In today’s competitive arena, many business drivers compel managers to implement EHS management information systems (EMIS). Topping the list is the significant burden and risk related to regulatory compliance demonstration associated with federal and state regulatory programs. It comes as no surprise that the risk of fines and negative publicity associated with compliance audits is driving many companies to implement IT systems that facilitate environmental reporting and data management. The decision makers for these projects, such as EHS department heads and CEOs, must ensure that good strategy and planning takes place before committing resources to implementation projects.
T3’s powerful combination of EHS professionals and IT experts is unmatched in applying technology to solve industry’s EHS information management challenges. We have designed and implemented more EHS information management solutions than any other consulting firm in the industry. In every way, T3 is committed to helping you achieve the highest standards of business performance and environmental responsibility.
While the concept of EHS information technology varies from company to company, it typically involves the use of technology to enable EHS business processes and manage critical EHS data for recordkeeping and reporting. Some facilities choose simple systems to track data and generate required reports, while other organizations have greater information management requirements and need a more complex, multi-facility installation. Technology can enhance business processes, work practices, and ultimately, profitability. It can consist of a step change or a quantum leap from previous practices, depending on factors such as compliance requirements, information technology issues, and budgetary constraints.
Find the right fit
Proper planning and system selection are imperative in laying a proper foundation for any information technology implementation. T3 has over two decades of experience implementing numerous tools available in the market today. Using our proven needs assessment process, we will help you identify the right people to involve in the project and recommend the solution type and scope . Our structured system selection process, refined by hundreds of projects, guides clients through exercises to identify their true EHS needs and narrows the field to a handful of systems. We work with your stakeholders including IT and contracting to select the technologies and develop a comprehensive implementation plan.
Taking the time to properly plan and select a solution puts you one step closer to a successful implementation and can save thousands of dollars by not implementing unnecessary functionality, avoiding rework, or searching for another software after implementation to fulfill unmet needs. Together we can strategize around aligning corporate objectives with EHS needs while planning for an EMIS implementation success.
Once a solution has been selected, ,the next step is the implementation. The implementation plan will serve as the guiding project document that defines the overall strategy, resources, roles and responsibilities, scope, schedule, and budget. Implementation projects consist of numerous tasks that can be performed by various resources. These tasks include design, data discovery, system configuration, systems integration, custom reporting, testing, training, and deployment.
Our project managers work closely with our clients to ensure the plan is relentlessly management and executed. Moreover, we look for and mitigate the project risks before they result in a material impact to the project. For more than 20 years, T3 has implemented technology solutions for companies, large and small. Our well-tested project management methodology is designed to keep team members on track and ensure that expectations are clearly defined and scope changes are documented. Using the needs assessment as the blueprint for the implementation strategy and deployment approach, T3 focuses on three areas to ensure implementation success.
People - Any technology project results in change. Organizational change management is one of the most important and overlooked concepts of a technology project. Successful implementation depends on qualified, trained people who are willing and able to accept change. T3 works with our clients to develop and implement a change strategy to ensure change will be accepted in the organization. This strategy typically includes consistent and clear communications, solicitation of input, and proper training.
Process - Technology enables business processes. T3 emphasizes the development of EHS business processes that will effectively work with the technology and defined organizational roles. In some cases we are tweaking existing business processes and in others we are helping to develop transformational compliance business processes. Either way, T3 focuses on meeting the strategic vision for how technology is used to enhance and improve day-to-day EHS management activities. These business workflows will serve as the centerpiece for system development for each of the identified business processes and associated technology development.
Technology – From day one, T3 is focusing on selecting and implementing the most appropriate and sustainable technology that meets the strategic vision and documented needs. During selection, we help customers weigh the benefits and value versus the needs. During implementation, T3 helps customers configure and deploy the technology to balance technology benefits vs. level of effort to implement and sustain.
