Effective Software rebrands as Engage EHS: In conversation with CEO, Darragh Geoghegan
With the aim to strengthen global expansion plans, Effective Software has changed its name to Engage EHS. We caught up with CEO, Darragh Geoghegan, to find out what the rebrand means for the company and its customers, current and prospective.
Safety software provider, Effective Software, has rebranded under the company name Engage EHS to reflect the value it is driving for its customers in addressing changing EHS challenges, build on its market momentum and to reflect its global expansion strategy.
The move will align the firm better with its values on engagement and engaging the workforce, which it says is one of the key challenges faced by its customers.
As part of the restructure, Engage EHS which is headquartered in Dublin, has offices in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Madrid, has secured 1.5 million euros in a recent round of funding from existing venture capital and strategic private investors.
Its cloud-based system focuses on serving the EHS market in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, engineering, logistics and supply-chain and construction.
The firm was established in 2008 by founders Darragh Geoghegan, Billy O’Brien and Colm Geoghegan. With significant backgrounds in health and safety, they founded Engage EHS with the intention of streamlining safety and making it more accessible for employees.
Ahead of the rebrand, which is taking place this month, SHP sat down with the firm’s CEO, Darragh Geoghegan.
Read the full interview here:
What is the thought process behind the rebrand and why make the change now?
Darragh Geoghegan (DG): “There are a number of factors driving that thought process. The mobile app that we have has been called Engage since its launch, 18 months ago. But one of the key challenges that we see for most of our customers is around engagement. It’s a conversation that we have, where we’re looking to get information from their front-line workers. Trying to provide information back to the front-line workers is one of the key challenges that company’s face and the problem that we are trying to solve, is that level of engagement. We’re trying to provide a solution to really drive that engagement in safety and to get better information from the front-line.
“As we looked at our future roadmap, one of the things we wanted to do was make that very evident with the name of the business. So, the ‘Engage’ came from there and ‘EHS’ is obviously the acronym for the space. It’s also a little tie back to when we started the business, there were multiple streams, but we obviously focussed in on EHS as well.
“We just wanted to bring all that together, as we drove forward, looking at our platform over the next five to ten years and really make that relevant”.
What is the timeframe for the rebrand and what changes will your customers notice during that time?
(DG): “There are multiple streams on that, for the mobile it’s already there, so it’s already branded and going out as Engage. For everything else, as a business we’ve been re-branding throughout January, so they will have started to see that on the website and all the publications that we do.
“In terms of changes for the customers, we’re continuing on with the development that we do and driving that forward. There are no major changes, no infrastructural changes for them, they will still log in to the same sites and we do all of the redirects, so we keep that to a minimum, but the customers will start to see Engage EHS as a brand throughout January.”
How do you hope the rebrand will appeal to new customers?
(DG): “We hope it will give them an understanding of what drives us and hopefully that will be relevant to them. We always talk about what’s our reason for being here as a business, what’s our ‘why’ and what’s our customer’s ‘why?’. Why are they here? What the problems they are trying to solve? What are the objectives that they are trying to reach as a business? Hopefully it will give some relevance to that.
“We’re trying to help drive that engagement level for EHS professionals and give company’s the tools to do that.”
As you’ve mentioned, a large part of your company ethos surrounds the importance of engaging the workforce in health & safety. Why do you feel that is so vital and how does the use of software help to facilitate that process?
(DG): “You can’t underestimate the importance of engagement. Without fully engaged employees, in the culture, the processes, the systems that you have, you don’t have real information. You don’t have full visibility to what’s going on and you don’t have people working on your behalf as a safety professional.
“What we’ve often seen is great systems, designed on paper, or great systems in software, but they are ring-fenced and held in by a number of people, for lots of different reasons. It’s hard to distribute responsibility, it’s hard to get other people involved.
“We would say that software is not the only solution to that, it’s about culture, it’s about the EHS professionals, but software has a really strong part to play in providing the tools to allow people to do that in a way that is accessible, affordable and achievable. For a business to get a good understanding of both existing risk and emerging risk, you need everyone working with you as part of that safety team.
“Every single person in the company has a mobile in their pocket or is close to a device, so really capitalising on that and using that is something that we have to do in safety. We’re behind other business functions in that respect. You see an 85% impact in HR, with people using mobile, we’re at something like 5% in EHS. So, really, capitalising on that and using that technology to get more information from the front line is critical.
“Just having a mobile by itself, doesn’t solve the problem. We talk about social safety, we’ve designed a social approach to safety, using a social media style engagement, and again, really making it as ease as social was our ethos. That isn’t straightforward though, as there are a lot of complexities in safety and a lot of different things that people have to address.”
What trends have you noticed in safety culture in the recent past?
(DG): “There’s been a massive shift, in a few different areas. I think now, more than ever, employees really care about what their employer does and how their employer acts. Are they ethical? Are they using sustainable processes and practices? Do they care?”
“There is probably no better way to demonstrate that as a business, than putting your employees first and making sure they get home safe. So, when people see companies investing in that, it really does drive a huge shift in safety culture.”
Your stand at Safety & Health Expo last year created quite a buzz and there was often a queue of people waiting to have a go on your Spin the Wheel game. What can you say about what you have in store this year?
(DG): “That was put at the front of the stand to create a bit of light-heartedness and fun to people walking by and get them engaged. The conversations that we wanted to have with people were around engagement, how do you engage your employees? How do you think you can do it better? How can we help as a software provider? I won’t give away any secrets for this year’s stand, but really it was just the mentality of trying to bring a bit of engagement to the front of the stand, how do we get people to stop, look, think and engage with us, and to do it in a fun way.
“Hopefully we’re have something similar this year.”
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