Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Behavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog – our 7th in this series – we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Construction Safety & Technology

Technology has had a huge impact on the construction industry. From design to scheduling and everything in between, technology has truly revolutionized construction as we know it. One area that has also undergone a huge technological upgrade is safety in construction. The construction industry remains the most dangerous industry in the world. Each day, on average, two construction workers die of work-related injuries in the United States. A total of one in five workplace fatalities are construction-related. Technology has enabled more efficient safety training, audits, incident reporting, personal safety equipment, and more, to make the job site safer for everyone. But having technology available is only one part of the equation.

Today we’ll look at how technology has changed construction safety and how you can leverage technology to create a safer work environment. As always, we’ll hear from safety experts and get their top tips.

 Use Technology To Collect and Report Safety Information

Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson, says that a big part of a successful construction safety program is collecting the information and sharing it with all stakeholders. Technology has made this much easier.

The ability to look at overall trends and create custom reports for all districts, divisions and trades is a huge advantage. Sharing these numbers and facts with management, on-site supervision, and field personnel can have a very positive effect on the overall success of the safety program. [You can learn about how Certainty Software helps organizations collect and share data here!]

Certainty Job Site Safety Metrics Dashboard

Use Technology To Work in Real Time

Traditional reporting methods involve paper trails and long delays. Technology has enabled real-time reporting and safety stats to be accessible at the touch of a button. This helps to address compliance and training issues much faster – leading to a safer work environment.

Use Technology To Gather Offline Data As Well

Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson, points out that while technology is extremely beneficial for streamlining processes and procedures, not everyone on the job site will have access to it. Some workers will still rely on paper, analogue devices, or older systems that aren’t integrated. Furthermore, some remote work environments won’t have an internet or cellular signal. This mix of paper and electronics needs to be accounted for when you’re considering how to use technology to boost safety on the jobsite.

When you’re considering implementing technology in your safety management program, be sure to find a solution that is designed to work with the unique demands of the construction industry.

Safety Technology Advancements of the Future

While the construction industry has come quite far, there are a lot of advancements that we can look forward to as an industry. Here is what we can expect:

  • Wider use of drones for site surveying, inspection, and worker monitoring
  • Virtual reality will expose workers to more realistic safety training simulations
  • Wearable technology and smart clothing that can monitor vital signs, encourage better posture and detect potential intoxication
  • Autonomous or remotely controlled heavy equipment that allows separation of the operator
  • Sensors that can monitor things like temperature, noise, dust and chemicals to limit harmful exposure for workers

In this series we’ve looked at how you can improve worker safety on your construction site. We’ve seen that when planning a construction safety management program, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind – including leadership, employee buy-in, and technology. Safety in the workplace is truly in the best interests of employees and employers alike. Do you have questions about how to create an effective safety management program? We can help with Certainty Software.

Used by more than 100,000 professionals to complete over 2,000,000 audits and inspections annually, Certainty Software by Certainty Software, Inc. is a flexible, powerful and trusted enterprise-level audit and inspection management solution. We’re trusted by some of the world’s biggest construction companies to help manage workplace safety. Find out more and start a free trial today!

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll discuss the most significant construction safety issues in the next 5 years.

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series you may be interested in:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

How Leadership Style Affects Safety Performance in Construction

Boosting Employee Buy-In To Your Safety Culture and Construction Safety Program

7 Significant Safety Issues Facing The Construction Industry

#1 Safety Issue In Construction As Told By Top Safety Management Industry Leaders

Alex EckartBehavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we are exploring some of the questions, benefits, misconceptions, and methods of Behavioral Based Safety Programs (BBS). We have spoken with industry professionals Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy Company; John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation; and Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health to get an insider look on how to manage an effective Behavior Based Safety management program.

BBS Business Intelligence Dashboard

BBS Business Intelligence Dashboard

The most rigid and comprehensive safety inspection is useless if you do not have the data to show it is being followed 100% and that it is yielding positive results. It can be easy to get caught up in going through the motions of any safety program, routinely following the guidelines without being able to see the big picture – the reason why any of this routine is important. Safety metrics with key leading indicators can support your front line defense against workplace dangers. This kind of data can not only be used for analytical or insurance purposes, but can contribute to the overall safety of a workplace by providing peace of mind in displaying that everyone is dedicated to their personal safety and the safety of their coworkers.

