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Safely Reducing Safety Costs – The Best Ways to Save (Part 2)

Posted by Matt Segal on Sep 9, 2019 8:36:28 AM

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some of the potential problems and risks of trying to reduce your safety costs.

We saw that cutting costs is a tricky thing to get right, and there are a lot of ways to make mistakes that can cost your institution big time.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. In most safety programs, there are plenty of opportunities to save money without sacrificing safety — if you know where to look.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Training, Inspections, Why Good Software Matters

Safely Reducing Safety Costs - 3 Dangers of Slashing your Safety Budget (Part 1)

Posted by Matt Segal on Aug 28, 2019 10:20:56 AM

Institutions are changing how they allocate budget. For many safety programs, that means one thing:

It’s time to sink or swim.

Upper management is increasingly requesting that you demonstrate not only how much value you add to your research program, but also what steps you’re taking to stay efficient.

So what’s changed here? University leaders are realizing that they can no longer simply hike tuition to cover rising costs, and they’re looking for new places for revenue generation. Unfortunately, they often turn their eyes to their research safety programs.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Training, Inspections, Why Good Software Matters

Scaling your Biotech's Safety Program – Sustainable Solutions (Part 2)

Posted by Matt Segal on Aug 14, 2019 2:08:37 PM

Congratulations, your biotech startup (or accelerator) is finally taking off! Perhaps you've hired more researchers, increased your research space, or secured an additional round of funding. 

Now is the best time to start thinking about how your safety and loss control programs will scale as well. Believe us when we say it can be a real nightmare to untangle if you leave it unaddressed for too long.

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some of the challenges you can expect to face as you grow, as well as some signs that you’ve outgrown your safety consultant. 

The question now is: how do you effectively manage safety, keep costs down, and prevent administrative burden from keeping you away from the activities that make you profitable?

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Chemical Safety, Training, Inspections, Why Good Software Matters, Equipment, Biological Safety, Radiation Safety

Scaling your Biotech’s Safety Program – Have you Outgrown Consultants? (Part 1)

Posted by Matt Segal on Jul 22, 2019 11:00:00 AM

When you're first starting out, safety consultants are often a great solution to manage risk and compliance while still operating on lean margins. 

Offloading these tasks can allow you to focus your resources on progressing research and securing funding without sacrificing safety. 

But for many biotech companies, there comes a point where entirely outsourcing safety no longer makes sense. The big question: when does this point occur? In this article, we’ll provide you with some guiding thoughts to help you find an answer.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Chemical Safety, Training, Inspections, Why Good Software Matters, Equipment, Biological Safety, Radiation Safety

Beyond Training: The Profile of a Modern Training Program

Posted by Matt Segal on Jul 15, 2019 1:49:18 PM

Last year alone, organizations in the U.S. invested $87.6 billion in employee training. The majority of those funds were devoted to authoring and delivering training content. 

Yet, that’s just one aspect of an effective training program. 

In the same way that a doctor would (or at least, should) never prescribe you medication without a thorough understanding of your personal history and symptoms, an effective training program requires much more than blindly assigning coursework. A modern training program should help you understand the challenges your organization faces and the solutions available to meet them.

So what does a modern training program look like, and how do you achieve it? Let’s take a closer look. 

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Topics: Training, Why Good Software Matters

5 Common Questions From Chemical Regulators (and How to Address Them)

Posted by Matt Segal on Jun 17, 2019 8:45:00 AM

Few things make your heart race and your palms sweat quite like the arrival of a regulator at your organization. What's even more nerve-wracking is that it usually happens when you're least expecting it.

While you don’t necessarily know when your next audit will be or what questions a regulator will ask, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared.

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Topics: Chemical Safety, Training, Inspections, Why Good Software Matters

How Hosted Solutions Have Transformed the World of Software for the Better

Posted by Matt Segal on May 28, 2019 8:15:00 AM

When it comes to enterprise software, hosted solutions have become one of the most popular choices. In fact, a whopping 94% of organizations use at least one hosted application and 73% of organizations say nearly all of their apps will be hosted by 2020.

