MSDSonline’s Secret Ingredient

Last Friday, MSDSonline announced the launch of its new hazardous chemical inventory management platform.  Over the next few days, I’ll be talking about the benefits our new platform provides our customers, like container level tracking, regulatory cross referencing and robust reporting – it’s exciting stuff.

But before we jump into all of that, I’d like to take a moment to speak personally about the people and processes behind this new platform. If you read our blog for the OSHA updates and safety facts, you might want to skip this one. On the other hand, if you’re considering purchasing one of our solutions and would like to know a little bit about us and how we do things, then you’ll appreciate a behind the scenes look.

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to do three things:

  • First, say congratulations to my colleagues at MSDSonline involved in the release, which includes just about everyone at MSDSonline. It was a group effort that included important contributions from every department, including: product development, design, customer care, production, IT, sales and marketing.
  • Second, say thank you to the thousands of safety professionals who contributed to its development through their feedback and recommendations and for letting us know how we could make your jobs easier, safer, and more efficient.
  • Third, share with you a story or two about the folks here who worked tirelessly on this new release (and who continue that work today to make it even better).

When I first joined MSDSonline, exactly one year ago, my wife asked what the people were like here. I told her that they were normal in every way except that they really cared about MSDSs and safety.

My coworkers have great senses of humor about everything – except about the work we do.  When it comes to the work, everyone here takes things very seriously. Furthermore, they take great pride in their work and our suite of products and services.

This last point was unmistakably evident during our internal kickoff for the new platform.

"There's no crying in baseball!"

During the event, managers and department heads stood up to talk about the platform and to recognize their teams. And listening to them talk about the experience of building the new platform was like listening to parents talk about their only child leaving for college or getting married.

At one point our software engineering manager was thanking team members and got so choked up we had to take a minute to let the emotion pass. Now that may seem dramatic, but rather than being an awkward “There’s no crying in baseball” train wreck of a moment where everyone looks away in embarrassment, it was a cathartic experience for the entire staff because we all understood – we had the same investment.

Like any workplace, the employees at MSDSonline spend a lot of time here. But rather than just punch in and punch out every day, they bring their talent, their creativity, their passion and their love for this industry to work.

Secret Ingredient

It's this passion that I believe is the secret ingredient of our online solutions.  You won’t find it listed as a feature or benefit on any of our products, but I think it is the reason MSDSonline is a great place to work, and why our solutions work.

Sure MSDSonline pays its employees to come to work and do their tasks. But no company can buy the kind care and attention to detail that went into the making of our new platform. It is a bi-product of our company culture (which centers on excellence, collaboration and respect) and of the relationships we have with our customers.

Throughout the process of creating the new platform –  our customers were front and center on every decision we made. There were some terrific battles about how certain things should work, and every time it came down to what is best for the customer. My co-workers never lost site that at the end of the day it’s not about us, it’s about the safety of your employees.

My colleagues are a pretty humble bunch. Even so, at our kickoff event everyone held their head a little higher because of their work on this new platform. And I too, only a year in, was equally as proud.

I hope when you consider our EH&S solutions you not only see the attractive design, intuitive navigation and great features, but also the multitudes of people who participated in its creation. And if how an organization operates is an important consideration in your purchasing decision, in my opinion, trust in my colleagues is well placed.

Brad Harbaugh joined the marketing and communications team at MSDSonline in May of 2010.