I was watching a rerun of the Dating Game - an old 1960's TV show where a woman interviews three male contestants who are hidden from her view. Based on the answers, she decides with whom she wants to go out on a date.
When we are showing people how a system works, it feels like a sort of Dating Game. There is a lot discussion about needs and expectations. I've been on a lot of calls that introduce the TIER II MANAGER, a Hazmat Reporting and Emergency planning system, to new prospects. Many of the prospects use CAMEO, a free desktop system developed by NOAA, which can be downloaded from a website. Businesses email reports to SERCs, LEPCs, and Fire Departments. The email files are loaded into CAMEO for use by Planners and Emergency Responders.
CAMEO is a free download. Yes, it's hard to compete with free.
So why do State and Local Government Users still seek out and select the TIER II MANAGER?
I think I've been able to distill it down to 5 reasons:
1. IT IS WEB-BASED FOR CURRENT INFO THAT IS ACCESSIBLE ANYTIME.
Critical info like Contacts, Chemical Inventories, and Locations change all the time. A web-based system can be be updated and shared immediately as changes occur. This means Plans can be updated faster and Responders can use the info when they need it. The real-time nature of the information allows Safety Professionals to concentrate on Emergency Planning and other high value activities rather than low value activities like file copying and transfer.
CAMEO is a desktop based system that relies on manual updates so inevitably the information is older and slower to get distributed. Also of interest is that at an Oct 2015 CAMEO meeting discussing how CAMEO will be modified to meet Executive Order 13650, it was decided that CAMEO will NOT release a web-based version because it is outside the federal government's mandate to do so and there are many other technical challenges.
2. IT NEEDS ONLY MINIMAL SUPPORT.
Resources are thin at many agencies. The TIER II MANAGER can run with 1-2 Support Administrators based on size of program. Since information is automatically validated and instantly available to authorized users, there is confidence about the quality of information and no lag time. Precious professional time is not spent on copying files, some of which users have reported can get corrupted or temporarily lost.
3. IT DELIVERS ACCURATE INFO.
Reporting can be messy if the right checks are not in place. The TIER II MANAGER has an extensive rules engine that checks the validity of all fields, marks EHS chemicals, and even aggregates data across the site to tell you if the chemical exceeds Threshold Planning levels - making it a Planning site. It has the most robust validation engine of its kind. This is also why it requires very little admnistratative support.
4. IT WORKS AND IS USER-FRIENDLY.
States report 96% online reporting by businesses in the first year. This usually goes up to 99% the next year.
Information is brought forward every year so businesses only update changes.
The TIER II MANAGER has been tested for over 12 years in various environments. It works all year round so that information can always be current.
A lot of features come ready out-of-the-box but it can be customized to meet any state specific features.
If you're looking for a system that is real-time, low maintenance, user-friendly, time tested, and adaptable to your needs, then maybe, just maybe the TIER II MANAGER is a match for you. Take the TIER II MANAGER out on a free date.
Now...the two speedbumps we hit most frequently in our calls are 1) funding and 2) available IT environment. But everything can be worked out when there is a match, right?
Sign up for a subscription to pay per user. For larger systems, consider using the EMPG grant which has been used extensively to fund this program. If you have an IT infrastructure, the product can live there. If not, then rent a place with the hosting option.
So you have our number, let's talk.
*Image courtesy of http://images.fastcompany.com/upload/inline-The-Interview-Dating-Game.jpg