Maya NikolovskiAudit software, Behavior based safety, Certainty software, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Loss prevention audit, Quality audits, Safety audits, Safety inspection, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


We’ve been involved in the design, development and implementation of enterprise- level software for over 20 years, which is why our team of experts put together this 10-part series on evaluating Enterprise-level software. We’ll cover topics ranging from security, data collection and reporting requirements, implementation resources, pricing / cost models and more, to ensure your next enterprise software deployment is a success. You can also download the entire Evaluating Enterprise-level Software whitepaper here

Last week we looked at the importance of customization before considering new enterprise software. Does the solution meet your customization requirements? Let’s move on to the importance of multi-purpose software for your organization. 

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There are many enterprise-level software solutions that have been designed for a single use activity or discipline and will only ever be used for that activity in your business. HR software and financial accounting software are typical examples. 

In these cases, regardless of the people or currencies involved, the processes – and software used to manage them – remains the same across your business. There is likely no applicability for HR or financial accounting software outside of the HR and Finance Departments.

This, however, is not the case for many other enterprise-level solutions.  When considering a solution to solve your team’s (or department’s) problem, you should consider giving it the best chance of buy-in, support and long-term success. Accomplish this by choosing a tool that can easily be configured for your workflow and problem but that can also meet the needs of other teams and departments with similar workflows and problems.

Enterprise-level solutions for assessing, reporting and managing compliance, risk or performance are a great example. The audit and inspection protocols and checklists may change depending on the discipline involved, but the process and workflow is essentially the same.

 You assess compliance, risk or performance against a set of predetermined questions or protocols and rectify/resolve/manage issues and non-conformances identified. The only thing that really changes is the questions and checklists themselves.

As such, when assessing the viability of a software solution to meet the needs of a discipline or department in your business, improve the probability of long-term success by ensuring that the solution you are considering will work for others like you across your business.

If, for example you are looking for an enterprise-level audit and inspection management solution to improve risk, compliance and performance, make sure the solution will work for all of the audits and inspections needs of your business including:

  • Safety Audits (jobsite safety, behavioral based safety, food safety, etc.)
  • Incident Reporting & Investigations
  • Quality Assurance and Control Audits
  • Environmental and Sustainability Audits
  • Supply Chain Compliance Audits
  • Process Control Inspections
  • Cleaning, Inspection and Lubrication (CIL) Inspections
  • Facility and Maintenance Inspections
  • Vehicle and Equipment Inspections
  • Loss Prevention Audits
  • Certification (ISO, GMP, etc.) Audits
  • Risk Assessments
  • Etc…

Next week, we’ll continue our series on evaluating enterprise software by exploring the reporting requirements of your business. 

Ps. if you want access to the full whitepaper today, you can download it here.

Maya NikolovskiAudit software, Behavior based safety, Certainty software, Enterprise software, Loss prevention audit, Quality audits, Safety audits, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


We’ve been involved in the design, development and implementation of enterprise- level software for over 20 years, which is why our team of experts put together this 10-part series on evaluating Enterprise-level software. We’ll cover topics ranging from security, data collection and reporting requirements, implementation resources, pricing / cost models and more, to ensure your next enterprise software deployment is a success. You can also download the entire Evaluating Enterprise-level Software whitepaper here

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Last week we looked at the importance of knowing your data integration requirements  before considering new Enterprise Software. Does the solution meet your data integration needs? Let’s move on to how the software can be customized for your business. 

When evaluating an enterprise-level software solution for your company, another key factor to consider is customization and the needs of your own team compared to the features of the solution in question.

Customized… or “out of the box” ready for all your needs?

Of course, if customization is not possible, then you must make sure that the solution in question meets virtually all your foreseeable needs right ‘out of the box’. If it doesn’t meet 100% of your needs, make sure that any needs not met i.e. features not available (especially reporting) are not critical to the success of your project

Who will customize the solution?

If, as is the case with most enterprise-level solutions, customization is possible, make sure you understand what can be customised by your own project team and System Administrators and what must be customized by the solution provider themselves. 