In some cases, commercial software does not meet all of the EHS information management needs of every company. There are times when an organization’s budget, timeframe, or objectives dictate an individualized system. T3 provides custom compliance solutions that give EHS and operations personnel the ability to streamline procedures, enhance compliance demonstration capabilities, reduce errors, and increase productivity. Benefits of custom EHS technology solutions include:
- A custom-tailored, quick turnaround solution that is based on specific processes and objectives
- Minimized costs due to carefully specified functionality
- Solution ownership that enables organizations to make updates as needed
Focused and flexible
Below is just a sampling of the EHS tasks that can be optimized with custom tools:
- Regulatory applicability and auditing
- Emissions tracking
- Title V compliance management
- Health effects screening
- Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) management
A custom solution can be Web-based or stand-alone, use a variety of platforms, (such as Microsoft Excel or SharePoint), integrate with mobile devices and/or EMIS solutions, or fill one or more EHS needs related to compliance task management or emissions reporting. Each custom solution will be unique to the client’s needs.
Solutions implemented or developed require periodic maintenance and check-up to ensure that the solution is current and up to date in regards to operations and EHS needs. These services are also important to help users take ownership of implemented solutions. T3 offers support and maintenance services to ensure your technology solution is sustainable.
These services revolve around training system users, ensuring that all queries are answered in a timely manner, and offering additional resources to help with meeting regulatory deadlines. T3 seeks to achieve efficiency in time intensive data entry activities via automation scripts to bulk load data.
Operational and maintenance support services from T3 include:
- Data input and report generation
- System updates due to operation or regulatory changes
- Data improvement projects
- Training related user queries or refresher training
For the majority of implementation projects, no one commercial EMIS solution can meet all business objectives, requiring customization or development of a bridge tool to fill in the gaps. This bridge tool could be a custom tool or existing system. Non-EHS systems such as operation data management systems can also be leveraged to capture data for the EHS systems thereby reducing the training curve for the users and optimizing workflows. System integrations seek to address the workflow challenges in EMIS implementation projects by streamlining data entry workflow and reducing manual entry and errors.
Depending on the complexity of the approach used for data integration, the additional middleware programming interfaces may be needed to process and aggregate data into a structure that can be readily consumed by the EMIS. Middleware connection applications can be very specific to the customer requirements and therefore can range from simple SQL based procedures to custom .NET based programming code that reads the source system and publishes equipment attributes and transactions related data to the Secure FTP. These middleware applications can be homegrown or available as a tool from the implementer. The primary objectives of these tools are to aggregate data and to ensure that data is clean and usable for reporting and calculation needs.
System integration services from T3 include:
- Identification and evaluation of the source systems
- Coordinating the integration effort with IT staff
- Mapping of fields to be integrated
- Redesigning the EHS workflow with new source systems
- Designing and automating data QA and validation logic
- Troubleshooting any broken data connections
EHS data captured in any solution can be sliced and diced into various formats for additional analysis and decision-making. This data could range from raw data inputs or calculated emissions for individual equipment to formatted outputs for regulatory needs. This data can also be presented in a real-time graphical view of an organization’s EHS health on a dashboard. Dashboards can be customized to the user’s role and can include items such as number of open overdue tasks, percentage of closed tasks, emissions summary by facility, graphical view of emissions over a period of time, and so on.
The reporting formats and data aggregation needed for various regulatory and corporate reporting can be very specific and complex. Some commonly needed formats include:
- EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory
- Discharge Monitoring Reports
- State air emission inventory
- Title V compliance certification and deviation reports
- EPA’s Mandatory Reporting Rule
- Tier I/II Chemical Inventory reports
- Self-monitoring reports
- Key performance, metrics, and scorecards
- Comparisons of current to previous years for trend analysis
- Rollup real-time graphic dashboards
- Data exports for further analysis (xls, civ, txt, xml, etc)
T3 can assist with automating these EHS outputs by using data from the technology solution.
Contact T3 to learn more about our EHS Information Technology services. If you need a quicker response, please call us at (972) 661-8121.