Skip to content

7 First-Time EHS Software Buyer Mistakes to Avoid

Buying EHS software for the first time can feel intimidating. There’s a lot to think about, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most value from your investment. But fear of making a mistake shouldn’t stop you from realizing the many benefits EHS software has to offer! To help you sidestep the most common pitfalls, here are seven first-time buyer mistakes to avoid:

Download our free 8-point checklist to help you choose the right EHS software

Too much

One of the biggest miscalculations first-time software buyers make is overestimating the functionality they need. It’s easy to get carried away with hundreds of features that most of your team won’t ever use — and some vendors will be happy to let you make that mistake. However, when you’re just starting out, you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Too little

On the other hand, you don’t want to buy a system that you’ll outgrow in a year or two. The solution? Look for a flexible system that allows you to start small and add on as your needs change. This will give you plenty of room to grow without overwhelming your team or blowing your budget.


The good news is you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a high-quality software system. Today’s buyers have more options than ever, so you’re sure to find a solution that meets your needs at an affordable price point. Learn more about what you can expect to pay for EHS software here.

Not budgeting for extra costs of ownership

It’s easy to overspend on software when you forget to factor in extra costs like implementation, training, and adding additional users. In fact, NAEM found that the average buyer spent about twice as much as they anticipated for implementation. Don’t let this happen to you — be sure to ask about the “total cost of ownership” when discussing pricing with potential vendors.

Not preparing for the implementation process

Implementing a new software system can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The best way to keep it from taking longer than it needs to is to choose a ‘shovel-ready’ system that requires minimal configuration. As an added benefit, these tend to be much more user-friendly than highly customized systems. Learn more about configuration vs. customization here.

Getting distracted by fancy features

Salespeople often like to focus on features during the demo. A lot of features look impressive, but the demo is your chance to find out how the software will actually help you solve your problem — whether that’s ensuring compliance, reducing risk, or saving money. To determine which system is best for you, stay focused on your challenges, requirements, and assessing how well the product can help you meet your goals.

Buying the software your colleague/friend/______ recommended

Recommendations are a great starting point when you’re shopping for software. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming what’s right for someone else will be right for you, too. Every business is different, so it’s important to choose the software system that meets your needs specifically.

Final thoughts

Many of the most common mistakes first-time software buyers make can be avoided simply by learning from the experiences of others. A knowledgeable vendor should be able to guide you through the entire process, from evaluating your needs to ensuring widespread user adoption.

Next, set yourself up for success by learning the 12 questions you should ask during a software demo.

click to download software selection checklist