are often approached by Safety Managers who tried and found this approach lacking.
But—it doesn’t have to be one or the other (ye olde buy vs. build debate)!
In fact, Microsoft 365 integrated safety inspections software gives enterprises the best of both worlds.
Safety Inspections Software within Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 based inspections software combines the underlying features of 365, such as SharePoint lists, with safety-specific functionality.
This may include dynamic inspection forms, advanced approval workflows, and business intelligence (BI) for trending and KPIs.
In other words, everything you’d expect of commercial Safety Inspections Software, without reinventing the wheel.
Since employees already know Microsoft 365—perhaps they login to Teams every day—Safety Managers can leverage this familiarity.
Companies that choose a Microsoft 365-based inspections solution do so for several reasons:
- Removes navigational steps for users
- Reduces time spent on administration
- More flexible than standalone inspections software
- Reduces user training overhead
- Enables utilization of Microsoft tools (such as Teams and Power BI)
The aim is a seamless experience that encourages staff to complete thorough, useful safety inspections.
Should you use Microsoft 365 integrated Inspections Software?
Whether or not to utilize Microsoft 365 as the basis of integrated inspections software depends on a few criteria, including:
- Your company size. Usually, companies with 1,000+ employees get the most value from Microsoft 365-based safety software like Pro-Sapien.
- How invested you are in Microsoft 365. The more people who already know how to use Microsoft 365, the more benefit you will see from inspections software on the platform.
- The importance of configuration. Being based on Microsoft 365 means lots of flexibility, which tends to be wanted by enterprises seeking a long-term solution.
These questions are important to consider when choosing safety management applications for your business.
Microsoft 365 is a ubiquitous platform and it’s no wonder Safety Managers want to use it for inspections. Its interface, reputation, and ability to integrate make it a serious consideration.
For enterprises, building something internally using Microsoft 365 apps will likely result in a limited solution that takes up extensive Safety and IT time to maintain.
Instead, Microsoft 365 provides the perfect platform for integrated Safety Inspections Software. In 2023, you can combine the benefits of easy access and familiarity with the power of a commercial safety solution!
Interested? Get a more in-depth analysis on considering Microsoft 365 for enterprise EHS management or contact us for a chat.