One question we’re often asked is how long it typically takes to implement our safety software system from the time we first talk with a new customer.
The answer: Anywhere from a few days to a few years.
It all depends on the company. While we can have new tools up and running within days if your company knows exactly what it needs, it usually takes more time for key department managers to reach an agreement. When companies look into any new system, the person selling it can be eager to give a timeframe that sounds wonderful but isn’t always realistic. They aren’t considering the human side of implementation.
That’s why we’ll give you a more honest answer.
People need time to make up their minds, and they don’t always agree. Sometimes they hesitate for legitimate reasons, and sometimes they stall simply because someone else’s priority isn’t their priority. The most common hurdles to implementation we see are the size of the company, the decision-making process and budgeting approval.
Our largest client has hundreds of sites and can only roll out one safety module at a time, which can take a year or more.
To give you a better idea of what your company should expect as you implement a new system, consider how it worked for the Idaho Forest Group.
The lumber manufacturer has five facilities and more than 800 employees, most of who work in the mill. Seeing a need to streamline the company’s safety programs, Idaho Forest Group began searching for one consistent software system that could meet all of their safety and training needs. In the fall of 2012, they started researching safety databases, which led them to BasicSafe.
After about six months of discussion with key executives, including the safety officer, environmental and safety engineer, plant manager and human resources staff, Idaho Forest Group made the decision to roll out two BasicSafe modules at its Grangeville site in April 2013. If BasicSafe meets their needs, the company plans to implement it at other locations within the company.
“We wanted to make sure that the software could do everything that we wanted it to do: track our training in safety, JSAs, and human resources, as well as manage and track our JSAs and revisions,” Candi Brown, Human Resources, said. “Once we figured out what we wanted to do internally, BasicSafe implemented our site within days.”
The BasicSafe training and JSA modules replaced the huge spreadsheet the company previously used to keep those records. “When we’d call up the spreadsheet, it would take 10 minutes to load,” Candi said. “There was so much information on there that it wasn’t realistic to maintain anymore. It was just too cumbersome. What we have now with BasicSafe is a more accurate accounting of those JSAs and a more user-friendly way of accessing that information.”
Training employees to use the software was much easier than she expected because the programs are so intuitive, she said.
There were still some tweaks Idaho Forest Group wanted to make after the system was in place, such as the addition of a field where training could be tracked by supervisor. BasicSafe was able to work with the company to make these additions a reality. After seeing what BasicSafe has done for Grangeville, the other mills within the company are showing interest in the system.
Like any operational change, implementing a new software system takes time.
We’ve found the best transitions happen when your company has these four factors:
- A sense of urgency for change
- A leadership team supporting that change
- A vision that’s clearly communicated
- A staff that is empowered to try a new approach and work around barriers, such as the traditional ways of doing things or a hierarchy that slows the process.
The bottom line: Our safety software can be implemented quickly, but you shouldn’t rush to make any major decision. Consider all factors before determining what’s right for your staff. We want to make sure you have the best solution, not just the quickest fix. We’re happy to talk you through every step of the process and answer any questions you have along the way.
Whether you have a specific need or you’re just starting your research, we’re happy to provide you more information. Click here to contact us today. For more safety management ideas, download our free guide, "9 Ways to Make Your Job as a Safety Manager Easier."