Digitalization has been the buzzword over the last decades. Companies started to digitalize their processes the moment computers were invented. Obviously, this was done a bit differently back in the ‘80s than today, but companies have been implementing ERP systems, bookkeeping solutions and CRM systems for decades now. First, on their own servers and slowly but surely more into SaaS solutions. Due to COVID-19, more companies need to digitalize much faster because the pandemic has exposed the business to risks of not digitalizing processes. QHSE is getting much more important due to the pandemic and the impact it has on HSE, and therefore, digitalizing this part of the organization has become vital.
Lots of companies have some kind of Excel-based QHSE system. This seems to be working because someone within the organization knows how to create all kinds of cool Excel sheets. However, the dependency on this person gets bigger and bigger as time goes by, not just when things need to change but also how to use the sheets in the first place.
When going for digitalizing the QHSE, it is crucial to start with a complete overview of all the processes and checklists that the organization has. This allows for a much easier digitalization process and also gives a great roadmap of where the company wants to go. Make sure you have a good idea of all the Excel sheets and Word documents within the organization.
Scope of Platform QHSE
Before actually starting with digitizing the QHSE management system, it is important to have some kind of wish list. This is basically a list of functionalities that the solutions need to provide in order to fulfill the demand of the organization. A great exercise is making a list of all the things the organization would like to have and then classifying them as either “must-have” or “nice to have”. This way, it is rather easy to find the right solution for the organization.
When the selection of the platform has been made, the digitalization can start. Make sure that the platform is configured correctly and that the organization leverages the knowledge and expertise of the solution provider. These partners have extensive knowledge of how to automate and digitalize QHSE systems and ask them for best practices.
When the solution has been implemented the training and adoption can start. This might take weeks or even months, depending on the willingness to change within the organization. However, if properly implemented, the platform makes life so much easier than the adoption will go rather fast, especially when tools like mobile apps are leveraged.
The end result will be a much more aligned QHSE management system that is adopted within the organization. This strengthens the QHSE culture and allows everybody to really be part of QHSE. This will then increase the QHSE awareness within the company and will lead to a smoother running organization with less cost of failure.
Digitalization is not just a single project, it is a continuous process of improvement of the processes by leveraging IT technology. Never just implement a QHSE platform and let it sit idle. Use the tools to improve processes and make the organization better.