By: Thomas Carson
Easy and Impactful First Step to Process Automation
Process automation is a concept that has been around for decades, with each year being pronounced as, “this is the year automation is going to take off…” Like driverless cars, I am sure it will come eventually through a combination of improving technology and generational transition. It occurs to me that there is an easy first step toward process automation that would generate quick results. More on that in a moment.
The rub with automation projects is that they are often sold as delivering big, hairy audacious goals that not only are challenging to implement, but also raise very human fears of job stability. It turns out that automation projects often create more jobs than they eliminate, but successfully convincing workers of that takes more patience and finesse than many technical managers have. For a good summary of what happens, and how you can avoid the pitfalls, check out a blog by Steve Fishman at Mulesoft. The essence of the story is that you can be more successful by identifying smaller, discrete projects with well-defined goals and timelines than by launching a massive, comprehensive project that touches many moving parts.
In a former life as a finance and operations executive, I observed that an issue with general process automation was that without extraordinarily focused projects, realizing high value was challenging. I contrast that with implementing EHS (Environmental, Health & Safety) software within an organization. First, the mission is clear: let’s improve the processes for managing our EHS program, which improves safety and saves money. This is easy to understand and usually easy to get broad buy-in from employees. Results are easy to measure and visible to all, re-enforcing support for the initiative.
EHS software is a category of automation software, and a great first place to start in an organization’s path toward process automation. This is because every company needs tools to manage risk. Here are just a few benefits companies can see from implementing sophisticated, easy to implement and use Sospes EHS software:
- Keep employees safe from injury or death
- Reduce injuries, lost time, workers comp claims and insurance premiums
- Improve employee productivity
- Improve employee satisfaction & engagement
- Reduce turnover
- Stay compliant with regulations and avoid fines
- Improve ESH with safe work environment and be proactive with documented ESH actions
- Make data-driven decisions
- Institute a tech-driven safety education program with online training and certification tracking
While fulfilling the primary mission of managing and optimizing EHS compliance and program initiatives for an organization, the software more broadly streamlines workflow and eliminates many redundant activities. And, with the Sospes Customer Success Team, implementations are truly simple – typically live within 4 weeks so that our customers see results fast. Our customers have received payback on their first-year investment in Sospes in 9 months on average from their go-live date and averaged ~170% Return on Investment over the first three-year period. The bulk of this comes from streamlining administrative tasks around data management and reporting, and reduction in number and severity of incidents. A tangential benefit accrues from employee turnover reductions in certain cases as well.
Sospes delivers significant improvements by streamlining and automating various business processes to improve efficiency, reduce human errors, and enhance overall productivity. We start by creating a digital “source document” at the point of incident (or close calls and observations), then managing the process of evaluating, correcting, mitigating and reporting on these incidents. Customers see improvements in:
- Workflow Automation: Designing and automating workflows, approvals, and task sequences.
- Data Integration: Connecting and integrating data from various systems and sources.
- Rule-Based Automation: Implementing rules and triggers to automate routine tasks.
- Document Management: Automating document creation, approval, and distribution processes.
- Task Scheduling: Scheduling and automating repetitive tasks and processes.
- Reporting and Analytics: Generating insights and reports from automated processes.
Sospes EHS software is a powerful platform for supporting continual improvement, initially in EHS processes, and in time across the organization. It also happens that the right EHS software is an effective platform for future technological enhancements, such as real-time monitoring of activities to replace some of today’s manual processes, like gas or noise monitoring, for example, and the addition of ESG reporting when your organization is ready for that step.
If your organization is looking to improve through process automation, it is worth taking a look at the organizational impact of implementing EHS software as a place to start. Give the expert team at Sospes a call and we’ll walk you through how easy it is to get our software up and running in just a month!