Why Building Your Own Safety Management System Doesn’t Work
I grew up at a time and in a place where generally if you needed something done you did it yourself, often with the help of your neighbors, who collectively seemed like they knew how to do anything. Build a garage? Check. Rebuild an engine? No problem. Replace the roof and add a skylight? Of course. I loved that resourcefulness, which in turn led to enormous self-confidence.
It was much later that I began to realize that the same self-confidence could be a limiting factor in getting big things done. Yes, my friend Kim could figure out how to take apart and repair the automatic transmission in his Chevelle, but it took him most of the summer to get it right. A classic case of just because you CAN do something doesn’t make it a good use of your time.
We talk to many companies evaluating safety management software options, and occasionally someone wants to launch into “building their own”. This is when we urge them to put down their beer and step away from the bar – we will call you a taxi to get home.
Whether it’s contracting out to a development shop to build a “custom” system or assigning the project to your inhouse IT department, making your own system is an expensive, high-risk proposition that in the best case will be a distraction from your core business and in the worst case will cost many times what you think it will for a system that does not come close to meeting all your needs.
These projects will take months, even years before the product is actually functional. Then when you’re ready to add new features, have a check book ready because these are not included in the initial development fees. Every update, change or edit will cost extra. The same dynamic plays out with internal IT departments. They are often really smart people, but they probably have a pretty good list of projects that are key to executing your core business – not going freelance to build a system that could be acquired quickly, for a fraction of the cost of building your own, and with a committed software vendor whose life depends on making sure your system is current and you are happy.
And lucky for you, there are lots of sound choices that can be deployed in your environment for immediate impact – no need to wait three years to recover your software investment.
So if you are seriously considering safety management software and think building your own is a good idea, step away from the bar and call us. If Sospes isn’t a great fit for you, we will help you find a vendor who is.
by Tom Carson
September 21, 2018
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