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Time to think of Digital EHS Management

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.

  1. Regulatory Compliance
  2. ‘Efficient’ Monitoring for Internal Benchmarking and Reporting to Stakeholders
  3. 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?


Pavan Tripathi

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      Author's profile photo Christoph Bergemann
      Christoph Bergemann

      Hello Pavan

      very good write up 🙂 😆 😎

      I can not 100% agree to this statement (only a subpart of this statement)

      SAP is very much aware of these requirements in the immediate future and that’s why the core EHS solutions is being transitioned on to new EHSM platform based out of modern CE

      Yes SAP is doing a lot; and yes they transform old solutions to the new way to do it; but I am (today) pretty sure that some core parts will not be migrated (and if so may be in 5 years or more).

      But we should not discuss; is this user interface / approahc better than the other one. More important I agree to your statement: SAP tries to understand the needs of EHS world and prepare solutions which are more and more integrated with each other.

      Especially these topics are improved a lot by SAP

      - any kind of "query" part (e.g.via BW or other solutions (now more or less HANA based)

      - any kind of "useful" user interface presenting the data in user friendly interface (people love diagrams... especially management)

      - any kind of analysis tools (like "where used" etc.)

      And yes: it is really great work. Within a short period in time SAP was able to switch from version 1.0 to version 6.0  in component extension for SAP EHS Management. And we can clearly expect version 7.0 next year (this is my assumption; not knowing the details)

      But we can as well hope that SAP will not stop looking for enhancements in SAP EHS classic; here with Enhancement Package 7 GLM was supported much better,

      I am very interested in the the future especially if many of use will then use HANA based architectures.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Christoph,

      Thanks for your comments!

      I read below comments from Dow's CIO for upgrade to S4HANA and could just relate to your comments for pains of probably transitioning to EHSM solutions after having stabilized the classic solutions all these years 😐

        Dow Chemical CIO Says Another 8-Year ERP Project Is Unimaginable - The CIO Report - WSJ

      As you rightly said, besides developing solutions, SAP is also ensuring its User Commoditization through concepts of Mobility and Smart Analytics. Till EHSM 6.0, I see SAP building flexible platform (besides rationalization in solutions and better interface) to launch future transformation solutions as Business cases evolves. During this process, I am quite sure SAP will definitely take care of their existing customers for smoother transitioning. Rest, time would tell 🙂



      Author's profile photo Christoph Bergemann
      Christoph Bergemann

      Dear Pavan

      many companies are asking nearly the same questions to SAP but not all can be answered by them. E.g. one topic is: will there be an option to generate SDS/MSDS direct as "pdf" etc.

      many companies are looking for more automation (rule sets in SAP EHS classic); here SAP is providing more and more solutions. Same for their services (SERC/SERD).

      I hope they will improve more. Reason is quite simple: many chemical and other companies must pay people to judge on MSDS content (including DG data etc.). If a "system" can do the job more and more automated you need not to onboard the quite expensive "experts". And if you are acting international, and many chemical companies do that, you need to consider topics as: customs, trade control, and similar stuff on top to stay in complinace and to deliver fast. Especially the  "query" topic is in my opnion the "hype" (hurra that there is SAP HANA ; hope this will help). As well reason is quite simple:

      The "enduser/user" will more and more ask you: provide me data; is the rpdocut in compliance with regulation a, b, c, d....

      You need fast IT solutions to provide fast answers including data and more important documents; so the integration of EHS IT solutions in the SAP framework is more and more important. Let us hope that SAP can deliver additional solutions in the EHS (and may be GTS and other world) to support the many needs of a company dealing with chemistry (and even e.g. chemical waste is a kind of chemistry)


      Author's profile photo Satyanarayana Reddy Dondapati
      Satyanarayana Reddy Dondapati

      Hi Pavan,

      It's awesome wrote up on Digital EH&S Management.I hope that your ideas definitely comes into action soon.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Satya!

      Watch out this space for specific business cases in my next blogs.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good insight and well thought out article..


      M Gopal

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Mahinth!