When it comes to achieving business success, customer-centricity should be a critical component. However, this is much more than ensuring that customers are satisfied with your products and services. It is about fostering a community where customers can share their experiences—both good and bad—and provide insights into their current and future needs.
For the entirety of our 20-year tenure, Benchmark Digital (formerly Gensuite) has instilled a customer-first mentality into our core values. We are committed to enabling and nurturing a culture of digital transformation and continuous innovation, in partnership with our subscribers, to develop and deliver best-practice digital solutions.
Paul Bender is one such customer and champion that has journeyed with us since the inception of GE PowerSuite in the 1990s, to Gensuite, and now to Benchmark Digital Partners / Benchmark ESG. Paul has over 30 years of experience in the EHS space, beginning with his career serving in the U.S. Air Force to global leadership roles at GE Power, GE Aviation, Watts Water, to his current role as an EH&S Manager at Engineered Printing Solutions (EPS). As a user of 25+ Benchmark applications on both enterprise and READY platforms, there’s a reason why Bender has advocated for Benchmark ESG | Gensuite’s solutions over the years as he transitioned roles and organizations. Read more to learn what he considers among the greatest benefits of partnering with Benchmark.
Comprehensive & Transparent Program Management Across the Enterprise
Whether you’re scheduling inspections, performing pulse audits, or managing your site’s hazardous waste, having a digital management system is key. While many organizations utilize spreadsheets, emails, or a combination of manual and digital systems, streamlining program management and reporting to a single platform enables your workforce to spend more time in the field, and less time on administrative tasks.
For example, when Bender was with GE, he was responsible for overseeing annual audits for 13 facilities. As the only EHS professional for these sites, he needed to recruit somebody—usually the plant manager—to try and create a team and to teach them how to conduct these audits and what to look for. He recalls, “The biggest challenge I’ve found is how to capture the data—especially when following Six Sigma processes. While this was initially in an Excel spreadsheet, moving to a digital system like Gensuite took all the hard work out of the equation—it’s easy to put the data in and get the data out.”
In addition, many organizations have cross-functional, global teams that need to collaborate with one another utilizing the same platform. Benchmark’s integrated multi-lingual capabilities enabled Bender’s on-site teams across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to easily engage with the applications in their native language.
As many EHSQ, sustainability, and compliance assurance leaders know, comprehensive reporting and analytics are important aspects when selecting a software management system. This entails not only providing leadership teams with a transparent view of program performance across multiple sites with accuracy and ease, but also identifying opportunities for improvement.
Intuitive Solutions Built on Best-In-Class Technology
Digital tools and advanced technology should provide an extension and a value-add for employees as they perform their daily tasks. Replacing manual process with technology drives employee engagement, informs decision making, maximizes collaboration, and increases productivity. Even mobile technology continues to improve and provide inherent value. The Benchmark Mobile app provides the same full functionality of the Benchmark platform, enabling employees to take real-time action and collaboration from Apple or Android devices, and even hands-free assistance with the Genny® Virtual Assistant.
“When you’re out doing an audit or an inspection, if I take an iPad with me, I no longer have a piece of paper that contains my checklist to then go back to type that data into Gensuite,” explains Bender. “With an iPad, I’m reducing the amount of touch time of the data—it goes in once, it doesn’t get lost in translation, you can even take a picture—and you’ve got your complete data set right there and it goes into the cloud. It’s a huge time savings, and time is money.”
Advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Internet of Things, computer vision & image recognition also provide a means of cross-functional information sharing.
“We’re actually using Artificial Intelligence and vision systems now for quality inspections and machine guarding. Even having a camera onsite to watch and listen to the harmonics of equipment for predictive equipment failures from a safety standpoint. There is definitely a lot of value to Artificial Intelligence and Vision Systems, and will likely be more often adopted technologies in this space.”
Working Together to Address ESG Requirements
The financial and investment sectors have placed an increased significance for companies to establish and deliver on their Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) commitments. Many organizations are now seeing an increase in requests by stakeholders, leadership, as well as their customers to provide ESG data, and Bender is no exception. “We’ve been getting a lot of questions from our customers—mostly on the social and governance side, but a little on the environmental as well. But as they start building their sustainability and ESG reports, the key is to be able to simplify capturing your data early on. If you wait for a bill to come from your utility company, you’re already too late. Getting data early and plugging into a tool so you can combine it can help you understand so much.”
Take a water leak for instance. It may be something that is discovered quickly based on water usage reports but can take a long time to find the source to fix it. Is it a drippy faucet? Is there a crack under the concrete? Did something happen in shipment and break a pipe? “We discovered a broken valve on a water softener, and we lost several millions of gallons of water,” states Bender. “This led us to think about where our other energy escapes were. ESG lends itself to energy treasure hunts, so we started to consider using LED light bulbs, different air compressors, etc.”
Developing Best-Class Digital Solutions For Today & Tomorrow
According to Gartner’s 2020 Customer Preference Survey, 89% of customers say that the vendor’s roadmap is most the important factor when making a purchase decision. Customers look to not only ensure that their needs are met at the time of purchase, but also that the product strategy is aligned with their overall vision and that the product capabilities will evolve to meet their future needs.
Collaboration and innovation with our subscribers and partners enable Benchmark’s development teams to stay aligned with industry expertise, emerging trends and challenges. These critical operational insights drive the progression and evolution of our solutions—a feat that would not be possible without their support and commitment.
Interested in joining a community of over 2.9 million users worldwide? Contact us today!