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Dealing with outdated software environments

Breaking down the barriers to software change

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It is not uncommon for us to accompany customers who are very keen to use SdbHub as part of their safety data sheet reporting, but are unable to do so at the time of the interview. Their current solution provider for occupational health and safety and hazardous substance management offers only a very restrictive software environment. In some cases, customers use homegrown and aging programs. SdbHub and parts of SonarBox cannot be integrated into this environment. Our experience says: There are ways out for customers and solution providers. First, however, root cause analysis is called for. There are factors that cannot be ignored that explain this current state.

Key focus: the user

The main focus is on the user and his digitization problem. If the user wants to evaluate his safety data sheets in a structured manner, there are basically only two paths that can be followed: Make or buy, develop or buy. Since the evaluation of safety data sheets requires expertise that should not be underestimated and is not part of our customers’ main business, they opt for SdbHub. Until this decision is made, two barriers often have to be overcome.

Barrier 1: Lack of insight

Automation ain’t automation. Companies are often unaware of the modern tools that already exist to evaluate safety data sheets in an automated way. There is an assumption that it can’t be done better than. When comparing with SdbHub, the weaknesses of the current solution are very quickly brought to light and the potential of automated evaluation is immediately recognized.

Barrier 2: Fear of change

As easy as software integration can be (and SdbHub is easy to integrate), fears of change remain. There are fears about the new solution having a negative impact on the overall software environment currently in use.
Other fears are a bit more diffuse. Never change a running system: People don’t want to change the system, because it works quite well as it is. This, of course, closes one’s mind to future developments that will definitely occur. This leads to a situation in which one does not even deal with market developments. This approach can lead to the wrong standards being set and to dependence on the wrong solutions.
Companies can counter these fears with two key points: First, digitization should become an integral part of the corporate culture. Second, there is always the opportunity to test solutions on a small scale. SdbHub has set up test environments specifically for this purpose. This allows customers to feel their way up to full integration.

Barrier 3: Restrictive solution providers

While the first barriers can be overcome relatively quickly through demonstration and explanation, the third barrier weighs somewhat heavier. The lack of knowledge and existing fears also exist among the solution providers on which our customers depend. The difference is that they are external. So it is not entirely transparent why solution providers complain about new interface requests. Is it really due to the lack of quality, the cost point or the allegedly short-lived technology?

About SdbHub

SdbHub has been in development since 2016 and relies on cutting-edge technology to easily evaluate safety data sheets in a high-quality manner. SdbHub is now evaluating SDSs from European, Asian and American companies. The customer base continues to grow globally. The customer base includes smaller companies as well as listed companies. As an independent technology supplier, we are directly integrated into numerous solution providers in the DACH region. We also have a special partnership with the company domeba distribution GmbH to develop AI solutions in the area of occupational health and safety. SdbHub is continuously developed and updated on a weekly basis.

In this respect, some software vendors like to talk themselves out of it with excuses. Perhaps they simply lack the expertise or the will to change. But it is also not out of the question that SdbHub might counteract the existing business model of these solution providers. In the medium and long term, the only option is to change.