This blog post is for those who want to understand how they can manage Compliance Obligations and receive regulatory updates that trigger Actions. The vast majority of companies do this with an old fashion newsletter and Excel, but this leaves a lot of risks, gaps and issues. Another set of people will opt for consultants and external audits. While this can be a good solution, it comes with a large price tag and you are often left with a set of reports and files that need to be updated and managed on an ongoing basis. The next step is likely to be the purchase of a commercial EHS or Risk management software.
If you decide to move to a commercial software (or series of solutions), carefully look at your team’s needs, your budget and try to pin down the key elements you really need. In these types of budgetary restrictions for many businesses, it is critical to return to the basics when it comes to compliance. The chart below lays out some of the trade-offs and the two following graphics map out a select set of companies that may help you achieve regulatory compliance.
|How to Achieve Comprehensive Compliance|
|In-House||Consultants||Software + Content + Consultants||Nimonik|
|Typical Suppliers||EHS professionals||ERM, Stantec, Arcardis,…||Intelex, VelocityEHS, Enablon,… ENHESA, STP, …||Nimonik|
|External Obligations (Regulatory)||Monitor government websites manually||Monitor government websites manually||Automatic updates from 3rd Party||Automatic updates from Nimonik|
|External Obligations (Standards)||Monitor websites manually||Monitor websites manually||Not available||Automatic updates from Nimonik|
|Internal Obligations (Permits, Stakeholder Eng., SOPs)||Manage in Excel||Manage in Excel||Manage in Software||Automatically extract obligations and manage in Nimonik|
|Actions for Scheduled Audits, Incidents, Internal Review of Items||Manage in Excel||Not advised||Requires additional Modules||Embedded in platform|
|Actions for regulatory changes||No notifications, need to monitor manually||Infrequent review and notification of regulatory changes||Varies, depending on software functionality and content service||Automatic notifications for new and updated regulatory documents and creation of review records|
|Corrective actions and effectiveness assessments||Manually through email and Excel||Audit findings issued periodically to then be managed internally||Varies, depending on software functionality – requires additional modules||Assign corrective actions and create effectiveness assessments in the app during Audits|
|Audits & Inspections|
|Audit templates||Time spent creating and updating audit templates||Available for an additional cost||Depends on the combination||Access to best practices and regulatory compliance Audit Templates|
|Reports||Manually generated||Available for an additional cost||Depends on the combination, may require reporting modules||Wide variety of automatically generated reports|
|Positives||Easy to start, low cost||Need by need basis, expertise from consultants||Flexible and expandable||Integrated system with rapid implementation and low cost|
|Negatives||Risk of error, extra work||Variability between consultants, lack of standardization||Complex implementation and high maintenance costs||Has limited functionality compared to larger platforms|
|Cost||Person hours||$200-$500 per hour||$20,000-$1,000,000||$3,000 – $150,000|
If you are looking for a solution that allows you to process regulatory data and manage it with functionality that generates reports, you have a few options. The most cost effective is an all in one solution like Nimonik, but if you are looking for a very flexible and customized experience then larger EHS software systems may be best – but be prepared to pay for it. Most traditional regulatory data providers offer little to no software and require you to purchase another system to fully manage the data.
Regulatory data providers typically focus on the scope of coverage or on analysis of the content. Nimonik aims to offer Comprehensive Coverage with a good level of analysis and meta-data so you can find the information that is applicable to your operations. We are able to achieve this combination thanks to advances in software and artificial intelligence.
There is no perfect company for your Compliance Obligations or Legal Registry needs. However, you should carefully look at the companies you are considering and understand if they are a result of an EHS compliance problem at a local, operational level, or a global managerial level. The history of a company often determines its strategy and its approach to solving problems. I can only speak for Nimonik, which comes from a local/operational level and has invested heavily in technology to process global EHS data efficiently. Nimonik now offers a comprehensive global database and provides an extremely easy to use web and mobile platform, while also integrating with SAP, Enablon, Gensuite, Intelex and others.
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