When you start buying a QHSE solution, the first instinct would be to ask your IT department for help. However, dedicated "no-code" solutions are available for QHSE services. The result is gaining efficiency, but above all autonomy and responsiveness without disrupting the day-to-day running of the service.
Getting out of the rush of everyday life is already a feat for overstretched IT teams, so when it comes to looking for new solutions for a digitisation project from the QHSE department, it is often not a priority and very complicated. This has to change because QHSE issues are vital.
In this context, is it conceivable to allow the QHSE department to take charge of the digitisation of their activities without it becoming a burden on a daily basis? How can this become feasible?
Unburden the IT department and let the QHSE department take charge
Two solutions are possible in the implementation of a digitising tool:
First solution: assign a person from the IT department to the configuration of the QHSE digital solution.
Another, more coherent choice: a "professional" person from the QHSE department sets the solution themself, in order to precisely match the needs of the field.
QHSE digitisation must also be continuous because the company's activities and the problems encountered evolve daily. This requires reactivity and operational knowledge to respond quickly to the emerging need.
Make the configuration of the solution accessible
No two companies in the world have the same non-compliance or action plan management form. For this reason, it is fundamental to favour a highly configurable digital solution. The idea is to reproduce the existing of the company and to evolve over the years.
The ideal would be a digital solution that can be configured without the need to enter or learn the computer code (this is called a no-code solution) and a web form replacing Word or Excel files that can be configured without being an IT expert.
Ensuring business continuity
QHSE managers might give up on the idea of digital transformation because of the fear of disrupting their current system too much and thus jeopardising their recertification, for example. This is why it is important to reproduce exactly everything the QHSE service has in its files. The idea is to project it into a digital solution without changing the organisation of its work but simplifying it.
The suggested tools must also comply with ATAWAD (AnyTime, AnyWhere, Any Device). This is important in the Quality and EHS field, which is managed in the field, often without access to the Internet. The offline mode will then be an essential asset and the collected data will be automatically synchronised when a network connection is re-established.
The QHSE digital solution must be robust and sustainable.
The digital solution must be easy to manage, modular and scalable. It is essential for the company to have a system that is at the cutting edge of technology and always up-to-date (without overburdening the IT department). It must therefore be sustainable over time and protected against computer obsolescence that requires software version changes or IT system migrations.
A pre-programmed SaaS (Software as a Service) solution seems to be the most adequate solution to allow a simple use, without software installation. Everything happens online. Everything is already set up to allow the user to create modules adapted to their needs (management of document bases, audits, management of prevention plans or AT/MPs...), only by choosing field types (date, text, drop-down menu...) and associated workflows (sending emails or alerts, synchronisation with other databases of the tool...).
Through regular updates, the QHSE service always benefits from a modern digital solution, which evolves over time through successive small incremental evolutions that do not disturb users and do not require training.
Today, there are solutions that are easy to access and simple to use to free up IT departments and let operational departments take charge. The digitisation of processes is now within everyone's reach, bringing time savings and a guarantee of quality in the risk and QHSE management.
To go further :
Thibaut Gilles est ingénieur QHSE de formation. Après plusieurs années sur le terrain, il est aujourd'hui content Manager chez BlueKanGo, spécialiste des questions HSE/EHSQ Engineer by trade and Content Manager @Bluekango / Ingeniero EHSQ por comercio y Gerente de Contenido @Bluekango/