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Automating Your Safety Metrics: An Interview with KPA’s Alaina Adair

Toby Graham /
This week on The Safety Meeting, we're joined by Alaina Adair to discuss how automating your safety metrics can help alleviate stress, save time, and minimize frustration.

[00:00:35]
So, Alaina, I feel like you, of all people, have such a finger on the pulse of EHS topics and trends because your role works directly with our software users. I want to know, what are safety leaders talking about? What topics are coming up right now? 

The biggest issue right now is kind of getting data pushed to them systematically and automatically. Getting off paper and getting off of Excel is a big one. People are creating a lot of custom reports using Excel and/or Word or whatever it may be. And just having that software to alleviate that pinch point is kind of a big thing to get off paper, obviously, and get away from that and having more mobile use since most people are mobile these days. Anyway, 

[00:01:14]
That makes sense. What obstacles are safety leaders facing these days and how are they overcoming them?

Yeah, again, that kind of falls along with the same guidelines. Accountability and tracking have been kind of a big one that I’ve been hearing about. So for example, like those safety managers want their employees to complete their trainings and complete items. And note items are being fixed. That’s kind of an issue when they’re doing that on paper and through Excel because there’s no tracking system to like notify them when things are overdue or pending. So that’s kind of where the software comes in and really guides them and helps them out to have that one stop shop, to make all that eliminates the need for paper. And again, mobile use is huge for them too. 

[00:02:03]
What would you say is the common denominator of users who are really getting the most out of their EHS software?

What are they, what are they all doing? What are the habits that they have and how are they using KPA, for example, to their advantage? 

Yeah, absolutely. So a great example is utilizing every single feature that we offer within the site. So whether that’s in the form section, they’re filling out forms to complete inspections, as well as evaluations for training can be mapped back with forms as well.

Also completing those training topics, they’re utilizing the full functionality of every single section on the site. Also, as well, as I said again, equipment tracking to allow them to complete their equipment inspections and have that data systematically sent over to them to see those deficiencies so that they don’t have to create their own reports.

They’re having all the data automatically and systematically sent to them so that they just get a quick snapshot that they can see. Here are my deficiencies. And I have, you know, this to tackle and need to follow up on these items instead of having to create those reports first and then follow up with people. This way, that kind of alleviates all that.

And then they just go to their people and say, Hey, where are you at on this? And we can continue, you know, our process and, and make things better from there. 

[00:03:32]
It sounds like those companies are taking the time upfront to set up their systems so that down the road, it saves them time. So they’re kind of investing at the front end, so that then as they’re going through their day to day, they have a software that’s helping them be more efficient along the way.

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. 

[00:03:52]
Do you have any horror stories or success stories that have stuck with you when it comes to EHS software? 

Of course everybody has horror stories. I, I won’t point out any of my horror stories because if I do, uh, people might know who they are. 

Fair enough.

And I’m not one to name names, but we always do have kind of a saying in-house with our software that the software usually can get you about 80 to 90% of the way. And then that 20% still kind of needs that human eyes on it. The human eye factor to kind of look at the data and observe from there. Um, also as it, it may also be a horror story when they first come to us.

But because they’re using paper and Excel and some, they have an admin that’s sitting there and having to do all this data entry. And again, you’re right. If they just take the time and implement with us upfront and get all those data sets in, then it should help alleviate a lot of that admin functionality for them. And then it becomes more of a success story than a horror story for them. 

The most recent that I can share that I’ve really helped a customer with. And, and they were really happy about it. And always helping customers makes me happy whenever they’re happy. We had someone who was tracking chemicals and parts, and they are not tracking them at all other than they just have them there on site.

So our system allowed us to load all that data into the site and give them a tracker right there for them to capture what is being transferred from one location to the next, how much chemical is left in each barrel, and so forth. So again, Kind of a horror story coming in, because again, they don’t know; they had no clue what is on-site at the moment.

They just know they have all this product, but then they just took the time to, you know, go through what they had and get that data to us. And we implemented it. And then now they have a tracking system within the site that’s ready to go.

[00:06:00]
Well, okay. So it sounds like the other rule here is what happens at KPA customer success stays at KPA customer success. We’re not, we’re not gonna air any horror stories here. 

That’s true. Because again, if I, if I said some of ’em, they might know who they are, who specifically asks those questions.

[00:06:22]
I love the idea of a horror story becoming a success story. By using the software and finding new ways to use the software. And really investing that time. 

What advice do you have for safety managers who are struggling to get into a good groove with their EHS software? Like they know it’s good for them, right. They know they need to invest that time, but they just can’t seem to get the hang of it. 

Really my advice is to reach out to us. We have a dedicated support staff that is there to guide you. We do appreciate the go-getters who go out there and, you know, are not afraid to click on things and, you know, try to break the software and that’s great.

But at the same time, we’re also experts on the software, and we can help guide you and listen to your process and typically find a good implementation in your site or a solution. That will work out as a good tracker or, you know, analyzer, whatever kind of tool you’re needing within the site. Also, it gives them that one stop shop.

If they can house all their data in one area, then that just gives them everything for their employees, their training, their forms, their equipment. It’s all housed in one location, one site that they could go to. It also allows that document tracking for policies. Safety data sheets, all that good stuff too.

The reporting analytics side too, which is also great, gets them out of Excel and has that data systematically pushed to them. And again, a lot of times they don’t realize I’ll, I’ll jump into older sites, and they don’t realize that we have that feature to do those scheduled reports, to automatically systematically push to them.

So again, if they just reach out and ask those questions, we’re happy to guide them and give them the best practices within the software to kind of get them up and going to where they need to be. 

That’s great. I mean, it’s often the case that the first step is to ask for help, especially if you’re feeling like you’re not getting the hang of something. Still, I know that oftentimes there can be a sense of shame around that, especially if you are, you know, in a senior position, in a leadership safety or safety leadership scenario where, you know, you don’t wanna necessarily admit that you have some shortcomings, but working with a customer success team is like always a win-win. It’s always a good thing to do. So I totally agree with that advice. 

Yes, absolutely. And also, I just always say too, if anything, you’re only giving me more job security by reaching out.

So always a great thing to reach out. And again, we’re the experts. So we could guide you to, you know, give you a typically again, it may not work exactly how they’re thinking in the site. But a lot of times I can listen to the process that they’re currently doing and say, okay, now I have an idea of what you’re doing on paper or Excel or whatever it is.

And I can usually find some sort of solution within the site that will do very similar or even better. 

[00:09:20]
Well, that is good to know. I’m sure that that is a huge relief to people listening who are feeling like they don’t know their next step. They can just reach out to you if they have KPA EHS and go from there.

Absolutely. 

[00:09:33]
Thank you so much for speaking with us, Alaina. 

Thank you. You too. I appreciate it. 

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