Companies that Roll Out Safety Programs Should Take the Time to Review the Processes, Create a Business Case & Ensure that the Data Drives Decision Making
CHICAGO, IL – When companies are preparing to digitize their safety program they should take the time to reevaluate their overall safety processes first. Companies that mirror their existing processes might miss the opportunity to evaluate the overall safety process.
Understand Your Processes
When companies digitize their existing forms and inspections they may be implementing questions that are no longer relevant or contradict best practices or government regulations. Some forms may be too long, not properly reviewed by supervisors or may not have any correlation between completing the form and decrease in incidents or fatalities.
Ask “Why, Who, When, Where, Why, How” for each form and inspection that is being digitized. Why is this form needed? When should it be filled out? Where should the form be filled out? Who should be filling this out? How are form revisions updated internally?
Before forms and inspections are digitized ask the following questions:
1. Who in our company is using this form now?
2. Are there different forms for different project types?
3. Does this form provide value for my company?
4. Is there a formal approval process?
5. How often is this form required to be filled out? Should it be done by a certain time of the day?
6. Is the form simple enough to fill out?
7. Are the questions structured and collected in such a way that information enables executives with good data to manage operations from anywhere?
8. How is this process being managed now?
9. What internal or external reporting is done, to whom, and how often?
10. Are there any forms that can be combined with this form?
Depending on the answers above, it might make sense and take a step back and better understand your safety culture. Perhaps a broader change management (communication) plan may be required before digitizing an existing form. It’s one thing to digitize a form, but if the paper form was not consistently being filled out and a new program now requires the form to be filled out everyday it could be a big change in the company so an effective communication plan should be well thought out.
Process Mapping and ROI
For more complex forms, it might be better to use process maps to visualize the process, get sign off from relevant departments and better calculate your ROI. Process maps (we like swim lanes) should detail the way that the form moves through a company.
Once you gather the information below, developing an ROI is not hard to calculate. Look at the amount of time that you are saving by completing the form electronically vs on paper. The calculation could be as simple as:
(# of people that complete that form daily) x (average daily labor rate) x (time saved)
For example, assume that you are saving 10 minutes by completing a form electronically and the average cost for an employee is $35/hour and the form needs to be done once a day on 10 projects. The savings calculation is 10min/60min/hr x $35/hr x 10 projects per day) = $59/day.
Depending on what you pay for the software, you will divide the cost of the software by $59 and you will calculate your ROI in days. If the software costs $1,000, then the ROI is 16 days.
As companies continue to digitize other forms, the savings add up quickly and the ROI may be reduced to hours from days. RTRS has a web based ROI calculator that helps companies determine their custom ROI.
Also, don’t forget about the soft or qualitative savings by moving to electronic forms such as:
-Legibility of the form
-Ensuring that employees are filling out the most current version of a form
-Certifying that all projects and employees are in compliance with the overall policy
-Employee satisfaction (reduce paper, saves time, part of the innovation process, etc)
Safety Program Compliance
Safety (or a lack of!) has always been a critical risk factor for Insurers. However, many Underwriters now not only want to understand what safety programs may be in place, but also how well are contractors complying with their own safety programs.