What is the next “hot” application in EHS software?


Two issues will dominate EHS software and services, namely rationalizing chemical compliance data against “shelved inventory” data and global regulatory compliance. First, true chemical management efforts begin with “knowing” what you have. Success in this arena will depend on the efficiencies of integrating legacy purchasing/ inventory data with actual physical inventories from each operating location. Look for RFID tags to play an expanding role in data collection, inventory management and compliance reporting.

Second, the advent of stronger Internet offerings and the compression of the global economy require U.S. companies trading internationally to address global language and local regulatory complexities.

Mark Wysong, CEO, Dolphin Software, Inc.

Customers are beginning to embrace online solutions for training more and more. Customers are implementing the infrastructure to support online training and are realizing the benefits. Technology is increasing rapidly; therefore, online solutions can reach a broader audience, including remote locations. The cost reduction is substantial, especially when you consider travel costs and downtime for training.

We have a substantial number of our customers who are making the switch to online; those same customers were using video and CD-Rom five years ago, some even two years ago. I believe in 2006 we will see an extensive increase in online training.

Sara Hornik, Marketing Director, Summit Training Source, Inc.

Tools that enable proactive collaboration across organizational and departmental boundaries, reflecting the integration of EHS employees in other business units, comprise the next “hot” EHS software application. Corporate offices and facility staffs are sharing Web-based software tools to promote communication in real-time about self-assessment results, data analysis and corrective action tracking. For example, corporate personnel at one multi-national chemical company depend on staff in each one of their 22 facilities to complete comprehensive Web-based safety and environmental assessments, after which all parties collaborate on trend analysis of the data to determine root causes. Priorities are then focused on fixing deficiencies and highlighting and sharing best practices.

Web-based tracking software enables all parties to trace improvement initiatives across the entire company. “Hot” software now focuses on EHS processes, but is not limited to it.

Arlene Davidson, Marketing Director, Dakota Software Corp.

I think the next “hot” application in this sector actually will involve groups of applications working in concert to take environmental information management to a whole new level. Faced with growing pressures to meet regulatory compliance requirements and protect stakeholder value, organizations are turning to integrated EHS information management solutions to reduce risks and costs, and generate competitive business advantages.

For example, using Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Audit programs that are part of an integrated software suite can help users identify areas where their processes can be made more efficient, even in routine operations. In terms of Operational Risk Management, the Audit program is designed to identify deficiencies and JHA can then be used to adjust control measures to prevent an incident from occurring.

Robert Johnson, CEO, ESS

The next “hot” application in EHS software is a Web-based MSDS exchange system that will allow manufacturers or suppliers to upload electronic MSDSs to a site and users to download them directly into their EHS software. This downloaded MSDS data will go directly into the proper database fields, making it available for required environmental reporting. Users will be able to automatically update all of their MSDSs from one site without having to contact individual manufacturers. Not only does a Web-based MSDS exchange system simplify the authoring and distribution process for manufacturers, it also offers users a demonstrable cost saving.

Lynn Prich, Interim MIRS Marketing Manager, A V Systems, Inc.

You might be thinking about remote sensing instrumentation applications using nanotechnology or perhaps, given recent natural disasters, high-resolution satellite imagery for emergency planning and response.

I think the next “hot” application in EHS software will be risk assessment based eLearning. This application provides just-in-time personalized health, wellness, behavior and risk assessment that interactively interprets health, injury and lifestyle risks. The solution will use evidence-based best practice guidelines, and delivers personalized multi-media recommendations to empower, educate and motivate people to improve their health and safety.

This type of technology-driven EHS software solution will lead your organization beyond compliance to excellence.

Ron A. Kirsch, Vice President of Business Development, PureSafety