Also, in instances where only the solution provider can customize, make sure the scope and cost for that customization are within your budget and ensure that the provider is responsive to your needs and that they can be met in a timely fashion.

Can you access the data you need?

Another key factor related to customization is reporting. While most enterprise-level software solutions now have a wide range of reporting options, the larger the business the more likely you will have unique and unavoidable reporting requirements not met by standard canned report options. From monthly Executive Management Reports to Department-Specific KPI reports, make sure the key data you need can actually be provided and if not, is custom reporting offered to meet your needs?

Can it meet most of the needs of your users over time?

Lastly, and as it is unlikely any enterprise solution will even meet 100% of the needs of 100% of its users – and your needs will likely mature and change over time – you should ensure that at least some customization is possible even if not needed in the earlier stages of your project.

Remember though, when it comes to customization, increased customizability of a software solution typically means an increased level of user training and product knowledge will be required and thus there is ultimately a natural trade off (and inverse relationship between) customizability and ease of use.

Here are some additional things to consider with respect to customization:

  • Does the solution meet 100% of your project’s needs and if not, is customization possible?
  • If customization is possible, how much can your team (i.e. your team’s System Administrators) change on their own and how much must be customized by your solution provider?
  • If your solution provider must do some or all of the customization required, how much do they charge, is that within your project budget and how long will that customization take for delivery?
  • Does the solution provide custom reporting options if needed?
  • Is there a comfortable balance between customizability and ease of use for your team?
  • Can you customize the look and feel of the solution to match that of your company’s own logos and colors to increase user acceptance, uptake and thus project success?
  • Are you able to customize and define that the access privileges your users will need – enterprise-wide? While some enterprise-level solutions let your Administrators define exactly where users have access and exactly what type of access (view, edit, delete) they have, many solutions only allow for the use of canned or set access privileges.

Next week, we’ll continue our series on evaluating enterprise software by exploring whether the software you’re evaluating can be used for multiple purposes. 

Ps. if you want access to the full whitepaper today, you can download it here.

 

Maya NikolovskiAudit software, Behavior based safety, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Quality audits, Quality management, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


We’ve been involved in the design, development and implementation of enterprise- level software for over 20 years, which is why our team of experts put together this 10-part series on evaluating Enterprise-level software. We’ll cover topics ranging from security, data collection and reporting requirements, implementation resources, pricing / cost models and more, to ensure your next enterprise software deployment is a success. You can also download the entire Evaluating Enterprise-level Software whitepaper here

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Last week we looked into the various factors you should ask your IT department before considering new Enterprise Software. So let’s assume the solution being evaluated meets the data accessibility, privacy and security requirements of your discerning IT department. 

Now, do the data collection capabilities meet the needs of your users throughout your business?

The larger a business, the more likely they are to be multinational, multilingual and – by nature – diverse. Similarly, the larger a business, the more likely it is that there will be a need for multiple data input options (e.g. browser, app, paper) to meet differing needs, constraints or limitations across the business and its user base. Don’t automatically assume that all users will have the same technology. 

For example: 

  • Some users may not have a company cell phone or device they can use for work.
  • Some users may have connectivity issues (e.g. poor or no cell coverage, no Wi-Fi connectivity, limited or no internet access). 
  • Some users may face safety or security constraints (i.e. can’t use cell phones due to risk of explosion, cleanrooms, etc.).

As such, an enterprise-level solution (especially one for activities like field audits and mobile inspections) should provide for as many data input options as needed to meet the constraints/limitations of your business and all users needing to collect, manage and report data.

