With shareholders and customers increasingly demanding sustainability and non-financial operational data, large organizations are realizing that such information needs to be easily available, standardized and consistent across their multiple operations in locations around the globe. In order to do this, many are embarking on projects to implement environmental management information systems (EMIS) and drive operational excellence.
In the natural course of doing business, companies are being asked for information about sustainability performance, and the data needs to be available quickly and it needs to be of the same quality as financial information. The only way an organization can do that is to have a standardized, enterprise-wide system that allows a company to recognize and track what is happening at every level of the organization.
An EMIS underpins a company’s management system and gives the company a place to outline its policies, risks, and performance.
For example, if an organization has hundreds of plants across the world, and each plant is left alone to choose how they’re going to collect and manage hundreds or thousands of data points, everything being reported from the plants will be inconsistent: there is no way of knowing if data from plant one is measured the same way as plant two.
With these thoughts in mind, I’ve put together 5 steps that will help you ensure a successful EMIS project:
Step #1. Know whether your project is strategic or tactical.
Every day we see requests from customers for projects that focus on one small EHS process being executed by a small number of experts within the company. And the facts are that those processes interrelate with other processes. There is no doubt that all the processes touch each other. Customers go after one small tiny thing without thinking strategically. Understand if whether what you are doing is strategic or tactical. When you think tactically – that is, the project vision is set out to simply collect incident information or improve compliance auditing – your project will end up funded as a tactical project aligned with your vision. That is starkly different than a project with a long-term vision to reduce the number of systems and processes that underpin the current operational excellence management system and improve the quality, visibility and velocity of information available for your operational excellence program.
Developing the long-term vision is critical to setting the direction of the project.
Step #2. Effectively communicate the value of the project to your organization.