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EHSQ, QHSE, SHEQ, QEHS – Does It Really Matter?!

Today’s business world is plagued by an abundance of acronyms that often cause more confusion than clarity. In fact, back in 2010, Elon Musk sent an email to all SpaceX employees titled “Acronyms Seriously Suck” which still make the rounds online even to this day. The EH&S industry is no different and unfortunately not immune to this predicament. Verdantix research into quality management has recently uncovered an impressive array of variations in the ordering of the four letters: E, H, Q and S.

Some corporates seem to prioritize by the discipline with which they feel are stronger or ‘more important’ whilst others go by whatever the most common regional or industry norm is. Product vendors either focus on the letter that maps to their strength or else simply re-order the letters so they are in a different order from their competitors. There is no globally accepted consensus on this acronym and never will be. Due to the scale and consistency of EH&S organizations – whether or not the current priority is E, H or S – Verdantix will continue to focus on the EHStech market. Without implying anything at all, Verdantix will use EHSQ as shorthand whenever quality is also being considered with EH&S.

Acronyms aside however, the inclusion of quality processes within EH&S management is a serious trend that is gaining momentum. A number of quality management software (QMS) vendors such as MasterControl, SoftExpert, Sparta Systems and Xybion are already tackling incident management alongside other modules such as customer complaint handling, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and gauge calibrations. The combination of quality with EH&S management is typically most common in industries such as life sciences, food and beverage where poor product or equipment quality is synonymous with health and safety issues. Firms such as EtQ, Gensuite, Intelex, IsoMetrix and most recently Medgate, with their acquisition of IQS, have already capitalized on this growth opportunity as they seek to strengthen their positioning as an enterprise-class EH&S software management platform.

Interestingly, quality management is only one of several segments that is being integrated into EH&S software capabilities. Verdantix research has found that the landscape and corporate expectations for EH&S software is shifting and provide new growth opportunities for those willing to investigate. Witness UL, for example, who previously acquired cr360 (a sustainability reporting solution) and now offer a platform called PURE that combines six modules across environment, health, learning, safety, supply chain and sustainability.

Register and join our May 2017 summit in Houston, Texas to learn more about the recent shifts in corporate expectations for EH&S software and emerging innovative technologies.