Behavior Based Safety Is only as Effective if you have Participation

The benefits of a BBS program are self-perpetuating – as more people participate in the program, more people become confident in the decisions they themselves and their peers are making to ensure everyone’s safety. As decisions about safety move into the forefront of employee’s mind during daily routines, and more people are becoming aware – and demonstrating – positive actions and attitudes towards safety, the safety culture of your establishment will grow. As Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy Company says “The best measure of the performance is the participation by the hourly employees, if they are completing the observations it shows that the culture has truly evolved into a safety-first culture.”

Behavior Based Safety Looks at the Leading Indicators

Safety is about preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace – if you are only implementing protective measures after an incident has occurred, you have already lost the safety game. Solely relying on data from accidents, injuries, deaths – preventable incidents – defeats the purpose of a safety program altogether. Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health puts it “Injury numbers are lagging indicators, so I try to avoid using them wherever possible. Even if people are going through the motions of a behavior based observation, it still has the positive effect of getting people to think about safety and knowing that people are watching them. There are few secrets on a production floor.” A well-designed BBS program aims to recognize trends before they result in an injury or incident.

Data is all About Utilization

Once your program has been in practice for long enough, you will start to accumulate enough data to make some meaningful decisions and evaluations about the safety of your workplace. You can look at several key metrics to determine how well your program is protecting the safety of your employees, but the most important metric might be participation. John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation says about safety metrics “We use the information collected to communicate how engaged managers and supervisors are in the safety program. The metrics are the number of observations per person as per the agreed program.” If your data shows a lack of participation and buy-in from your employees, you will need to figure out how to address that. Participation is the first factor you have to address before you can address any other factors – without a wide enough scope and large enough data set, it can be hard to address the root safety concerns withing your company that lead to incidents.

An effective BBS safety program effectively utilizes the tools available to them. Efficiently generating reports off the most relevant data is critical to improving the safety of an organization through Behavior Based Observation.

Check out previous blogs in this series and stay tuned for more!

Why You Should Include Behavior Based Safety in your Safety Management Program

Alex EckartBehavior based safety, Certainty software, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we will explore some of the questions, benefits, misconceptions, and methods of Behavioral Based Safety Programs (BBS). We have spoken with industry professionals Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy Company; John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation; and Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health to get an insider look on how to manage an effective Behavior Based Safety management program.

Including BBS in your safety management program

To some people the benefits of a Behavior Based Safety programs may seem elusive – how could you get concrete data from the common-place everyday actions and decisions of your employees? Should it just be assumed that resources be put towards preventative measures and protective equipment, tangible assets, where the value they bring to safety is more apparent? This kind of thinking overlooks the common factor that is universal to all workplace injuries – people.

A safety program that does not take special consideration of human attitudes, beliefs, ideas, and feelings towards safety is missing a huge piece of the safety pie. Behavioral Based Safety takes a holistic approach to safety – it looks at the big picture, the safety environment of a workplace, and unearths the root causes of potential hazards and unsafe behaviors. As Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy CO. puts it, “BBS helps to get a feel for what is really going on at the floor level. It provides data to make decisions on where to focus your safety programs and what areas are lacking”. A BBS program helps you identify exactly where those resources and tangible safety assets are most required.

A safety program that focuses only on unsafe behaviors and hazards associated with a job can undergo the unfortunate result of becoming reactionary, addressing dangers after they have already had a negative impact on your business and employees. This defeats the purpose of a safety program altogether. To truly increase the positive outlook on the safety environment of your business you will also need to focus on what works. What are the every-day actions of my employees that are guaranteeing their safety and the safety of their peers? As Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health puts it “Not all hazards can be controlled by elimination or engineering. When employees need to be trusted to make decisions regarding their safety, the right choices need to be reinforced. People get complacent and don’t always notice positive outcomes when they become routine. At that point people start to knowingly or unknowingly start making riskier choices”. Identifying and positively reinforcing these actions is what an effective BBS program aims to do.

