We recently introduced the concept of e-permits as a modular solution. With e-permits comes the assurance that people work safely and are safe at work. This is everyone’s goal, but software comes with a price tag and businesses usually need to justify expenditure by way of a return-on-investment.
This post describes the ROI components of e-permits and then opens up the broad discussion of engaging your Board on Health and Safety investments.
e-permits can deliver process efficiencies, avert the significant costs of incidents and reduce insurance premiums for Employers in future years.
The core module of e-permits (Permit Workflow) is the key generator of ROI as it is clearly seen to:
- Quantifiably reduce the time for contractors to submit permits
- Quantifiably reduce the time for Approvers to review and approve permit requests
- Quantifiably reduce the time for all users in the permit-to-work process due to the use of automatic notifications when permits have been submitted, approved, issued and closed
- Eliminate the time spent servicing queues of contractors requesting permits at the permit office first thing in the morning. The only people queuing at the permit office will be those contractors already with approved permits that just need a single click “issue” to enable work to start.
The Compliance Modules (Worker, RAMS and Contractor Compliance) generate ROI by:
- Reducing the time for contractors to submit permits as compliance checks are done BEFORE a permit can be submitted – meaning only fully compliant permit requests can be submitted for approval
- Reducing the time for Approvers to review and approve permit requests as they will not need to refer to other systems or documents when checking compliance of a permit request.
- Reducing the time for all users in the permit-to-work process due to the use of automatic notification when any training, induction, insurance cover, RAMS validity period etc. is about to expire, thus prompting re-submission and re-approval before permit requests can be submitted
- Reducing the Business Risk of an incident occurring due to, or related to, a non-compliance that was missed in the review or approval process.
For more specific information on the business benefits of using e-permits, please refer to these earlier posts:
- Using e-permits to Reduce Cost
- Using e-permits to Reduce Risk
- Delivering Increased Control and Compliance Using e-permits
Engaging Your Board
Having the ‘logical justification’ (ROI) available for a particular investment (health and safety related or otherwise) isn’t going to be sufficient unless you, or someone else, has already been through the process of ‘selling’ it to senior management.
If that ‘selling’ has been done then there is likely to be a line item in the budget that you can procure against. But, what if there isn’t a line item in the budget? What happens if you need to evangelise ideas to your Board through layers of senior management? How do you make this happen?
We’ve covered this in part in an earlier post on practical tips to get C-suite and Board level buy-in which was embellished in a later webinar: Getting C-Suite Buy-In.
We also recently discussed why a simple ROI is unlikely to be sufficient of a motivator for your Board in our post Making Safety a Keystone Habit.
Nothing is more important than health and safety but what if your Board is currently focused on different goals? Is there a way you can still get the investment you need? What’s the alternative to admitting defeat and waiting for the business climate to change (either through regulatory change or, god forbid, a major incident)?
Here’s one idea based on an example from the Insurance industry. It’s not health and safety related but it serves the point.
The Fraud department wants to buy a system that will predict fraud during first notification of loss (FNOL) – the first call a customer makes to notify the insurer of a new claim. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the budget allocated and the CEO had her goals for the year aligned to customer satisfaction.
Option #1 was to build a case for making the investment in subsequent years. Not very inspiring.
Option #2 was to link the investment in the new fraud system to the CEO’s goal for improved customer satisfaction. Much more inspiring.
What the fraud system provided to the insurance agent at FNOL (i.e. during that very first call) was a score that predicted whether the claim was: a) definitely fraud, b) definitely not fraud, or c) not possible to confidently predict fraud/not fraud. Of course, c) was the existing state of the business at FNOL, but a) gave the fraud team what they wanted, and b) gave the business the opportunity to settle the claim right there at FNOL, thereby, delighting customers (and the CEO).
Linking the fraud system to customer satisfaction enabled the fraud team to deploy the system in that same financial year despite the lack of a line item in the budget. CEOs always have a war chest whether for contingency or special projects. Your job is to find the key.