Knowing when and how to use EHS consulting to supplement an EHS Team can be challenging, particularly in the automotive industry. Increased globalization, shrinking budgets, and a dynamic regulatory climate mean consistent challenges for manufacturers and suppliers alike. These challenges, however, also create opportunities.
Here are some EHS consulting considerations for automotive companies looking to reduce risk and improve operational performance.
As the automotive customer base expands into new global markets, managing change, understanding local culture, and navigating the various regulatory environments are keys to success. Global EHS consultants can be a source of local regulatory information and EHS solutions, and support local integration and validation of policies and procedures.
An example of this is resolving the conflict between local incident reporting requirements and a corporate global incident reporting program--through collaboration, teams can create an incident reporting standard that is consistent across the board.
Using an EHS consulting firm with boots on the ground where a company operates, staffed with EHS professionals that were “raised” in the local culture and regulatory environment is very important; however, for many firms it is also important that the full group can communicate well in English. (“Lost in translation” is a phrase one never wants to hear when it comes to managing risks and maintaining compliance.)
Your EHS consultant should be able to work seamlessly with your local management to translate regulations, create registers, and answer questions that apply specifically to your industry, operations and processes.
A few years back, EHS Today published an article entitled Top 5 trends in Workplace Safety Management for 2013 identifying the number-one industry trend as “coping with greater workloads.” It was true in 2013 and is even truer now-- the new norm. EHS managers are required to wear multiple hats that may include, in addition to their EHS accountabilities, both quality and sustainability.
Adding to the challenge is that companies are losing expertise and vital institutional knowledge through retirement and attrition. An EHS consulting firm can help fill the expertise gap -- providing subject matter experts for a certain number of hours each week or for a specific tasks (e.g. permit modifications, H&S training, EHS standards, or solutions to preserve institutional knowledge).
No two companies operate the same way, and no one EHS consulting solution fits every company. EHS consulting solutions should be fit for purpose, with the ability to solve regional and company-specific challenges. An EHS consulting firm should be able to provide proven solutions that are easily combined with your global organization’s existing EHS Management System to guard against business and supply chain interruption, produce clear EHS auditing protocols, and provide regulatory content specific to your local operations.
Finding a Trusted Partner
To learn how Antea Group can guide your automotive facilities towards compliance across one or multiple locations, visit our automotive segment page.