It may take time, but if planned extensively, followed rigidly, and executed efficiently, a BBS program can have a very positive impact on the environment of a workplace and the well-being of the employees. It empowers workers, as John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation puts it, “it provides an opportunity to recognize and reinforce high standards and good practices displayed by our teams”. This high standard is the best possible outcome you can achieve from and effective BBS program. This high standard of safety will directly prevent workplace accidents and injuries before they can happen. It is not a reactionary approach, it is a proactive one that could even save lives.

Take some time to consider the benefits of a BBS program. As we have explored here, it can be effective in addressing some key areas that could be lacking from your safety program. Do you have trouble bringing your employees into the safety conversation? Do you want the confidence to trust your employees to make the right decisions? Do you want your employees to become Safety Leaders and take proactive steps towards a safer work environment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it is time to give Behavior Based Safety a second look.

Stay tuned for more blogs in this series!

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, COVID-19 Checklist, Enterprise software, Featured, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog @Hewittroberts, CEO – @Certainty Software talked with @TherrinProtze, who is Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for Delaware North, a global hospitality and entertainment company that operates the visitor complex for NASA. Protze is part of a team planning for the reopening of about 200 Delaware North operating locations that have closed or suspended most of their operations in the wake of COVID-19. His focus has included how Delaware North can use Certainty software to tackle reopening challenges across their business. 

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Reopens with Certainty!

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Reopens with Certainty!

Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, Delaware North operates at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos. Before COVID-19 hit in March, the company employed over 55,000 people worldwide and had over $3.7 billion in annual revenues.

Delaware North’s portfolio of landmark operating locations includes:

  • Operating concessions, premium dining and retail at over 25 major league sports venues, including in NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA venues.
  • Owning and operating a portfolio of regional casinos and gaming venues;
  • Lodging, retail and restaurants at Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon and other national parks;visitor services at Niagara Falls State Park, operating all aspects of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex;and owning and operating Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Sea Crest Beach Hotel on Cape Cod and other destination lodging.
  • The Patina Restaurant Group, with outlets in Lincoln Center, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, LA Music Center, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal/MetLife Building and Madison Square Garden.
  • Food, beverage and retail at numerous airports and travel centers throughout the United States, Australia and United Kingdom.
  • Owning and operating TD Garden in Boston, home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics and host to numerous major concerts and other events.
TD Gardens Reopen with Certainty!

TD Gardens Reopen with Certainty!

As COVID-19 shutdowns ease and lockdown orders are lifted, Delaware North is faced with the Herculean task of planning, preparing for and safely reopening its operating locations.

With endless unknowns about COVID-19, a challenged global economy and no real-life pandemic experience to draw on, Protze and the business resumption team at Delaware North recognized the challenges involved:.

  • Who could assist and provide additional guidance on COVID-19?
  • How should they respond to and manage future confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID at their locations?
  • How should they monitor employee health and hygiene?
  • What changes do they need to make to regular cleaning and sanitizing at their locations?
  • How should they manage and monitor social distancing guidelines and requirements?

Protze and his team felt confident that they could rise to this challenge, and I caught up with him by phone  in early May to discuss how Delaware North went about planning this project, what have been the most significant challenges and how the team managed these challenges  to prepare to safely reopening Delaware North globally.

Hewitt:  

How are your planning the reopening of Delaware North businesses?

 Therrin:

One key part of our planning has been using Certainty as our management platform and the COVID-19 Reopening for Business checklist that the Certainty team created (and available here) to supplement our own business resumption checklists, standards and procedures.

Certainty will be used for the creation, dissemination, and companywide reporting on the adherence to these new standards and procedures.

We will have some people on our team working on enterprise-wide standards and the corporatewide data collection based on these checklists. Others in our team will work with our operating subsidiaries in gaming, travel, and parks and likely work closely with those businesses to make any required location-specific checklist additions.

We will launch these checklists company-wide as we begin to re-open our locations such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and some of the parks locations we operate.

Hewitt: 

As a business with more than 200 locations worldwide, what are the biggest challenges you face with respect to reopening after this pandemic?

