EHS Software Management Solutions

Demystifying the Software Selection Process for your EHS and Sustainability Needs

May 6, 2024

By: Katherine Horn

So, you’ve established ambitious and attainable Environmental, Health, Safety, and Sustainability (EHSS) goals for your company. Excellent! Your company is on its way to being more efficient, profitable, and competitive. So now what? How do you manage these initiatives, ensure that your staff implements change, and track your progress to your goals? For many, the answer lies in technology. There are lots of different software systems available to you that can help streamline EHS & Sustainability management and selecting the right software vendor for your needs is crucial. That can seem like a daunting process, so we’re here to break it down for you. Read on for our step-by-step guide to help you navigate the vendor selection process and find the ideal solution for your organization’s needs.

Establish your EHS & Sustainability digital strategy

Before diving into vendor software selection, it’s essential to establish a clear digital strategy. Think about buying a house. It’s unlikely that you would purchase a house without first aligning with your household on how many bedrooms you need, what neighborhood you want to live in, and your budget. Similarly, a digital strategy will help you:

  • identify goals,
  • gain alignment across your organization,
  • secure leadership buy-in,
  • and, most importantly, understand your specific needs.

Avoiding this step can lead to wasted effort or worse: no one uses it, failed audits, or even casualties.

Luckily, we’ve created a workbook designed to walk you through every step you need to take to create your EHS & Sustainability digital strategy, which you can download by clicking the button below.

Prepare for software demos

Now you have a clear digital strategy. The next step is to synthesize the requirements identified in your strategy into a formal document. This document will serve as a guide for vendors, helping them understand your needs and prepare for demonstrations. Including use cases in this document is incredibly important and can turn a generic demo into a key differentiator. Your vendors likely offer the same features, but do those features function in a way that fits your specific needs? For example, you might ask a vendor to demonstrate their incident logging process from start to finish, including event logging, creating action plans, and linking incidents to investigations. This step ensures that you are comparing vendors based on your specific requirements.

Every house in your search might have a garage, but will it fit the car and your tools?

Create a script

Make sure you write out a list of questions that you want answered in every vendor demo. This will ensure you’re comparing vendors apples to apples. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is your cloud solution single or multi-tenancy? Do you offer a hosted option?
  • Does your system support Android and iOS devices?
  • Does your solution offer support for other languages?
  • What percentage of your offering is ready to use out-of-the-box and what is configurable vs. customizable?
  • Will we be able to integrate our Business Intelligence tools?
  • What other costs are there besides licensing?
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Create scoring criteria

Before evaluating vendors, establish how you will score and compare them. This could be a simple evaluation based on your needs or a more detailed scorecard with weighted requirements. The goal is to have a systematic way to assess vendors, much like evaluating houses based on specific criteria such as location, size, and amenities. You might value an easier commute to the office over the square footage of your house, just as you might value an easy navigation menu over mobile compatibility.

Review outside information

In addition to your internal assessments, seek outside information to inform your decision. Look at how other companies in your industry are using particular software solutions, consult independent research groups for their rankings such as the Verdantix Green Quadrant (which can be found from vendor websites for free), Capterra, or Gartner, and/or talk to consultants like us!

Assess and select

Now you have all the criteria needed to make your vendor selection. Assess your vendor scores and identify which vendors align most with your highest priority needs. After taking into account what you’ve learned from industry peers, you should have a clear idea of the vendor that will best suit your company’s needs.

Start your digital journey today

Just as a real estate agent simplifies the home-buying process, a software selection service streamlines the vendor selection process and helps you find a solution that meets your organization’s goals and requirements. With decades of collective experience in EHS & Sustainability software management systems, Montrose is a trusted partner for all stages of your digital journey. We tailor our services based on the specific needs of our clients and develop cost-efficient plans to find the right solution. While we have a long list of industry leading technology partners with a variety of specialties, our selection process is transparent and independent of our relationships with software vendors. Reach out if you want to discuss your digital journey, no matter what stage you’re in.

Katherine Horn
Principal Consultant
Katherine Horn is a Principal Consultant at Huco Consulting with more than 13 years of experience implementing environmental, health, and safety data management systems. Her clients have a world-wide footprint and represent a variety of industries including Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Utilities, and Transportation. As a solutions expert, her role is to guide clients from software selection to a successful software deployment and to continue to support businesses as they manage change. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Rice University.

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