The value of connecting an environmental health and safety (EHS) solution with the enterprise asset management (EAM) system is common knowledge in the industry. Most likely, you already know the value creation that is possible when these two systems are connected. However, the reality is that very few organizations implement and attain a truly integrated relationship between EHS and the assets of production. Why is that?
EAM helps ensure a high-quality standard for the product you are manufacturing using assets (material impacts) while EHS keeps the resources i.e., labor who utilize the assets, productive and safe. Together, they impact operational performance in a very fundamental way. The crucial impact that disruptions in material and labor can have on the ability to deliver on the production schedule is obvious.
This leads me to ask, in these days of COVID-19 pandemic with material and labor shortages, and renewed focus on business resiliency and continuity, why are EHS departments not at the same table with enterprise transformation discussions? Sure, there are leaders in the industry that are addressing sustainability as the new cornerstone, but most surveys and research analysts still see the EHS department as a cost center that addresses incidents and compliance.
Connected EAM and EHS systems will impact business operations starting with enhanced life cycle, increased assets availability, improved ROI and ROA using optimized assets while at the same time taking into consideration the employee lives, surrounding community, and natural environment.
How does EAM and EHS combine to create safer, more sustainable work environments?
Production losses from equipment failure in manufacturing carries over from asset management into incident management seamlessly. For manufacturers to manage the supply and delivery schedule, resource requirements planning, rough cut planning, and detailed capacity requirements planning is used to balance the material plan and forecast within ERP. The ability to manage assets and the labor needs of trained and skilled workers is necessary for the manufacturer to operate.
With all these checks and balances in place, manufacturers handle incidents with great care and potentially are avoiding them altogether. Prevention of similar issues in the future demand organizational change to correct processes that jeopardize employee safety. To conduct transformation, cross-functional collaboration and operational data utilization, organizations need solutions that work like a single platform.
EHS Department: It is Time for Your Seat at the Table
Did the pandemic finally bring us the paradigm nirvana of improving cross-functional collaboration and the integration of disparate systems and data that has held us back in operational excellence? Seems like a generalization as the topic of health and safety resonates in executive meetings and boardrooms lately. Standalone approaches to EHS management no longer are a feasible option. Bring your own chair if needed.
Stakeholders come in three different flavors: Executives, Operations (including frontline employees), and Business Function leaders. The executive level is concerned with achieving the organization’s strategic objectives and overall business performance. Operations leaders are focused on allocating resources to meet operating, quality, and safety objectives across production, delivery, and service. Leaders of business functions such as R&D, supply chain, EHS, and quality strive to improve performance while supporting core business operations.
EHS leaders and their EAM counterparts are part of the core fabric of the business. They together need to change the perceived reality from a “department” responsible for safety and environmental matters, to a strategic constituent helping achieve corporate objectives. Bring to the table business cases and continuous improvement programs that embed EHS in your organization’s Operational Excellence and Digital Transformation initiatives.
Grab a seat at the table and make the entire organization successful. Communicate information from risk management systems to the shop floor to deliver a premier safety culture and mitigate operational risk.
Part of a 3-part series by David Cahn, ComplianceQuest Marketing team.