Therrin:

The biggest challenge we face is gaining customer confidence and being able to do everything we can to help ensure the safety of all of our visitors – each and every one of them – whether they are visiting Yellowstone National Park, Southland Casino or TD Garden.

Once we do that, then the next real challenge will be trying to figure out what the ”New Normal” will look like, how are we going to respond to this  and how are our customers going to react? We know things are changing, so how do we adapt to continually ensure customer confidence?

Right now, we are following the CDC  guidelines, but the challenge going forward will be adjusting to a ”New Normal” and putting in place the right feedback mechanisms to ensure we are continually addressing what is needed.

Hewitt:

How are you going about solving these challenges?

Therrin:

One way is with Certainty, which provides a true platform where we can ensure all the standards created are tracked, followed and reported on a regular basis to create accountability across Delaware North.

We will have enterprise standards that will be a minimum compliance requirement, and then each location can create its own additional checklist. That’s how we will roll it out.

Our COVID Re-opening Checklist will be highly effective, and it includes videos, visuals and links to online training.

Everybody at Delaware North really likes Certainty because it’s easy to work with. We feel very comfortable with it.

Grand Canyon Visitor Center Reopens with Certainty!

Grand Canyon Visitor Center Reopens with Certainty!

Maya NikolovskiBehavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Construction safety leadership

Previously, we discussed the elements that a construction safety program needs to be effective, and safety leadership came out as one of the top factors that will determine the effectiveness of a safety effort.

Ensuring safety in the construction industry is vital for both employees and the public. But implementing a successful safety performance program involves many moving parts, and a constant commitment from the entire company. This is why one of the most important components of a construction safety management program is arguably leadership.

The Importance of Fostering a Safety Climate

Safety on the job site is not just the responsibility of the safety manager. One of the most important things that leadership can bring about is widespread cultural change around the topic of safety. Steve Mellard, the National Safety Director at Anning Johnson, points to the importance of discouraging a “safety cop”. Viewing a safety manager as the only person in charge of safety makes it almost impossible to get employees to buy in. Mellard recommends avoiding authoritarian-style safety leadership, and instead promoting a leadership style that values speaking to employees using their own terminology and referencing past experiences in the field.

This has implications for hiring in leadership positions. Mellar recommends hiring safety managers based not only on their degrees, but also on their experience in construction and their ability to relate to employees and the demands of the job.

Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson also points to the importance of leadership being seen as a safety resource. Leadership needs to be level-headed, keep their composure and be approachable in order for them to be truly successful at their jobs.

Foundations for Safety Leadership

What are the actual characteristics of successful safety leadership? The CPWR – Center for Construction Research & Training has advised that there are 5 Skills and Actions for an Effective Safety Leader:

  1. Leads by Example: A good safety leader will “walk the talk”, demonstrate a positive attitude about safety and establish safety expectations as a core value.
  2. Engages and Empowers Team Members: Team members should be encouraged and empowered to report hazards and safety concerns, and good leaders should be proactive with providing solutions, reporting near misses and stopping work if necessary to maintain safety standards.
  3. Actively Listens and Practices 3-way Communication: A good leader will be an active listener and truly seek to hear what team members are saying. They will practice 3-way communication by having the person repeat back the message they heard.
  4. Develops Team Members Through Teaching, Coaching and Feedback: Leaders should respectfully teach and coach workers, making sure to watch workers perform the proper safe behavior. Leaders should also focus on potential consequences rather than on the individual team member themselves.
  5. Recognizes Team Members For A Job Well Done: Whether publicly or privately, team members should be given recognition when it comes to safety.

Looking to boost your team’s safety leadership? The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) offers free materials to help train better safety management leaders.

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll cover how to improve employee buy-in & participation in your safety management program

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Certainty software, COVID-19 Checklist, Enterprise software, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Like nothing else in our lifetime, COVID-19 has affected everyone, everywhere – worldwide. It has indiscriminately taken lives, destroyed livelihoods and put our world on the brink of the largest financial crisis in living memory – possibly ever.

Managing this crisis has been a Herculean undertaking. Politicians and business leaders around the globe have had to make gut-wrenching decisions and, in an effort to save lives (and our health care systems), they have closed businesses, borders and shut down entire sectors of the economy.

