5 ways to justify the cost of Health and Safety Software to the executive

Getting budget approval and buy-in from senior management is not only difficult for EHS professionals but can also be a daunting task. Did you know? Getting buy-in and budget approval is noted as a top barrier to purchasing EHS Software, with 31% of companies saying that ‘no ROI justification’ is the main barrier to getting EHS tech funding.

If you can relate to these barriers, it may be time to start building your case! Below are the top tips to help you along the way:

Get your executives attention

Make sure you spend some time thinking about what makes your CEO, CFO, COO, and decision-makers tick. What are the problems they’re facing and what keeps them up at night?

  • Define the problem. Understand the most time-consuming tasks your team (including suppliers and contractors) perform each week, and what are the productivity issues? What are the biggest risks facing your organization?
  • Quantify the problem. How much time are employees spending on these tasks? How many major/minor incidents occur each year? What are the costs associated with these incidents?
  • Define the opportunities to improve the process. Think about the daily activities your core EHS team spends time on. What areas could be improved by automation? Break these down by focus area, for example, environmental reporting, audits & inspections, incident management, training management, management reporting, etc.

Describe your proposed solution

Now that you have everyone’s attention, describe the solution you are proposing. For example, describe how online capabilities with accessibility from any device, anywhere, can allow more employees to capture information at the source, in real-time, for better accuracy and all data stored in the right place. Case studies of how other companies have used this solution to achieve their goals will assist.

Do your homework

  • Make sure that you can show you have researched other available options, including an analysis of what you liked and did not like about each.
  • Be sure to explain what the software solution can and can’t do. For example, off the shelf software solutions are cost-effective and often quickly commissioned, however, they may only be able to service 80% of the company’s needs. More bespoke software is often very costly, could take up to several years to fully implement but will service 100% of the company’s needs. Remember to justify your proposal based on your decision maker’s needs!

Highlight the risks

  • Even though you’ve made a great argument for why you need new software and presented a great solution, it’s always easier for your decision-makers to not make a decision than to make a decision. It’s your job to show them why sticking their heads in the sand is a costly mistake.
  • Highlight the cost of doing nothing.
  • It might be a good idea to include an example of a recent incident you are aware of to make the risk real. The recent fire at the Bank of Lisbon building in the Johannesburg CBD is a good example – see the news on https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/johannesburg-fire-cbd-building-government-warned/

Present the value analysis

  • Finally, you need to help your decision-makers feel confident that an investment in EHS software is money well spent.
  • By showing the actual cost and time savings (as well as non-financial benefits), you can demonstrate how EHS software adds to the company’s bottom line
  • Show the potential saving – both financial and time – for each activity/process improvement proposed.
  • Identify a percentage saved for each activity, and the resulting number of hours saved.

In this guide, you’ve seen how to determine whether you’re ready to invest in EHS software. You’ve seen the steps to creating a business justification. And you’ve seen examples of business justifications that you can use as a model for your own. Now it’s your turn!