Although you probably already use at least one hosted solution, you may not know it by that name. Or, you may have heard of hosted solutions before, but you’re wondering what exactly they are and why they’re so popular.

Whether you’re in the market for new software or just want to learn more about the solutions that are available, BioRAFT is here to help. We’ve put together this guide to give you a brief overview of what hosted solutions are, and the advantages they offer to you and your organization.

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Topics: Why Good Software Matters

What Is a Single Source of Truth (SSoT), and Why Does Your Research Organization Need One?

Posted by Matt Segal on May 16, 2019 1:55:08 PM

**Disclaimer: Sorry, tech enthusiasts — this article focuses on the general concept of the SSOT, and not the definition related to Information Architecture.

 If you’re like most research organizations, your laboratory data is probably scattered across a number of binders, spreadsheets, databases, and email correspondences.

Training records are stored in one place, directory information in a different place, equipment certifications in another, audits in yet another, and so on. What's more, you probably have several different systems within each of these categories, and for each building or lab space.

Often, the same piece of information is stored in more than one location. When that information changes, it must be manually updated across all these different locations. As we all know, this is a classic recipe to make a lot of errors, to make a lot of work, or (worse yet) both.

Of course, that doesn't always happen — so you end up with multiple conflicting versions of the same information and no way to know which is true and accurate.

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Topics: Why Good Software Matters

Soft Skills for Safety - Listening

Posted by Matt Segal on May 6, 2019 1:39:26 PM

If you want to succeed as a safety leader, it’s not enough to focus solely on logistics and data management — you have to get good at ‘soft skills’ as well.

Soft skills are attributes like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving that enable you to engage with and motivate your researchers to care about safety (they also help in interactions with colleagues and management!).

Without these skills, even the most savvy safety professionals will find themselves fighting a losing battle to get their workforce to carry out safety practices.

To help you hone your craft, we’re writing a series of articles each highlighting a different soft skill. Today’s topic is listening.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Improving Soft Skills

6 Ways to ID a Quality Chemical Inventory Database

Posted by Matt Segal on May 6, 2019 1:38:01 PM

A robust chemical database forms the foundation of a good chemical inventory system. It acts as both the skeleton and the brain, providing structure and information critical to higher-order tasks like reporting.

In order to get the most out of your chemical inventory software, you'll need to look for a system powered by a quality chemical database. In this article, we’ll share some important features of a good chemical database you can be on the lookout for as you try to determine if a chemical inventory system is the right fit for you.

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Topics: Chemical Safety, Why Good Software Matters

How Good Software Can Add Hours to Your Day

Posted by Matt Segal on May 6, 2019 1:36:53 PM

Entering data, correcting errors, and creating reports can be an administrative nightmare. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Good software simplifies many of the manual, time-consuming tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis — freeing you up to focus on more valuable activities. For example, BioRAFT has been shown to save organizations over 1,200 hours on inspections alone.

Below, we'll look at four ways good software can add more hours to your day:

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Topics: Why Good Software Matters

How to Tell if Your Next Software Implementation is Bound for Success or Doomed for Failure

Posted by Matt Segal on May 6, 2019 1:34:08 PM

No one starts a project expecting to fail. Or... do they?

Three quarters of business and IT executives anticipate their software projects may be doomed from the start, according to a study published by software development firm Geneca.

While it’s true that large-scale software implementations require a significant investment of time and resources, and there are plenty of opportunities for setbacks, there’s no reason your next software implementation shouldn’t be an unequivocal success.

After guiding our customers through well over 100 successful software implementations, we’ve identified seven factors that can make — or break — a project.

Keep the following questions in mind when discussing implementation with potential vendors, and you’ll stop yourself from becoming just another bad statistic.

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Topics: Why Good Software Matters

4 Warning Signs That a Chemical Inventory System May Not Be Able to Meet Your Needs

Posted by Matt Segal on Feb 27, 2019 10:13:00 AM

When you’re reviewing different chemical inventory systems, you need to be able to spot the bad ones quickly.

Not knowing which red flags signal potential problems can lead to a lot of wasted time, money, and energy. Much like buying a car, if you're not careful, you could end up with a lemon.

