8 Benefits of Environmental Management Software
By Dylan DeZeeuw
More and more companies are switching to environmental management software, and for good reason. We are being asked to do more with less, as environmental compliance grows increasingly complex. Something has got to give. Managing spreadsheets, switching between multiple systems, and searching for scattered information just doesn’t cut it anymore.
So, what exactly are the benefits of environmental management software? Well, we’ve put together a list to answer just that. And if you’re not sure whether or not you need environmental management software, here are four signs it might be time to buy.
Benefits of Environmental Management Software:
- Identify and organize compliance obligations
- Standardize and centralize activities
- Delegate responsibility and drive accountability
- Measure, monitor, and analyze program performance
- Improve documentation and recordkeeping
- Ensure program continuity
- Save time and money
- Reduce compliance risk
Identify and Organize Compliance Obligations
In the process of implementing environmental management software, you will likely be reviewing your requirements for each facility. This could reveal items that were being overlooked, which could prevent violations and penalties down the line. Once you have all your requirements in the system, conducting annual compliance reviews or audits will be much easier. No more searching through paper files, spreadsheets, and in-house databases to find information.
Standardize and Centralize Activities
Having everything organized into one centralized system makes it easier to find and review your requirements. A centralized system also allows you to standardize requirements across every facility, so everyone is on the same page and using the same standard procedures. This ensures that activities and data are completed and recorded in a consistent, predictable way.
Delegate Responsibility and Drive Accountability
By automating the assignment of tasks and reminders, environmental management software makes delegating responsibilities with clear instructions simple. Everything needed to complete the activity can be included in the task or email itself.
Meanwhile, managers and directors can quickly check the compliance status at every facility to hold individuals accountable. There are also escalation emails sent to managers and directors when things go overdue, so nothing slips through the cracks unnoticed.
Measure, Monitor, And Analyze Program Performance
Reporting and analyzing compliance performance can consume a significant amount of time. Environmental management software simplifies this process by providing at-a-glance views of your compliance performance. Other, more extensive reports enable you to analyze your data so you can benchmark and discover trends. Ultimately, this will save you time on compliance reporting.
Improve Documentation and Recordkeeping
As mentioned earlier, having one standardized system ensures activities and data are recorded in a consistent, predictable way. In many environmental software systems, you can also require documentation to be uploaded before the task can be completed.
This makes all the difference when you are searching for documentation for inspection or reporting purposes. If you’ve ever had to search through filing cabinets, stacks of paper, emails, or poorly named electronic files, you know the importance of organized documentation.
Ensure Program Continuity and Create a Legacy
This is an important one. Maintaining your compliance program through changes or disruptions can be tricky if it isn’t documented and organized.
For example, when a key member of your environmental compliance program leaves, it can be difficult to capture all their knowledge before they walk out the door. Without a centralized location to document and share information, you might be left scrambling to sort through the mess. Environmental management software reduces information loss and facilitates an easy transition of duties.
Another example is happening as this article is being written – a major disruption like a pandemic. COVID-19 caused changes in the workforce, temporary and permanent plant shut-downs, and working from home. Keeping up with your requirements amid all that change is a lot tougher when your program isn’t centralized and able to be accessed remotely.
Save Time and Money
Environmental teams spend too much time on administrative tasks like management reporting, data review and analysis, implementing program changes, and following up on tasks. The benefits and features we mentioned above help to eliminate many of these time-consuming tasks.
Making employees more productive is just one way environmental management software helps lower costs. It also prevents requirements from slipping through the cracks, which can help your company avoid violations, penalties, and fines. Typically, customers see a return on their investment within a year.
Reduce Compliance Risk and Gain Peace of Mind
Last but certainly not least, environmental management software reduces compliance risk and gives you peace of mind. Keeping up with requirements across several facilities is a difficult endeavor. An environmental management system lets you see exactly what’s happening, or not happening, at each and every facility.
So, Why Environmental Management Software?
At the end of the day, environmental management software makes complicated simple. And having a simple, consistent process is the best way to ensure program longevity and success.
Think you’re ready for environmental, or EHS, software? There are a lot of options out there, and the search can be overwhelming. Take the time to map out your problem areas and define your must-have features. Then narrow down your options and start attending software demonstrations. Once you start watching demos, here are four key questions to ask during an EHS software demo.
If you’re already on the search and interested in a simple, affordable environmental management software, we’d love to set up a demo of PlanTRAK.