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, 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, 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

Simon BeechinorInspection management, Safety data, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Management Solution - Agriculture, Mining & Aggregates

Management Solution – Shipping, Ports & Transport

When management are pressing for a schedule to be maintained and telling people that the ‘deadline must be met’, they would do well to pause for thought.

It’s management that’s responsible for the performance of our people in the field. Recently in the media we’ve seen some notable examples of safety management failure in the shipping industry – but the same principle of accountability extends across all industry sectors. With shipping in mind, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the comments make at the Court of Inquiry for the loss of the British ferry HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE when 193 people died. The Judge ruled:

All concerned in management, from the members of the Board of Directors down to the junior superintendents, were guilty of fault in that all must be regarded as sharing responsibility for the failure of management. From the top to the bottom the body corporate was infected with the disease of sloppiness’.

It was as a result of this disaster that the maritime industry introduced the International Safety Management code for ships. This code requires ship owners to define their procedures and, as a result, many operators now make extensive use of checklists to ensure that tasks are completed thoroughly and management have ‘overview’..

Certainty Software software is ideal for recording inspection data and providing management overview of safety procedures in any industry. It’s a web based solution for any audit or inspection based management program.

The following is a list of features that help ensure that field personnel can easily record inspection data and for management to maintain overview.

  • Checklist data entry from paper, browser, iOS and Android apps
  • Allows On and Offline data capture
  • Allows for electronic signatures
  • Action management tool for managing issues and associated corrective actions
  • Configurable rules engine for action notifications, checklist answer alerts and reminders
  • Configurable, user-specific dashboard for reporting trends, issues and safety performance across your business
  • Instant, powerful and flexible reporting by site, business unit or corporate-wide
  • Full online access to all data and analytics with standard and custom reporting
  • Automatic reports for OSHA 300, OSHA 300A, Incident Rates, and more
  • Analyse and report data online or export to PDF, Excel, CSV, and JPEG formats
  • Drag & drop checklist builder to easily create your own checklists
  • Blank paper-based checklists printed directly from the system
  • No proprietary scanning hardware required
  • Easily attach photos to observations, inspections, and assessments completed by browser or app
  • Multi language capability
  • Integrates with other ERP, HR, EHS solutions if needed

Why not take the Certainty Software Challenge and see if you can improve the quality of your company’s inspection or auditing processes, improve management overview AND save cost – we bet you can and it will cost you nothing to find out!

 

 

Simon BeechinorInspection management, Safety data, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Take the ‘Certainty Software Challenge’

Unless you’re like the retail business manager who once told me that he was ‘making way too much money to worry about cutting costs’, cost management simply aims to achieve the most cost-effective way of delivering your goods or services to a given level of quality.

Cost management isn’t about reducing quality or short-changing customers. The low-cost airlines are arguably the best examples of businesses where cost management is successfully delivered. European airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet have either removed or now charge customers for many non-essential services. Similarly, discount retailers such as Poundland, Lidl and Aldi relentlessly focus on managing their costs.

Theoretically reducing operating costs will result in higher profits and better cash flow. The key however is to identify cost-reductions which don’t adversely affect revenue, quality or customer service.

Like my acquaintance in the retail sector, businesses tend to go through phases of cost management. When a business is enjoying rapid growth in revenues, costs don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve. However, before too long, the business has substantially grown and its cost base has added enormous complexity to the organisation. This situation is often not spotted by management and that can spell disaster.

Sometimes it takes a severe economic downturn to prompt managers to take a hard look at costs to try and see where savings can be made. We’ve listed some examples of areas where managers can start to make cost reductions – in addition to taking the Certainty Software Challenge!

As a note of caution however, don’t try and do everything in one pass – it’s not necessary. Act in one area, then revisit it and keep refining things. Be sure you’re not being too aggressive in one area which can then affect other parts of the business by eroding quality, capacity or morale.

  • Eliminate waste and avoid duplication
  • Simplify processes and procedures
  • Consider investing in better tools or technology
  • Outsource non-core activities
  • Negotiate better prices with suppliers
  • Improve communication
  • Prune product ranges and customer accounts to eliminate unprofitable business
  • Introduce flexible working practices that benefit both the employee and employer
  • Control non-essential overheads
  • Take the Certainty Software Challenge!

Simon BeechinorInspection management, Safety data, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Any competent directors will want to comply with the law when managing SHE, but directors will also want to protect the reputation of themselves AND their business from the adverse publicity that a serious accident would bring. Directors and managers will want to avoid undue pressure arising from employees, trade unions and customers because of poor safety and health management and the stigma and other consequences of a prosecution such as criminal convictions, fines or even prison.

An effective safety and health management strategy is a principle component of a modern organisation’s corporate social responsibilities and ensures that the organisation doesn’t lag behind its’ competitors in its sector.

A great way of getting an overview of the management of SHE is to use Certainty Software software – Certainty Software allows for data entry from paper using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, browser or the Certainty Software app for smartphones and tablets. With Certainty Software, your audit and inspection data is instantly available for company-wide reporting and analysis. Certainty Software has an action management tool for tracking and closure of corrective actions identified in the audit process. Certainty Software is ideal for managing data and the corrective actions required from any audit or inspection process.

There is considerable evidence of the financial benefits to be gained from effective safety and health management such as:

  • Increased productivity when using safe operating procedures
  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • Less sickness-related absences and training costs for replacement staff
  • Better staff retention and morale

Avoiding the costs associated with poor safety and health management ensures that an organisations reputation and assets are protected. Factors which lead to poor corporate safety and health accountability include:

  • Failure of the board to take control
  • Rubber stamping of management decisions on safety and health issues
  • Lack of resources assigned to safety and health by the board
  • Failure to have competent safety and health advice available, either internally or externally
  • Failure to have adequate communication on important safety and health issues