4 EHS Software Implementation Lessons You Need to Know
The theme of EHS software implementation surfaced many times during the case studies, peer exchange session, and other sessions. In this post, we summarize four key lessons that you need to know, and that can lead to a successful implementation of enterprise EHS software.
1) Be Sure to Involve All Different Business Units Early
For global organizations with many business units that wish to deploy and make use of EHS software, it is important to get input and commitments from all business units early. While EHS software will standardize and consolidate processes and workflows across the enterprise, there will nevertheless be some requirements unique to each business unit, such as specific reporting and data migration needs. To ensure a successful implementation and roll-out, be sure to define all requirements up front, to avoid a situation where individual business units keep adding things as you go.
2) Do a Pilot…
If you are doing an enterprise-wide implementation and roll-out of EHS software, start with a pilot site. But be careful to avoid this common pitfall: Requirements are only gathered for that single pilot site, and when the EHS software solution is rolled out to other sites, either the other sites need to conform to what was done for the pilot site, or changes have to be made to accommodate new processes. Therefore, it is critical that all business units, departments and sites agree on common processes and requirements, which would then be implemented on the pilot site. This would also make the implementation to other sites smoother, and encourage better buy-in from the other sites.
3) …But Be Smart in Picking the Pilot Site
As a general rule, don’t select a high- or low-performing site for the pilot, or else users from that site will not have the best experience and there will be challenges. Pick a site that is in the middle. If you pick a low-performing site, not all correct processes will be included in the pilot, and the implementation will be less effective. However, if you pick a high-performing site that may have more processes, other sites could be discouraged from using the EHS software solution because they may feel that it adds more processes. Also, a high-performing site will likely have a greater drop in efficiency during the implementation, so there may be a higher impact on the organization, compared to a medium-performing site.
4) Don’t Underestimate Data Migration
Implementing EHS software may require the migration and consolidation of data from disparate and homegrown systems into a single platform. This can require more time and effort than expected if the data from the legacy systems is inconsistent and has not been properly maintained over the years. Depending on the IT landscape and data management practices throughout the years, a certain amount of “data cleansing” may be required before data migration. Therefore, don’t underestimate the efforts for data migration and be sure to start the preliminary work of looking at your data as early as possible.
Here are links to other posts where you can explore interesting takeaways from SPF events that are leveraged by companies to achieve operational excellence:
- 10 things learned at SPF Americas 2015
- 5 key takeaways from SPF Sydney 2016
- Anna Clark’s SPF interview series
- Safety and compliance insights from the SPF EMEA 2016 keynote
- 4 EHS best practices from SPF Houston 2016
- 3 regulatory compliance lessons from SPF EMEA 2016
SPF Americas 2016 will take place on October 4-5 in Chicago, and will bring together more than 500 EHS, Sustainability, Risk and IT professionals from the world’s largest corporations. Register today and don’t miss out on 50+ sessions and countless opportunities to network with your peers.