Enterprise level data entry options to consider

Evaluating your data collection needs and requirements: 

  1. Does the solution provide for all the data collection needs of your users?
  2. Do all users have smartphones or devices (and are they willing/able to use them for work-related activities) and if not, what other data collection options are available? 
  3. Are there areas in your business where mobile devices cannot be used (e.g. cleanrooms, explosive environments)?
  4. Do people work in the field and possibly in areas without cell, Wi-Fi or internet connectivity? This doesn’t just apply to remote workers – even in urban areas, workers who are underground, or in enclosed concrete spaces without windows can also experience a lack of connectivity. 
  5. Is the solution’s app (for mobile use on smartphones and devices) readily available from primary app sources (i.e. iTunes, Google Play)?
  6. Is there an additional cost to download  or use the solution’s app? Furthermore, is there an additional cost per user? 
  7. Is there a browser-based data entry option for laptops, PC’s and internet-connected devices?
  8. Will the operating systems of your users’ devices (i.e. iOS, Android, Windows) be compatible with the solution’s app? 
  9. Is there a need for printable, paper-based data entry using scan-to-email in areas without connectivity and/or where it is impractical to use devices, laptops, and PCs?
  10. Do you have complex data input requirements that would be better met with Excel import features?

Next week, we’ll continue our series on evaluating enterprise software by exploring the integration requirements of your new software. 

Ps. if you want access to the full whitepaper today, you can download it here.

Maya NikolovskiAudit software, Certainty software, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Quality audits, Safety audits, Safety management, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


We’ve been involved in the design, development and implementation of enterprise- level software for over 20 years, which is why our team of experts put together this 10-part series on evaluating Enterprise-level software. We’ll cover topics ranging from security, data collection and reporting requirements, implementation resources, pricing / cost models and more, to ensure your next enterprise software deployment is a success. You can also download the entire Evaluating Enterprise-level Software whitepaper here

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All enterprise-wide software projects are led, managed or at the very least approved (or denied) by your company’s IT department. So, don’t waste time evaluating a solution the IT department would never approve. First make sure the solution will meet the data access, privacy and security needs of your business and your business’s IT gatekeepers and guardians! 

If your company is considering deploying cloud-based software – SaaS or otherwise – there are a number of items that should be considered by your IT team as the first step to evaluation. 

Here are the top 16 factors you’ll want your IT department to consider: 

  1. Will the software vendor be able to meet the technical due diligence requirements of your own IT department? Each IT department’s requirements will differ, but departmental standards should always be upheld.
  2. Does your company have an IT security risk assessment questionnaire, and will the solution meet those requirements (e.g. vulnerability, recoverability, data protection, virus & malware protection, intrusion detection, etc.)
  3. Different industries have different regulations. Do their hosting and data security practices meet the data security requirements of your own business and IT department?
  4. Does the solution provider conduct (and can they provide evidence of) regular vulnerability and penetration assessments on their own software and server environments (i.e. both web interface and network infrastructure)?
  5. Is accessibility protected against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks? Make sure you’re protecting your business from downtime and potential lost revenue.
  6. Does the hosting environment have redundant firewalls to protect against malware and intrusion?
  7. Do their backups (and schedules), redundancy and disaster recovery practices meet the standards required by your own business’s IT department?
  8. Do you know where (and in what legal jurisdiction) your data is stored and does that meet the data storage requirements of your business? In some industries – for example, governmental organizations – this is extremely important.
  9. Is the solution hosted with a third party and if so, are they reputable and do they meet the needs of your IT department and business?
  10. Do you know who has access to your data? Is it only the service provider or is it also employees and third parties?
  11. Are service provider employees that have access to your data vetted and are they bound by a Code of Ethics and non-disclosure agreements?
  12. Is your company’s data stored completely separately from that of other clients’ data and if not, what protections are in place to ensure data privacy?
  13. Is the solution (and provider) compliant with the latest international data privacy regulations such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations or Canada’s PIPEDA? This is important to ask if you want to avoid huge fines and remain compliant.
  14. Will the service level (uptime) meet the needs of your business and does the provider have a software service level agreement (SLA) for review by your legal team?
  15. Has the database been designed for scalability? Make sure your software can grow with your business.
  16. Does the provider have – and can they readily provide copies of – their own data security policies and procedures including:
    • Antivirus Policy Code of Ethics
    • Cross Border Personal Data Transfer Procedure
    • Data Protection Policy;
    • Data Protection and Audit Polity
    • Data Subject Access Request Procedure
    • Employee Code of Conduct
    • IT Disaster Recovery and Service Continuity Plan Security Incident Response Procedures
    • Media Sanitation & Destruction Policy

Only after these questions have been addressed can your organization move on to the next step of enterprise software deployment:  evaluation your data collection requirements. 

