Decmil’s strategy for overcoming HSE digitalization barriers
Decmil is an Australian construction and engineering company in operation since 1978. For more than 40 years, Decmil has won numerous prestigious projects and awards by providing integrated solutions in infrastructure, resources, construction, and energy.
Digital HSE challenges
Upon entering a new phase of growth, Decmil acknowledged the need to digitalize their Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) approach. However, they were also aware of the common challenges that lead to the poor or stalled implementation of a new HSE platform, including:
- How to secure buy-in
- Failure to prioritize
- Failure to focus on users
- Lack of change management
- Lack of success criteria
Bryn Vaughan, Group Manager of Health and Safety at Decmil, was tasked with overcoming these pitfalls to implement the SAI360 platform in less than three months fully. He and his team succeeded in this accelerated rollout by leveraging the following framework.
Outline the catalysts for digitalization
- Operational efficiencies: Employees were working with a system full of redundancies, in which incidents and insights were captured on paper. That information would then be input into Word documents, spreadsheets, or disparate databases and circulated, often being altered and copied — creating an unmanageable mess of documentation.
- Data accessibility and insights: With a laborious reporting process and disorganized information repositories, the HSE function did not have the necessary tools and clarity to gain insights needed to drive progress.
The SAI360 EHS&S software for mobile and desktop would prove a worthy investment by facilitating easier real-time reporting from anywhere and enabling the HSE team to make the most of collected data, resulting in significant efficiency increases.
Decide what data to capture
The data that SAI360 can capture is essentially endless, and attempting to capture everything would hamper Decmil’s 10-week timeline for going live. The HSE team narrowed the criteria to requirements for retaining externally approved accreditations and remaining compliant with complex regulations in each state. The initial modules deployed in the following order, featuring:
- Actions, Observations, Incidents, Sustainability, Training, Audits, and Inspections
- Asset Management
- Contractor Management
Decmil chose to start with just the first module, allowing field teams to learn the platform and begin using it without being bogged down with excessive training. Streamlining the data capture and offering a mobile version of the software resulted in a 90% increase in site-based teams using the software within six months of the initial rollout.
Next, the company chose to implement the asset management module, followed by the contractor management module. The choice to focus on one module before adding and implementing others ensured a strong foundation could support the additions as they were selected.
Lean into change management
A significant barrier to user adoption is the feeling of overwhelming change that comes with moving from paper capture to a digital platform. Decmil’s approach to change management leaned heavily on the fact that switching to digital capture does not completely erase the familiar process, it merely changes it to be more efficient.
For effective adoption, change managers must ensure employees understand that the tool will make their jobs easier and their work more efficient.
Avoid the tool becoming the task
When asking employees to adopt a new system, Decmil ran into questions such as: “Why would I use the tool that takes six minutes to report, but a paper report takes three minutes?” The Decmil team was aware the solution needed to be easy for users to pick up and embed into everyday processes without creating additional burden. This was one of the main reasons the company chose SAI360, as its preconfigured modules are simple to implement even across large organizations.
To minimize time spent configuring the tool to match existing business processes, Bryn and the HSE team determined it was best to be flexible and willing to make minor adaptations to processes so that the tool could be used to its maximum efficiencies
The team tailored the system where required, and only in ways that increased the tool’s efficiency rather than making it more complicated for users.
Leverage no-code design
With SAI360, Decmil has reduced the total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for IT experts to make changes. Instead, the no-code enterprise platform allows non-technical users to make changes quickly for better outcomes.
The HSE team is currently working on the next phase of their journey by self-configuring the contractor management module. The module will allow contractors more freedom to manage their onboarding, records, and more within the contractor portal, yet still within compliance standards. Once completed it is anticipated that it will reduce the burden of administrative work by up to 50% for Decmil employees.
Integrate for better accessibility
One of Decmil’s first actions was to integrate four data silos across the business:
- HR and onboarding system
- Construction PM system
- Accounting system
- Quality assurance
Once all the data was integrated into the SAI360 cloud, one insight Decmil saw was a link between incidents occurring on projects where rework was necessary. The company was also able to link the accounting system into the sustainability module, allowing for a holistic view of sustainability and more accurate forecasting of things like fuel use versus fuel credits and costs.
The integration provides real-time information for timely action rather than focusing on lagging indicators weeks or months after real-world events.
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