Convince Your Boss: How to Prove EHS Software ROI
By Cory Sander
You’re ready to buy EHS software for your company. It’s clear to you the time is right to make this investment for your environmental, health and safety program. Maybe you’ve even sat through a few software demos. But … you still have to convince your boss to sign off on a big change and an ongoing financial investment. How can you win buy-in from management? Show them the return on investment with a few smart ways to calculate ROI.
Show how much you’ll save by replacing meetings and calls.
Efficiency gains are one of the biggest business benefits of environmental, health and safety software. Once you have your solution up and running, you’ll be able to log into the software from your laptop and see that the monthly SPCC inspection is complete or view a copy of the OSHA Form 300a. The software becomes a tool to automatically track and log all the EHS tasks.
With this virtual collaboration zone, you may be able to change those weekly or monthly EHS meetings and calls to quarterly or annually. And reduce email time, too. This frees up a huge number of valuable worker hours, and all you have to do is calculate it. Assign an hourly rate to each person then estimate the number of hours saved per person. Finally, do the math to show your boss the thousands of dollars in time you’re giving back to the company.
Point out the value of reducing risks.
EHS software gives you data snapshots of your entire environmental, health and safety program. You can see all the tasks being completed in one place, so it’s much less likely that something slips through the cracks. It’s also easy to review reports right in the software to make sure things are being done right. This new reality improves everything from day-to-day worker safety to reducing the risks of a larger incident. Read how minutes well-spent in an inspection could save your company millions.
Explore the possibility of flattening the management team.
We’ve already talked about how having all your data in one place makes it easier to keep track of what’s happening in your company. But what if that efficiency meant you could change the management structure? Instead of having one EHS director at each facility, you might be able to have one director oversee environmental, health and safety at three or four facilities. This represents a large cost savings, and it’s the kind of ROI your executive team is likely to embrace quickly. Just be sure to set expectations about how long it will take to get your system up and running at full capacity.
Streamline internal audits and external inspections.
Conducting internal audits is a good management practice, but it can be tough to provide all the relevant documentation to an inspector. With EHS software, you can give your auditor access to exactly what you see, or alternately, you might quickly run reports that give a snapshot of your EHS program.
The same goes for external inspections. If the EPA shows up for a records inspection, you’ll have your documents in order, all in one place. It’s a huge time-savings if you don’t have to spend hours and hours compiling information. Again, determine your hourly cost and estimate the time you’d spend on these tasks. Multiply the two and add the savings to your ROI report for the management team.
Investing in EH&S software is a solid business decision, and now you have a few more tools to show the return on investment to management. Once they see the dollars and cents, it’s going to be easier to gain buy-in for the purchase.