To integrate, or not to integrate…

Though environment, health, safety (EHS) and quality management issues are often handled by individual management systems, the guiding principles behind each of these areas share a common link — W. Edwards Deming. The American quality guru is most commonly associated with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, an iterative problem-solving process used to resolve quality issues and improve business performance. But it is important to remember the foremost EHS and quality management standards — including ISO14001 (environment), OSHAS 18000 (health and safety) and ISO 9001 (quality) — are all rooted in the PDCA or Deming Cycle.

Businesses that encounter regular overlap between these areas ought to consider the potential benefits of an Integrated Management System (IMS). An IMS coordinates all of an organization’s procedures, systems and processes within one complete framework and, in an ideal scenario, allows the organization to operate as a seamless whole, with unified objectives across all departments.

But a … Read more...

Intelex’s essential ROI guide featured in Pollution Engineering

Ever have a tough time selling a software solution to your boss you know will make a huge difference to your organization?

Well, this isn’t an uncommon thing. It’s always difficult to convince those that hold the purse strings in any organization to loose themselves of the funds you so dearly need to streamline your processes; to escape the Notes, the spreadsheets, and the disparate documents and systems of the world to reconcile all information in one system.

If these concerns echo with you at all, check out a recent article in Pollution Engineering, penned by Intelex’s Paul Leavoy.

It describes the opportunities and challenges that face any EHS manager as he or her pursues the approval of senior management’s approval of a software solution that will help streamline processes and generate ROI.

Let us know what you think!… Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #5 — Communicate your performance

We’ve covered the importance of developing a proactive plan, quantifying financial gains, understanding the role of metrics, and using software to manage your sustainability program for the most effective results.

Today let’s talk about the often overlooked element of a winning sustainability program: communicating your progress.

5. Communicate Commitment/Performance to Stakeholders: While the primary function of sustainability initiatives will be the returns they deliver through conservation efforts and a number of other cost-savings effects, don’t miss the boat on the wealth of opportunities that accompany clearly communicating sustainability efforts and accomplishments to stakeholders. When developing a sustainability strategy, consider incorporating an ongoing sustainability reporting plan that conforms to existing frameworks (such as the IIRC, GRI and others).

While some critics have complained that comprehensive sustainability reporting can dominate resources and distract from essential business operations, proper planning, resource allocation and the use of software solutions … Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #4 — Forecast and track with software

So far in our week-long discussion on building a successful sustainability strategy, we’ve reviewed the importance of developing a proactive plan, quantifying financial gains, and understanding the role of metrics.

Now let’s turn our attention to another critical aspect and something that’s dear to our hearts at Intelex: the role of software. Yes, it could be argued we’re more than marginally invested in the role software plays in sustainability, but we still deeply believe it is an essential part of building an effective program.

4. Use Software to Track Metrics and Forecast: Certainly, though conventional paper- and spreadsheet-based platforms can be and are used to track environmental, social and economic performance, the advantage of integrated software solutions over such archaic means is undisputable.

In particular, some configurable software products already geared towards streamlining the management of EHS systems can be extended to cover most if not … Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #3 — The role of metrics

We’ve discussed the value of a proactive strategy and quantifying financial gains in building a sustainability strategy.

Today we’ll look at another critical component of a sustainability strategy that is the heart of the adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

3. Understand the Role of Metrics: Before you make your first step into the world of sustainability – before you install that first compact fluorescent lightbulb – it’s imperative to understand you need to know where you’re at.

Along the lines of the lightbulb example above, it can be as simple as starting with an energy audit of your plants, offices, sites and other business units. If you know where you’re at, you can begin to set goals and targets, key elements of any successful sustainability strategy. The progress achieved through each action and each campaign within your sustainability strategy will be much more significant if they … Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #2 — Calculate the ROI

Yesterday we discussed the role of developing a proactive plan in building a successful sustainability strategy.

Today is all about a term CFOs, VPs, Directors, executive team members  like to hear a lot: ROI.

2. Calculate the ROI: You may have achieved the buy-in of senior management, or your CEO may have provided a clear mandate to undertake sustainable development initiatives. Either way, acknowledge sustainability programs are an investment and spell-out in clear, concrete terms the tangible ROI a sustainability strategy will generate on a short- and long-term basis.

As suggested above, some indirect savings values will be coloured by probabilities and expressed as ranges. However, an honest, comprehensive breakdown — which can be developed in-house or facilitated by a consultant or software solutions provider in many cases — will give your organization a clear analysis of what gains can be expected from the adoption of a comprehensive sustainable … Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #1 — Develop a proactive plan

Thinking of developing an organization-wide sustainability strategy?

An uninitiated organization — perhaps a young, yet fast-growing company just beginning to toy with the idea of pursuing sustainability initiatives in the interest of boosting financial performance — might wonder, given the multifaceted, complex purview of sustainable development, where exactly to start. The answer is simpler and more straightforward than you might suspect.

This week we’ll be reviewing five components of a successful sustainability strategy. The first aspect is all about a word we use a lot over here at Intelex: Proactive.

1. Develop a Proactive Strategy: Just as a sustainability framework is an intrinsically integrated framework of interrelated elements affecting all areas of business management, ad hoc and reactive actions have no place in a sustainability management strategy.

Rather than defining policies on a reactive basis, develop a comprehensive, proactive sustainability strategy to build a sustainable development program that is … Read more...

Intelex featured in Quality Magazine’s 2011 How-To Guide

Here on the Intelex Blog, we love to preach the benefits of ISO 9001 certification, and how the right software solutions help facilitate fast, stress-free conformance.

Those interested in learning more about how to achieve ISO 9001 certification are encouraged to check out the latest edition of Quality Magazine’s handy annual How To Guide.

Head over to Quality Magazine’s website to view the latest issue of Quality Magazine. Click on the “How To” tab on the right and – in addition to reading the rest of the valuable magazine and guide – go to page 19 to read “How to Ensure Effortless, Ongoing ISO 9001 Certification and Perpetual Audit Preparedness” to learn, well, just that!