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, 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!

Alex EckartBehavior based safety, EHS Software, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observationLeave a Comment


5 Tips for a Better BBS Program

5 Tips for a Better BBS Program

Behavior Based Safety (BBS) is a process centered around the one thing that will never be excluded from workplace safety incidents – people. Behavior Based Safety focuses people’s attention and actions on the daily safety behavior of themselves and those around them. It is the goal of any BBS program to observe what people do, but more importantly, why they do it. Here are 5 key elements to make your BBS program succeed:

  1. 100% Buy-in – Everyone Has Got to be on Board. The entire workplace needs to be trained in two major areas. First, they need to know how to observe behaviors and find unsafe actions. Then they need to learn to communicate these observations in a non-confrontational way.
  1. Support Your Program with the Right Technology. No matter the scale, a corporate-wide safety initiative needs to be backed by the right tech. Finding the software is easy, but it’s important to have your entire workforce trained.
  1. Measure the Cause, Not Just the Symptoms. Many safety programs are only measured on performance. A Behavior Based Safety Program can find the underlying motives behind potentially unsafe actions and therefore move to reduce or eliminate them completely.
  1. Create Safety Leaders, not Safety Managers: Behavior Based Safety Programs rely on the initiative of every employee, no matter where they are on the corporate ladder, to contribute their ideas and become safety self-accountable.
  1. Observations are only half the battle. Any well-rounded BBS program identifies which actions are most likely to lead to unsafe situations and finds an effective way to encourage safer behaviors through incentives, training and initiatives.

With these key elements in mind, you’re on your way to establishing a behavior-focused safety program. Seeing the results will take time, but the changes from these programs can have a very positive and long-lasting effect.

 

Try our BBS checklist for free.

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

Simon BeechinorInspection management, Safety data, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Business managers may see there’s a cost involved in implementing good HSE systems and there is. However, there’s an enormous cost of not doing it properly. Here at Certainty Software we’ve developed a powerful auditing and inspection tool that’s guaranteed to reduce the cost of managing HSE. This month we’re offering a FREE trial – so be sure to take a look at the blog post below for full details of our free offer. If you need help developing systems please let us know – we may be able to help you with that too, for FREE. Please don’t see health and safety purely as a regulatory burden. It offers significant opportunities and benefits. The benefits can include:

  • reduced costs
  • reduced risks
  • lower employee absence and turnover rates
  • fewer accidents
  • lessened threat of legal action
  • improved standing among suppliers and partners
  • better reputation for corporate responsibility among investors, customers and communities
  • increased productivity, because employees are healthier, happier and better motivated.

However, there are costs involved if health and safety at work is managed poorly too. HSE statistics reveal the human and financial cost of failing to address health and safety. Each year:

  • Millions of working days are lost due to work-related illness and injury.
  • Thousands of people die from occupational diseases
  • Around a million workers self-report suffering from a work-related illness
  • Several hundred thousand workers are injured at work
  • A worker is fatally injured almost every working day
  • Organisations can incur further costs – such as uninsured losses and loss of reputation

Not only can we help you reduce those costs, we can help you reduce the cost of managing HSE too. Get in touch with us to see how Certainty Software can help you implement and manage efficient HSE systems AND reduce the cost of doing business.