Head of Product Development: Andy Giffen

 

Enhesa is a multi-national, multi-cultural company that helps global companies be aware of and stay in compliance with environmental, health and safety laws. Enhesa provides its services thanks in large part to its in-house team of EHS regulatory analysts – based across our five corporate offices. In this regular feature, we focus on the people that make our services what they are.

Name:

Andy Giffen

Education, Skills and Qualifications:

I completed my Bachelor of Commerce specializing in eBusiness at the University of Ottawa in 2006; the degree was a good mix of computer science and business strategy.  I’ve had the opportunity to work in private and public sectors for very small companies of less than 10 people and for very large organizations—such as the Canadian Government.  This diverse experience has helped me become a successful Product Manager and allowed me to balance multi-departmental objectives while shipping great software.

I came into EHS from a purely technical role as IT Manager. I was hooked once I got to know the people in the industry and have worked with EHS professionals for the best part of a decade.  I have been fortunate to work with passionate and smart people helping to build software solutions that are being used all around the world!

When did you join Enhesa?

I joined Enhesa in September 2016 as Partnerships Integration Manager.

What brought you to Enhesa?

I have always been a great lover of books and the published word. I worked at the Canadian Library Association for a few years on the technical data side of things. This love evolved into a passion for data and how it gets delivered to people to help them in their daily lives…I then fell into EHS as I went to work for a publisher of EHS information in Vancouver. It was there that I first worked on the delivery of EHS regulatory “content” into different software systems. I actually built a new delivery mechanism for regulatory content. That is when I learned more about the different EHS software providers out there.

That experience was a great foundation and I then moved to one of Enhesa’s EHS software partners, Intelex, in Toronto as a Partnership Enablement Manager. I learned a lot about EHS in that role, as I was deeply involved with the environmental products that Intelex offered;I worked across solutions for air, water, waste and chemicals management.

The opportunity arose for me to join the global market leader in EHS regulatory content, Enhesa – so the rest is history, as they say!

How has your role with Enhesa evolved?

My initial role was all about improving, enhancing and consolidating Enhesa’s partnerships with numerous EHS software vendors. Initially, this meant addressing gaps in integration (making sure the Enhesa services were being used and applied in the best way possible within the software solutions). One of the most important aspects of my role was to create a tiered partnership program to better define how we work with our partners. I worked to foster closer collaboration with partners.

I also developed an applicability engine to make it easier for clients to determine which EHS laws are most relevant to their specific operations. This got me more into the Product Development side of things—evaluating client and industry needs and making sure Enhesa’s service offering aligns with that. As my role has progressed to being Head of Product Development, I have also started building an important internal application, as well as developing and improving our existing client solutions.

What excites you most about your current role?

It really allows me to follow my passion, which is working with data and getting the most out of that data by delivering it in the best way to the people that need it. We are pretty lucky at Enhesa;  the data that we work with has a robust structure based on EHS topic headings. This is a very valuable feature, as it means the data is standardized for any jurisdiction around the world.

 Enhesa regulatory content can address multiple needs, as it allows a comparative, pro-active and metrics-based approach to assessing regulatory compliance. It can even lead to the use of leading indicators based on the outcomes of your compliance assessments and reviews. You can measure your compliance status proactively and identify risks, at site level, or globally, before they become citations or enforcement actions.

The standardized data structure also opens the door for possible future applications in cutting edge technologies.

What are the tech trends you see coming up in terms of EHS regulatory content?

Everyone seems to be talking about Artficial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, etc.! I was recently asked if Enhesa will be making use of AI.

What we can say is that Enhesa won’t be using AI directly; we are not a software company and instead provide more of a ‘raw material.’ As such, the application of AI could be used to help our EHS regulatory analysts complete their jobs (for example, by scraping data), but we believe that the human analysis of laws, with something as important as EHS, will remain vital.

However, the potential for Enhesa’s Compliance Intelligence information to be used within AI applications is most definitely there. This is because we have organized our Regulatory Compliance Intelligence (or “content”) in a consistent structure across all our jurisdictions. 

Taking a more short-term view, I believe the portability and mobility of data is going to be the bigger trend in the coming years. People are walking around less and less with Excel files or paper and pens when carrying out audits or compliance reviews. The importance of “dashboarding” is also increasing—whereby all the information collected as part of an EHS compliance program can be rolled back up into a standard report.

All of these things have the aim of getting data to where it needs to be, to enable actions to be taken, and risks assessed, more quickly and effectively. This is where I see trends going at the moment

Lots on the horizon! Watch this space…

What is your favorite aspect of working at Enhesa?

I really like working for a truly global company with offices all around the world.  This allows me to connect with EHS professionals from Europe, Japan, China and the United States… I love hearing about their issues and what we can do to help relieve some of that pain.

There is something very cool to know that software you helped build is being used by people all around the world!