Today’s best-in-class solutions are easy to use and provide fast time to value. Management perceives them as strategic investments that, when leveraged correctly, create benefits that eliminate the historical perception that safety programs are simply a necessary cost of doing business.
Are you thinking about purchasing a new software solution to manage your health and safety program? The following best practices will help set you up for success and ensure you are reaping the full benefit of your investment.
1. Ensure the buy in of senior management from the start.
Your Board, C-suite and HSE committee should all actively be involved in the decision. Executive buy-in will ensure the application is viewed as an important component of the company’s overall digital transformation program and treated as a strategic investment. Managed effectively, it can elevate worker safety while also quickly paying for itself through lower costs and operational efficiencies. This sponsorship will also help resolve any roadblocks that might arise as you move forward, not to mention be invaluable in ensuring adoption of the software.
2. Identify a primary project owner.
Designate a project manager who will own the overall process and ensure the software is meeting the needs of all stakeholders from management, to administration, and ultimately the user. This individual ideally is a member of the health and safety team and was involved in the purchase decision.
We have seen a variety of titles for this role including stakeholder sponsor, internal product champion, and corporate application sponsor. Whatever the title, this person will be responsible for building and maintaining relationships on multiple levels. They will be the voice internally to management, own engagement with vendor representatives, and be the main point person for all users. They will also be responsible for current process change management, and implementation and deployment of the new technology to all users and ensure everyone has the training needed to fulfill their individual needs. These can be quite different if you are a field worker completing forms versus an administrator in head office pulling reports for management.
Benefits of Best-In-Class Safety Applications
- Support the continuation of your organization-wide digital transformation goals (a key mandate of most Boards and C-suites).
- Create operational efficiencies like smarter workflows (less steps = less cost) and utilize the “Internet of Behaviours” to help you operate by priority.
- Lower operating costs because of these new efficiencies.
- Support faster sharing of data and improved business decisions.
3. Forge a strong relationship with your vendor.
A key factor in your purchase decision should be to select a vendor dedicated to acting as your partner and walking in step with you to ensure the success of your purchase, and who will act as a trusted advisor to drive continuous improvement of your safety program.
Our Business Architect, Ryan Hagen explains why this is so important. “Because Field Safe is really easy to use, we have some clients who don’t need much support to get their teams up and running and prefer to handle everything themselves. But we find the best results when clients treat us as extensions of their team, collaborating with us to drive value beyond the project’s initial goals. In these cases where we work closely with clients, we can uncover additional ways to improve safety and create more efficient operations like rolling it out to different lines of business or to workers in new locations. This is where we really see companies create operational efficiencies that impact the bottom line as well as worker safety.”
Quick Ways To Earn The “Trusted Advisor” Title
- Understand why your customer invested in the technology, and their project goals.
- Deliver a consistently high level of service and support to ensure these goals are exceeded.
- Collaborate and share feedback and advice on how to drive additional value from the application.
- Listen and respond to feedback from everyone at the client site.
4. Connect workers for improved decision making.
A best-in-class safety application connects workers and facilitates real-time communication and information sharing across all team members. That instant access to data can be harnessed to quickly identify and resolve hazards, spot trends that signal a need for action, communicate those required actions immediately, and track completion.
Ryan’s team has become a valuable resource at client sites. Members are involved in connecting workers and integrating the data they generate into broader operational databases. This is where collaboration can really impact efficiencies… through the sharing of data to drive improved decision making.
Ryan says “We work with our clients to get them accurate information, specific to what matters to them, through reporting and analysis. That is what really drives the next level of value they receive from the application.”
The processes employed, and learnings resulting from a safety application rollout that is easy and creates fast time to value can be replicated to support other software implementations. “Building and documenting a successful roadmap process from the beginning creates scalable results and makes it easy to grow and add new users and departments. The process can be copied and expanded elsewhere,” explains Ryan.
When searching for a digital safety application, look for one that will provide these benefits while also allowing you to create a continuously improving safety program, one that will help your team nimbly respond to evolving corporate needs or emerging threats (like a pandemic).
But at the end of the day, it will be relationships and collaboration that are the key attributes that will ultimately ensure you are receiving the full value of your software investment.