Free Business Justification Checklist

Need help getting buy-in for new EHS software? Building a business case for EHS software can be daunting. 

This checklist will help you plan and write a winning business case — even if you've never written one before and even if it's way outside your comfort zone. Here's what's inside:

  • A simple step-by-step guide that can save you weeks of wasted effort
  • How to hit your boss' emotional triggers and get him or her to say "yes!" to new software
  • Which smart "buzzwords" you must include to grab your CEO and CFO's attention

Enter your email address and we'll send you the free business justification checklist. Then keep reading for a more detailed look at building a business justification for EHS software.

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Table of Contents

Getting started

This guide will help you build a business justification for EHS software from start to finish.

First, you'll determine whether you're ready to invest in EHS software. If you want help, you can sign up for a free ROI assessment to discover your biggest cost and time savings opportunities.

Then, you'll learn the steps to creating a business justification, and you'll be able to download a free checklist that will walk you through preparing your document or presentation.

Finally, you'll see an example of a business justification that you can use as a model for your own.

Let's jump right in. 

Evaluating your options

When is it time to consider a modern EHS management system?

If your company has more than 10 employees managing EHS information, it's time to consider a more modern and efficient system. That said, corporations of any size can realize value that justifies the investment. A modern system can significantly boost productivity, enterprise connectivity, and management visibility to mitigate costly risks. The latest systems are more standard, easier to implement and use, and — contrary to what you may think — more affordable.

How much is a modern EHS management system worth to your company? 

A modern EHS Management system will redefine efficiency standards for your enterprise. The centralization of knowledge, more accurate data, and enhanced management visibility will significantly reduce risk and incident occurrences, while also reducing costs. The ROI is typically greater than 5X the cost of the software, and most customers see a payback within 1 year.

>>> Click here to schedule a free custom ROI assessment and discover your biggest time and cost savings opportunities. 

What should you look for in an EHS management system?

With so many EHS management software options available, it can be difficult to decide which solution is best for your enterprise. Some systems may simplify your EHS activities, while others can make things more complicated. To meet compliance responsibilities more efficiently and spare yourself from wasting time, look for the following key components in a modern EHS Management System:

  • VISIBILITY: Dynamic dashboards with data drill-down capability offer flexible data visualization and management transparency. Easily identify sites for improvement, highlight issues immediately, analyze performance and trends over time, and track corrective actions.
  • MOBILE CAPABILITY: Mobile is revolutionizing EHS, making it easier for enterprises to collect and manage data. Today’s EHS mobile apps enable employees to capture data on the go and alert management instantly of any issues.
  • ALL-IN-ONE SYSTEM: Seek out a software solution that can manage complex, high-volume environmental data and safety-related information in one system. This type of solution establishes a central system of record for your enterprise and automatically generates accurate regulatory and internal management reports. Look for a system that can both scale up to the needs of a large enterprise and scale down to mid-sized companies facing similar challenges.

 

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Creating your business case

So you've determined that you're ready to invest in EHS software. Now what?

Let's give you the best chance of getting your CEO and CFO's approval.

That's where the business case or business justification comes in. It's the #1 way to convince your boss that new EHS software is worth investing in.

When you make a compelling business case for EHS software, you'll be in a much better position to get your company's decision-makers to say "Yes!" to your initiative.

Plus (and this is a big plus) you'll look like a hero in your boss' eyes. How so? Because you're pitching a solution that will boost productivity, improve corporate image, and grow the company — which makes your boss look brilliant.

Here we go (click here to download the printable version): 

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First, how to avoid the #1 mistake most business cases make...

Cognitive research shows that decisions are emotional — not purely logical.

In other words, you can’t assume that the other side will see it your way just because you’ve laid out all the facts.

Instead, spend some time thinking about what makes your decision-makers tick. What are the problems they’re facing? What keeps them up at night?

From there, you can build a business case that presents you and your proposal as the solution.

Step 1: Problem

You wouldn’t expect a doctor to prescribe a medication before he diagnoses your problem.  

In the same way, you need to “diagnose” your boss’ pain and the impact it has on the organization before you present your solution.

