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7 Signs It's Time to Replace Your EHS Software

EHS software is a big investment.

So once you’ve purchased a system, it’s natural to want to hold on to it for a long time. In the same way that many of us would rather nurse along an older car than pay to replace it, it can be tempting to keep an older program around even if you’re experiencing some problems.

Ultimately, though, there comes a point where you need to ditch your old EHS software and find a new one. So when is it time to change your EHS software?

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to seek out a replacement.

Learn what EHS software is, how it can benefit your business, and how to choose the right system for you.

1. The vendor over-promised and under-delivered

Few things are as frustrating as dropping thousands of dollars on an EHS software system that doesn’t perform as advertised. When a vendors sets your expectations too high and isn’t able to deliver, it can seriously hurt your results and your confidence in the system.

Sometimes, you might find out that the software requires extensive customization to meet your requirements — which can cause the implementation to drag on forever. Other times, you may discover that your “affordable” system comes with lots of hidden costs for upgrades, configuration, support and maintenance. While it’s hard to accept that your system doesn’t live up to its promises, it may be time to cut your losses and move on.

Next time around, look for a standardized system that can be implemented quickly for a fixed price — not a custom system that’s loaded with time and cost uncertainty. Ask lots of questions during the demo, and make sure the vendor sets realistic expectations. And remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Your data is inaccurate

Inaccurate data is another huge issue for EHS teams. At best, you end up wasting time trying to find and fix errors. At worst, it can end up costing you thousands of dollars in fines or penalties or cause you to overlook a serious issue that leads to an accident.

Reasons for inaccurate data abound, but manual data entry is a common culprit. The more data you have to enter manually, the more room there is for error. Newer EHS systems can reduce data entry errors with data importation, error checking, integrations, standardization, and formula management.

3. You need to share information with other business tools

Many older EHS systems lack the ability to integrate with other third-party tools. If your EHS software can’t communicate with your CEMs, ERP, accounting, or other applications, then you’re not getting the full benefit these systems can provide.

Today, modern EHS software systems offer two-way integration with your other business tools. So for example, you can easily pull huge volumes of emissions data directly from your CEMs into your EHS platform. Or, you can export all your incident costs directly to your financial system for reporting. In this way, integrations save you from the pain of having data stored in disparate systems.

4. It doesn’t work with your workflows

EHS software should make your team more productive by streamlining common tasks like collecting data, assigning corrective actions, and creating reports. But if your EHS software is constantly getting in the way, then it may no longer be a good fit for your organization.

When you’re evaluating your options, look for EHS software that is used by companies in your industry. These companies will likely need to complete similar tasks with similar workflows. If they’re happy with the system, it’s a good indication you will be, too.

5. Your employees are frustrated

It may be that your software is too complex for the everyday user. Or, you might find that bugs and glitches interfere with getting work done. Other times, it’s simply that the vendor sold you the system and didn’t provide sufficient training.

In any case, EHS software is only valuable if your team uses it consistently. So if your employees are constantly fed up with your existing software, it’s time to bite the bullet and find a new system.

Next time around, look for a system that is designed to be user-friendly. Good software is designed to be used by a wide range of employees with varying skills. Also, be sure to ask what kind of support the vendor offers (and whether or not it’s included in their price quote).

6. The software tries to do too much

Sometimes, too much of a good thing really is a bad thing. A system packed with hundreds of features can end up being more distracting than useful. Not only that, but you may find yourself wasting loads of money each year on features you never use.

In the future, you’re better off choosing a focused solution that does a few things exceptionally well rather than the system with the most snazzy features. Simple systems are easier to implement, learn, and use. They’re also easier for the vendor to maintain, which means you’ll typically experience fewer technical issues.

7. You can’t work on the go

Without mobile functionality, your EHS software can feel like a ball and chain. You’re not able to see your data unless you’re sitting at your desk, so it's hard to keep tabs on important tasks and easy to fall behind.

Today, cloud-based EHS software systems allow you to access your data from anywhere with a WiFi connection. Some systems even enable you to capture data offline and sync when you’re back in network, which is especially useful if you need to complete JHAs or inspections in remote locations where a signal isn’t available.

Your next steps

The decision to replace your EHS software is never an easy one. Whether you’re weighing the benefits of a new system or simply need something that won’t crash all the time, we’re here to help. You might want to check out this next article that explains how much EHS software costs.

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