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By Mary Diamantidis
Finding a cost-effective Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) management systems software to fit your company’s needs is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Every organization is different in some way, and invariably needs at least some customization to properly use the right EHS software. Customizing such software to fit specific requirements can sometimes be more complicated than expected.
This article aims to provide you with some handy tips in how to choose the right EHS software for your company.

The importance of a good software program
It is first important to understand the value you are getting in purchasing cost-effective software. In these days where tech rules, it should be common knowledge that the efficiencies that can be achieved by software tools is far greater than pen and paper or an excel spreadsheet. Unfortunately, while companies are depending on their employees to get work done, they are setting themselves back immensely if good technology is not utilized. A good cloud-based EHS software program can give companies the tools to take their production efficiency to the next level. As technology evolves, so must the technology you use. This is why cloud-based systems make so much sense; they are constantly reviewed and updated by their creators and don’t become operational dinosaurs. Implementing the right software will help your organization improve accuracy and maximize efficiency to better your work and organization as a whole.

Choosing the right software
Before acquiring any type of software, it is pivotal to test the product and see if it fits your company needs and expectations.
In order to understand if the program you are looking at will suit your business needs, you have to try it out first right? Do the free trial, talk to representatives, input actual data from your company files, and spin all of the wheels. Subscription-based EHS programs, where you pay as you go, make a lot of sense and reduce risk considerably. Even though this stage can be time-consuming and tedious, it is extremely important. A common mistake that big companies make is that they stick to the same program they have been using for years, instead of continually testing and looking for improved programs to fit their ever-changing needs as a company.
Test-driving EHS software involves having actual users trying out the system as well. There is no use in just having the CEOs or other decision-makers purchasing an expensive program because of the name or reputation it has. Make sure that the people who will be actually using the software access and use the program and report whether it is easy, efficient to use and meets the needs of the organization. Although we are talking about collaborating through technology here, human communication is undoubtedly essential for a good work-place environment, and the members or an organization should have some agreement about the software they are sharing.
Another consideration in choosing the right software is that you may have to change existing workplace habits. It is smart to choose a software that has been chosen by industry leaders, and adapt work processes accordingly. Not every software can fit the exact program that your company already has. It is important to be open to changing gears once in a while to adapt to something that will most likely increase production in the future. Change is hard and often not readily adopted, but change is the only constant in our world.
In Conclusion
Acquiring new EHS software is a challenging proposition. It requires your organization to introduce something unfamiliar to its employees and for them to re-learn how to do their daily work differently from the way they have been accustomed to. This is something that takes time and patience to embrace. But it is worth it! Selecting a good EHS software program will undoubtedly help your organization soar; safely, efficiently and cost-effectively…you just have to believe in it!
About the author: Mary Diamantidis is a research analyst at Chemical Safety Software (www.chemicalsafety.com). She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in communications from the American College of Greece in Athens in 2015. She can be reached at maryd@chemicalsafety.com