Monday, February 9, 2009
What is SAP EH&S
Those who start to learn SAP EH&S or wish to be in this field often ask what is SAP EH&S. To a general audience SAP EH&S is a module of SAP which falls under Logistics part basically dealing with industrial safety, product compliance and occupational health. If you look at the current legislative, customer, consumer or stakeholders demands they all ask whether your company is environmentally compliant, what are the dangers / hazards I am going to face if I use your product and how to safe guard my health and so on. Even government agencies are vigilant to check for any deviations in regulatory permits whether intentional or accidental. Not only for keeping with legislation you need EH&S but also to be in the business you require stringent environmental practices. The recent examples of Mettle recalling Chinese toys tainted with heavy metal or Volero paying $236 million for Clean Air or even Palm Inc Treo phones, meeting EU norms.
So with the above backdrop, you can understand that environmental consciousness, stricter legislation's, customer interest and even stakeholders are forcing a company to look for environmentally sustainable practices. Its not that companies are working without environmental consciousness before SAP EH&S coming into picture. But the way they were doing business was entirely different and the recent demand in the market leading ERP software's for optimum business and product development. I would like to divide major companies effort in trying to be environmentally compliant for four major efforts - One is to ensure that companies achieve compliance whatever Products they manufacture, Sell, (RoHS, REACh), second, It should ensure that they are environmentally compliant for Air Pollution, Measurement needs, Regulatory permits, and Waste Management (Clean Air Act, the third one is to ensure Occupational health within the enterprise (OSHA 301, OSHA 300A) and finally to ensure Global compliance and environmental sustainability for example Carbon Demand Management or ensuring carbon foot print in all that they procure or sell in supply chain.
In order to tackle the above different requirements SAP with its technical partner Technidata has launched their first SAP EHS product for PRODUCT SAFETY Solution in the year 1997 soon they started developing other products and today SAP EH&S is a major business offering covering wider spectrum of products. Even AMR Research, a leading market analysis firm has rightly quoted " SAP is currently the only ERP provider with a significant EH&S capability, and the other solution providers do not have this level of EH&S depth on their roadmaps". Today SAP EH&S covers the following solution components i) Basic Data and Tools (Technidata prefers to name it as Basic Services and Tools and it provides training under the name of EH&S Essential and Services) ii) Product Safety iii) Dangerous Goods Management iv) Hazardous Substance Management v) Waste Management vi) Industrial Hygiene and Safety vii) Occupational Health viii) SAP REACH x) SAP EC Environmental Compliance and Emissions Management and xi) Technidata CfP endorsed business solution for RoHS.
So using the above modules SAP EH&S provides support to tackle various legislation's such as ROHS, REACH, WEEE, Dangerous Goods Transport guidelines, Clean Air Act, RCRA, SARA, CERCLA, Kyoto Protocol, OSHA and Directive 89/655/EEC.
In my next write up, I will explain some commonly used terms and overview of functionalities covered under each sub module of SAP EH&S.