  1. Define the problem. What are the most time-consuming tasks your team (including consultants) performs each week, and what are the productivity issues? What are the biggest risks facing your organization?
  2. Quantify the problem. How much time are employees spending on these tasks? How many major/minor incidents occur each year? What are the costs (medical, legal, reporting time) associated with these incidents?
  3. Define the process improvement opportunities. Think about the daily activities your core EHS team spends time on. What areas could be improved by automation? Break these down by focus area -- for example, environmental reporting, audits & inspections, incident management, training management, management reporting, etc. 

Step 2: Solution

Now that everyone’s on the same page, it’s time to describe the solution you’re proposing.

  1. Describe how EHS software can address the problem. For example, describe how mobile capabilities can involve more employees in inputting data at the source, in real time, for better accuracy and no lost data. Share case studies of how other companies are using this solution to their advantage.

Step 3: Approach

Once you’ve presented your proposed software, it’s important to prove that you’ve done your homework. In this section, you’ll show your boss that you’ve considered other possible solutions and the one you’re proposing is the best choice.

  1. Discuss why you've selected the proposed software. For example, if your company is already using another software, explain why you are changing to another solution. If you considered custom software, explain that a standard-based commercial system is easier to implement and offers a lower cost of ownership over a 3-year period.

Step 4: Risk Assessment 

Even though you’ve made a brilliant argument for why you need new software and pitched a great solution, it’s always easier for your boss to not make a decision than to make a decision.

It’s your job to show him why sticking his head in the sand is a costly mistake.

  1. Calculate the costs associated with new software. Consider the estimated cost of the software + implementation services fees over a 3-year period. Factor in employee time for the implementation period of performance, training time, and learning the system. How long is the payback period? How soon will the company see a return on investment?
  2. Define the risk or opportunity loss of doing nothing. What risks is your organization exposing itself to if you don't purchase EHS software? What are the potential costs of major/minor incidents that could be avoided by implementing new software? What are the potential losses in productivity?

Step 5: Value Analysis

Finally, you need to help your CEO and CFO feel confident that an investment in EHS software is money well spent.

By showing the actual cost and time savings (as well as non-financial benefits), you can demonstrate how EHS software adds to the company’s bottom line.

  1. Calculate the potential savings. Quantify potential time savings by each activity/process improvement defined in #2. Identify a percentage saved for each activity, and the resulting number of hours saved. 
  2. Define the business impacts of those savings. What would employees do with the free time you calculated in #8? Make a list of strategic, value-add activities that have a direct impact on reducing corporate risks. For example, your employees could spend their newfound time implementing an ISO 14001 environmental management system, improving employee training programs, etc. 

>>> Additional resource: For an overview of the steps involved and planning considerations for ISO 14001, download the ISO 14001 Checklist for Success.

  1. Consider non-financial benefits, too. Include any non-financial benefits that can be tied to a business goal. For example, morale improvements can help achieve the company's goal of recruiting and retaining staff.

Examples & success stories

Especially if you're new to creating a business justification, it can be helpful to look at examples from other companies.

As we mentioned above, you might also choose to include data and success stories from companies like yours who've implemented EHS software successfully. 

Below, you'll find a sample business case along with links to case studies from Perillon customers.

Example business case for an EHS management system:

In the following business case, you'll see an example of the estimated savings potential for a centralized EHS software system.  Click here to schedule a free custom ROI assessment and discover your biggest time and cost savings opportunities. 

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Want to take this with you? Click here to download the example business case for reference.

Check out these case studies sharing stories of Perillon's impact:  

Find out how Denbury freed up 50% of their HSE team's time with Perillon.

Learn how National Grid streamlined assessments for a wide range of environmental programs with Perillon.

See how Allete reduced administrative and travel time by standardizing their audits and inspections with Perillon.

Conclusion

In this guide, you've seen how to determine whether you're ready to invest in EHS software. You've seen the steps to creating a business justification. And you've seen examples of business justifications that you can use as a model for your own. Now it's your turn! 

Take this resource with you

business-justification-checklist-teaser.jpgDownload the free business justification checklist to help you plan and write a winning business case — even if you've never written one before and even if it's way outside your comfort zone. Here's what's inside:

  • A simple step-by-step guide that can save you weeks of wasted effort
  • How to hit your boss' emotional triggers and get him or her to say "yes!" to new software
  • Which smart "buzzwords" you must include to grab your CEO and CFO's attention

Enter your email address and we'll send you the free business justification checklist.