Customer Spotlight – Robert McGehee
An industry thought leader with many years of experience, Robert McGehee is paving the way for innovation in the field of EHS. The new Director of Environment and Land at LafargeHolcim, Robert, spoke with Mapistry about leading the change in his organization.
Prior to his current role, Robert was the corporate environmental compliance manager at U.S. Concrete, where he took his teams from analog to digital with great success. He learned a lot about how to implement software, how to foster change in your environmental program, and how absolutely not to do it.
“You have to take that and bring people with you,” Robert said. “And also at the same time incentivize people to find their own path.”
Here’s how Robert has successfully transitioned his teams from paper to progress:
Identifying audit gaps
“I always call it rain ready or audit ready,” Robert said. Running environmental compliance for an industrial site with a lot of industrial outdoor facilities typically requires a lot of oversight of stormwater regulations.
But with all of the challenges of today’s workforce (turnover, remote work, increased responsibilities, etc.), important steps can be missed when it comes to auditing and inspecting for stormwater and beyond. Data gets lost. Reporting can be incomplete.
With these challenges in mind, Robert needed a way to help his team be more successful in the two biggest areas of importance: air and water. These programs are regulated the hardest, according to Robert.
“And that’s really why you have to have a strategy,” he said.
Enter: a digital solution.
Realizing the right solution
Robert was able to spearhead a digital transformation project across U.S. Concrete to solve the company’s biggest environmental audit gaps by rolling out the Mapistry software platform and mobile app enterprise-wide.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” Robert said. “If you’re collecting data without an idea of how you’re going to use it, you’ve already failed.” So he and his team got to work determining what data they needed to collect and why.
Once a plan is in place for digital transformation, Robert identified several benefits aside from having audit data all in one system:
One of the biggest wins upon implementing Mapistry to go paperless was the many ways it allowed him to hold facilities and field-teams accountable for their compliance obligations.
He even initiated a requirement that every single inspection should result in at least one follow-up task. “There’s never a single perfect inspection, and we need to utilize that to create a better environment for ourselves and a track record,” Robert said. Whether it be a slip, trip, fall hazard, a cord on the floor to something larger, something needs to be identified from every single inspection.”
Then, utilizing a central EHS analytics dashboard, Robert was able to evaluate the status and trends behind compliance including the completion rate of tasks, corrective actions, and inspections to keep the sites in compliance with all their mandatory requirements
“Lack of accountability shines right through implementation of any type of software because you can no longer hide behind your pencil whipped forms,” he said.
You can set up reminders and loop in people’s leaders, which has increased accountability across the board.
But it’s not just about making sure employees do the minimum, tracking data in Mapistry also allows companies to celebrate employees who are top performers.
When Robert noticed employees who were doing well, this gave him the opportunity to praise and invite them to share their own lessons with the rest of the teams.
In fact, in one region, Robert said he has even used stats around completion rates to inform the bonuses of operations managers. “Everybody’s on the phone with you the next day asking how they can get 100% completion, and that’s exactly what happened,” he said.
Additionally, he noted that he was even able to use Mapistry’s data insights around compliance performance to inform promotion opportunities. One assistant manager was promoted to manager of a region when they routinely had the best monthly Mapistry numbers!
Mapistry doesn’t just benefit the auditing teams. It also allows opportunities for cross-department collaboration.
When he was at U.S. Concrete, Robert collaborated with the safety team to implement a monthly safety audit form. This allowed both the environmental and safety teams to keep track ofinspections, tasks, and reports – all in one place.
This resulted in increased collaboration between the Environmental and Safety departments.
Using digital software also allows for increased transparency across regions and levels.
“I can sit in my home office and understand how my sites are doing around the country,” Robert said. “You can be anywhere; you can have a distributed workforce and still identify your gaps.”
Additionally, Mapistry makes it easy to share and explain data to stakeholders, such as executives.
“One of the things that Mapistry did that I really love is when your stormwater data is tracked, you have a great little infographic,” he said. “When you’re talking to a group of managers about their stormwater data, their eyes are going back into their heads. But when you’re able to show them a graph and say, ‘This is how you’re trending. You’re in the green. You’re in the red,’ it catches everybody’s attention.”
“The most resilient companies meet rising client demands without disruption to their business,” Robert said. “I want to come into an organization and make some real change.”
Want to learn more?
- Check out U.S. Concrete’s full case study.
- Learn how to empower a performance-based EHS compliance culture