We have all been affected and we are all desperate to re-open our businesses, get back to work and re-start the economy.

Re-opening your business post COVID-19

However, and as Governor Andrew Cuomo eloquently put it, ‘This is not a light switch that we can just flick one day, and everything goes back to normal. We’re going to have to restart a lot of systems that we shut down abruptly and we need to start to plan for that.’

And to do that, each and every business will all need a plan. These plans will need to be ‘smart’ and ‘specific‘ to your business, your industry and your circumstance. These plans will need to be flexible, regularly evaluated and changed where needed as we learn, as we adapt and as things slowly go back to a new normal.

Most importantly, these plans and your procedure for re-opening must ensure that you can provide a safe workplace for your employees, customers and suppliers. Using a carefully considered procedure (checklist) and regularly monitoring (and responding to) your results will help make sure you have systematically addressed all aspects of re-opening (people, places, process, precautions, etc.) to ensure you:

  • Provide a safe work environment for your employees, customers, suppliers and all stakeholders;
  • Quickly identify and respond to issues identified during your initial and ongoing checks/assessments;
  • Get your business up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible; and,
  • Put in place the procedures and practices (checks/inspections) to keep your business open moving forward.

Using Certainty for COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Assessments

This is how we hope we can help with Certainty. Certainty can be used to easily manage and report on any checklist-based approach to performance, compliance or risk management – including the evaluation of your business’s readiness for re-opening after the COVID-19 shut down.

COVID-19 BI Dashboard

 Creating and Adding New Checklists in Certainty

With Certainty, you can use any of our existing checklists (such as our COVID-19 Preparedness & Response checklists) or you can create/add your own with questions/checks specific to your own business or sector.

COVID-19 Checklists Customized by Site, Site Group or Company-wide

With Certainty, checklists can be made available for use at a single site (i.e. a factory, a distribution center, or a restaurant), they can be made available for use at a group of sites (i.e. all production facilities, all distribution centers in Georgia, or all sites with on-premise customers) or can be made available for use across your entire business.

Customizing COVID-19 Re-Opening Assessment Checklists by Site or Business Unit

 With Certainty, you can create a single corporate checklist for use at all locations (i.e. COVID Re-Opening Preparedness checklist with base or mandated questions that must be answered at all locations company-wide) and allow individual sites or business units to add site/business unit-specific questions that would be additional and relevant only to those locations or business units.

Customizable COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Checklists

Customizable COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Checklists

Corporate-wide Reporting of COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness and Progress

With Certainty, there are reporting tools that allow for instant reporting of virtually all data points and metrics collected from your checklists and with the dashboards, system reports and business intelligence reporting tools you can easily report things such as the number of ‘COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Assessments Completed by Location’ or ‘COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Score’ by site, business unit or corporate-wide.

 

Maya NikolovskiAudit software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, 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

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Last week we looked at the importance of having a centralized location for software administration. Does the solution you’re evaluating meet this requirement? Let’s move on to the implementation process, and the resources that the provider has to ensure a successful and smooth implementation. 

If a well managed project with clear objectives is a key drivers of project success, then a close second would be a good start to the process itself. Nothing like hitting the ground running.

Just as projects without good leadership and clear objectives will most likely fail, projects that are not implemented well will likely struggle to meet your needs and eventually wither.

So, when considering an enterprise-level solution, ensure that the solution provider has a track record for implementing enterprise-level projects and can offer all the training, tools and support (i.e. onboarding procedures, data upload templates, project reviews) needed to ensure your project will be a success from day one.

Some things to consider:

  • Does the solution provider offer support for initial project implementation and configuration? Is technical support provided (free of charge) and can you submit support requests 24/7?
  • What onboarding / project implementation resources are available (e.g. onboarding procedures and/or implementation guides, training material, initial data upload templates)?
  • What support is offered by the solution provider (e.g. training, configuration, customization)?
  • Does the solution provider offer ‘test’ or ‘sandbox’ environments for initial roll out testing, new releases, user-testing, etc.?

Next week, we’ll concluding our series on evaluating enterprise software by exploring the pricing and cost model of the solution. 

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

 

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. 

_________________

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

________________________________________

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.