If you just think of one aspect of the IT solutions which only has the potential to touch each and every lives on earth, it has to be EHS Management Solutions and Services. Yet, EHS Management systems as it stands today, has still not delivered in proportion to the scope and potential it can offer. As world is getting interconnected and smarter by the days, the management of Environment, Health & Safety processes needs review both at the level of Enterprises and Government projects & initiatives around us.
Let’s talk about what is the present state of EHS Management solutions in most of the organizations today. Broadly, the need for IT solutions enablement for EHS Management can be classified under three categories.
- Regulatory Compliance
- ‘Efficient’ Monitoring for Internal Benchmarking and Reporting to Stakeholders
- Gaining a Competitive Edge
Till date most of the organizations adopted first two approaches. So, ERP vendors and Consulting services followed the client’s requirements and differentiated their solution/services mostly through robust integrations, rapid deployments, and more flexible reporting. But, this alone won’t achieve the third dimension listed above .i.e., ‘Competitive Edge’. And, in today’s business world, where top-line growth doesn’t guarantee the bottom-line, where margins pressure are tighter than ever, requirement for this ‘edge’ is becoming the most important dimension to play out for, both in CEO and CIO’s mind.
So, the big question is how to gain competitive edge through EHS Management systems? Can it be really achieved? There is lot of talk these days on the Digital Transformation of the businesses, and Disruptive Innovations are being conceived around this Digitization. People often talk mostly about redesigning core businesses of Logistics, Supply Chain, Production, Sales etc., but doesn’t focus much on EHS businesses and often consider it as ‘Cost Center’. This thought process is fast changing. With the advent of digital solutions, companies can now think of redefining their EHS strategies for gaining this edge.
In business parlance, finally everything boils down to money 😀 . Hence, you can only remain competitive and Sustainable, if you can reduce your undesired operating costs, which can be broadly done in two ways:
- Unrealized Costs: These are the costs which are usually associated with the various risks company is operating with. These risks can be operational which can cause a major Incident/Accident, it can be unexpected non-compliance to regulations leading to heavy penalties, it can be major equipment breakdown causing productivity loss, or it can be brand reputation risk leading to erosion in market value. These risks needs to be mitigated before they can really cause the damage. The conventional approach to Risk Management would be reactive, but you win the game only when you become pro-active. This necessitates for the provision of Real-time Predictive Analytics for the data around person/machines operating in work-areas, the trends/thresholds of critical machine parameters, smart algorithm based churning of huge data of DCS/SCADA/PLC/Sensors/Wearables/Analyzers/Data Historians etc.Today, this can be achieved only through strategic deployment of solutions around IoT (Internet of Things), Algorithms of Predictive Analytics/Big Data, IT-OT (Information Technology- Operational Technology) Integration concepts, with the power of in-memory data computing underneath.
- Realized Costs: There are always tremendous scope in the energy costs, which can be realized through smart deployment of digital solutions around the ERP landscape. Much of it can be achieved through efficient running of machines and equipment with the help of IT-OT Integrations, Industrial Automation and real-time monitoring & controls. In this context, it is worth mentioning the emergence of Industry 4.0 concepts which is claimed to be the fourth industrial revolution in making.
SAP is very much aware of these requirements in the immediate future and that’s why the core EHS solutions are being transitioned on to new EHSM platform based out of modern CE (Composition Environment) of NetWeaver, thereby giving enough flexibility for Integrating with future digital solutions. SAP is also ramping up rapidly in the territory of established MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) players like Honeywell, Aspentech etc. through solutions of MII, ME, Plant Connectors etc.
So, technology and services are on verge of change and disruptions, and EHS/PLM solutions are no more exceptions. Are you ready to participate in this Digital change? 🙂
In my future blogs, I also plan to write about the Digital possibilities in EHS areas beyond Industrial boundaries, which would also include Government Projects/Initiatives, and community activities. I also plan to write in detail about the futuristic EHS/PLM business cases woven around Digital solutions; watch out this space for more.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog 🙂 . I request for your feedback and comments. Let me know what do you think on modern EHS solutions?