When it comes to choosing EHS software, the vendor’s implementation program is as important as the software itself.
A good implementation program is essential to ensure your software is up and running, configured properly, and leveraged to its full potential.
Overlook this, and you’ll miss out on the full value your new system can deliver.
Most vendors offer some type of implementation services, but the scope and delivery of those services can vary widely.
To help you get the best results possible, here are 5 things to look for in an implementation program:
1. Standardized (not customized) & cloud-based
First things first: Avoid any software that requires extensive customization. Customization takes a lot of time and resources up front — two things you can’t afford to spare during an implementation.
Standardized software, on the other hand, can be configured to meet your needs without expensive, time-consuming custom services. (To learn more about the difference between configuration and customization, check out this post.)
Similarly, cloud-based EHS software makes the entire implementation process easier. With a cloud solution, there’s nothing to install — just open your browser, navigate to the software login page, and type in your credentials.
2. Low cost
Hidden implementation fees can easily double the cost of your project. Be sure to discuss all implementation costs with the vendor before deciding on a solution.
Most of the vendor’s implementation service fees should be fixed price. The more time and materials uncertainty, the greater risk of runaway costs later.
As a rule of thumb, first year implementation fees should not be more than 0.5–1X the annual software fee. If more, then you’ll be stuck with a custom system that will be expensive to maintain in the future.
Software implementations should be simple — not a long, drawn out process. On average, a basic system activation should take 1-2 weeks, while a comprehensive system should take between 30-90 days. Anything more than that is a red flag that you’re looking at a custom system.
Successful implementations are a highly collaborative process. Look for a vendor who understands the problem you’re trying to solve and how to configure the best solution for your organization.
To that end, does the vendor’s team have extensive EHS subject matter expertise? Do they listen and answer questions honestly, or is the answer to every question “yes” just to get the sale? Are they willing to invest the time to ensure the software is implemented effectively — not just disappear after the system goes live?
5. Focus on change management & user adoption
Getting your employees to adopt EHS software isn’t always easy — especially when your office is full of people who’ve been in their roles for decades and are used to doing things a certain way.
That’s why it’s so important to look for a vendor who is committed to working with you after go-live during the important user rollout phase. Some examples of change management and user adoption activities include:
- User focus groups and surveys: Gather direct product feedback on user experience issues, training needs, new feature ideas, etc.
- Re-configuration services: Making changes to the system configuration based on the focus group responses
- Tailored user training: Ongoing training sessions — typically once a month — that address your organization’s specific needs and help trainees learn important skills like how to complete form items and upload data
- Dashboard customization: Setting up dashboard panels to meet your organization’s specific needs
A good software implementation program is standardized, efficient, and low-cost. It is focused on achieving and maintaining high user adoption across the organization.
At Perillon, we offer quick, fixed-cost implementation services along with a comprehensive Customer Care program that includes a user focus group, re-configuration services, tailored user training, and dashboard customization at no cost to the client.. Our commitment is to work with a client for a full year after go-live to help with change management and user adoption.