Over the past ten years management systems have become more and more complex – with risk modelling, convoluted procedures, sporadic training, operational simulations and even some nudge theory to get staff to create a good EHSQ culture. Nearly everyone knows that lean times are coming. EHSQ professionals will likely have to scale down their ambitions, but not necessarily their results.
Smaller budgets will mean less staff to implement and supervise and less budgets to purchase and deploy complex software. With a likely economic downturn coming, many companies will be facing belt tightening and budget cuts. When it comes to EHS and Quality Management, it may be a good time to return to the basics.
For all the complexity that exists in the world; high quality products, safe work environments and protecting the environment often boils down to compliance. Is your organization in compliance with laws, regulations, standards and internal corporate policies? You are certainly partially in compliance, but no organization can claim that they are compliant across all their operations at all times.
When you analyze industrial accidents or product recalls, it almost always boils down to a series of non-compliances that built up and then blew up. Compliance to best practices is the difference between an uneventful day and a headache that needs to be cleaned up. At Nimonik we believe that organizations should take this opportunity to map out their compliance obligations across their business units and operations. Once you have that, you need to drive it to the right people within your organization and track compliance on an ongoing basis. You do not need complex software or big budgets for this. You just need discipline and organization.
If we take a step back, great companies identify their obligations, issue actions to the right people and then conduct audits to assess compliance. If you get that right then most of the other issues are resolved. Take this opportunity to trim down your EHSQ programs and remove the initiatives that are not bringing value. Focus on the core of EHSQ and when the economy rebounds you will be in a great position to build on what you have and take a leadership role in your industry.