In the next article of our series on Evaluating Enterprise Software we’ll look at just that.

Ps. if you want access to the full whitepaper today, you can download it here

 

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Certainty software, EHS Software, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Certainty Software Named as Rising Star!

Certainty Software has been named a Rising Star in the Environmental, Health, & Safety category for the Spring 2019 Customer Success Report published by FeaturedCustomers.

Certainty Software named as Rising Star

Certainty Software named as Rising Star by Featured Customers!

FeaturedCustomers is the leading customer success content marketing platform for B2B business software & services helping potential B2B buyers make informed purchasing decisions through vendor validated customer success content such as customer testimonials, success stories, case studies, and customer videos.

FeaturedCustomers evaluated all the potential Environmental, Health, & Safety companies on its platform for possible inclusion in the report. Only 14 companies meet the criteria needed for being included in the Spring 2019 Environmental, Health, & Safety Customer Success Report. Certainty Software received a Rising Star award in the category.

Rising Star – have been around long enough to establish momentum and a minimum amount of customer reference content along with a growing social presence. Highly rated by customers, Certainty Software consistently publishes high quality vendor produced customer success content and curate’s quality customer reviews from multiple third-party sites.

The Customer Success Report is based on the curation of authenticated case studies, testimonials, and reviews from across the web, telling a complete story of vendors in the Environmental, Health, & Safety space through real customer experiences. Scores are determined by multiple factors including number of total reviews, customer success content, social media presence, and vendor momentum based on web traffic and search trends.

The full report, along with Certainty Software’s profile, which includes detailed product scorecards is available for you to download here:

https://www.featuredcustomers.com/vendor/certainty-software

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Behavior based safety, Certainty software, EHS Software, Inspection management, Loss prevention audit, Quality audits, Safety inspectionLeave a Comment


Thrilled to announce Certainty Software version 1.7 is ready for release!

 

Overview of what’s in the release:

 

  • Business Intelligence drill through metrics reporting
    Certainty Software

    Certainty Software Version 1.7 Ready for Release!

  • Add actions ‘on-the-fly’
  • Dashboard – ‘Previous Day’, ‘Previous Month’ and ‘Previous Year’ parameter settings
  • ‘Save as’ feature for System & Custom Reports
  • Checklist ‘Preview’ in Checklist Builder
  • Time zone stamps on System & Custom Reports
  • Multi-lingual System & Custom Reports
  • Define number of checklists to show per page in app/.mobi
  • Allow .com user to administer both .com and .mobi access
  • Various bug fixes and performance enhancements

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Behavior based safety, EHS Software, Inspection management, Loss prevention audit, Quality audits, Quality management, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observationLeave a Comment


Super excited about the release of the new BI dashboard reporting tool! Dynamic, roll-up, drill through and super powerful!! Ready for launch in our 1.7 release being rolled out now!

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, EHS Software, Inspection management, Quality audits, Quality managementLeave a Comment


Quality audit data collection

Certainty helped Rocky Brands reduce data collection, management and reporting time by 70%

Rocky Brands Inc. is a global leader in apparel and footwear manufacturing and until recently collected their Quality Assurance (QA), Layered Process (LPA), Verification and Lean Manufacturing audit data by hand. Their audit results were then manually keyed into Excel to produce the Quality Management reports and charts needed.

Rocky Brands began using Certainty in an effort to improve their auditing activities and were able to reduce – by 70% – the hours needed for their quality audit data collection, collating and reporting. They now have real-time access to consistent, comparable and actionable Quality Management metrics across their business.

So glad to be a part of this great success story!

Read the full case study here