To help you weed out the wrong system, here are four must-check warning signs to look for when you're purchasing chemical inventory software.

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Topics: Chemical Safety, Why Good Software Matters

The Advantages of a Good Chemical Inventory System

Posted by Matt Segal on Feb 20, 2019 11:18:04 AM

Maintaining an accurate chemical inventory is a never-ending job, and one with little margin for error.

That’s why a chemical inventory system is a must for any organization looking to take control of their chemical inventory.

A good chemical inventory system offers a number of advantages that will help you simplify chemical ordering, storage, use, and reporting while reducing the potential for human error. While there may be different ways of reaching these effects, if your system isn’t hitting these notes, it should be a sign that something isn’t working right.

Here are three major advantages of a good chemical inventory system:

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Chemical Safety, Why Good Software Matters

Protect Your Researchers & Data with a Government Software Solution

Posted by Kris Richards on Feb 5, 2019 10:07:53 AM

Today's federally funded research programs are innovative and fast-paced. But the software they're using isn't.

That's because most laboratory safety, inventory, and reporting software simply doesn't meet federal security guidelines — which means it's not an option for government agencies.

Instead, they’re stuck with decades old software that does not improve and only becomes more obsolete as time goes on.

Getting information out of these outdated systems is like pulling teeth. Researchers spend too much time on tasks that take them away from their research, and EHS teams spend too much time on tasks that take them away from meaningfully improving safety.

In fact, our risk analyses show that EHS staff are forced to waste as much as 50% of their time on administrative tasks that software should be doing for them.

BioRAFT changes all that.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Why Good Software Matters

Neglecting Laboratory Priorities, Practices, and Training: A Risk Not Worth Taking

Posted by Matt Segal on Jan 24, 2019 10:40:03 AM

In science, some risks are worth the rewards — like the risk of trying a bold, new approach to a problem. These risks can lead to great discoveries and improve the lives of those around us.

Other risks are not worth taking — like the risk of neglecting safety and, specifically, the risk of neglecting proper priorities, practices, and training.

Ignoring these basic principles can have serious consequences for your researchers and your organization as a whole. But fixing them is no simple task.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Training, Inspections

How to Unlock Resources for Your EHS Software Purchase

Posted by Kris Richards on Nov 8, 2018 3:47:18 PM

A few months ago, we met with the EHS director at a research organization (let's call him Greg).

As we talked with Greg about how hard it was to keep up with the pace of research and how much time EHS staff and researchers were spending on administrative tasks, it became clear that his organization had outgrown its current software system.

Then Greg brought up a problem that almost all organizations experience, and one that's also easily solvable:

"We just don't have the funding we need for new software," he said. "How can we get senior management to give us more resources?"

Our advice: The resources are already there, you just need to know how to unlock them.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Why Good Software Matters

Why EHS Software Implementations Fail (And How to Avoid It)

Posted by Kris Richards on Jun 11, 2018 11:16:00 AM

It's a common scenario: a software project overruns the budget, drags on forever, or gets canceled before it ever gets completed.

Over half of major software projects fail to deliver on their promises, according to a report by the Standish Group.

In nearly every case, the reasons for failure are avoidable. How do we know? 98% of BioRAFT implementations are successful.

Below, we'll show you the main reasons EHS software implementations fail, and how to set yourself up for success:

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Topics: Why Good Software Matters

10 Reasons to Digitize & Centralize Laboratory EHS Data

Posted by Kris Richards on May 24, 2018 10:54:00 AM

Running a safe and efficient research program requires getting really good at how you use your resources and how you spend your time.

One of the best ways to do that, as many organizations, universities, and research institutes have found, is by using software to digitize and centralize their EHS data.

They're able to complete tasks faster, identify gaps in their safety programs, and enable researchers to focus on their research — because they have a single source of truth for their researchers and EHS management.

Not convinced yet? Let's look at 10 reasons to digitize and centralize your laboratory EHS data, according to industry research and our customers.

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Topics: Why Safety Matters, Why Good Software Matters

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