De Beers Group, which has been mining diamonds since 1888, has operations in Canada, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
De Beers Group is committed to a sustainable legacy built on safety, thriving communities and protected environments. This “Building Forever” strategy is built on the following four pillars:
- Protecting the natural world
- Partnering for thriving communities
- Standing with women and girls
- Leading ethical practices across industry.
In order to support these goals, De Beers Group recognized that a software solution could assist.
Operations within the De Beers Group have been using IsoMetrix since the late 1990s. De Beers initiated a global strategy to drive sustainability and shared value in 2016. The company chose IsoMetrix as a software vendor to develop and implement a standardized system for managing Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) incidents, risk management and actions across all their business units.
This complex project – named “Project Unity” – effectively standardized reporting requirements across eight individual business units to allow for group reporting.
The business units where IsoMetrix has been implemented are:
- Botswana - Jwaneng, Letlhakane, Orapa and Damtshaa Mines
- Canada - Gacho Kué, Snap Lake, and Victor Mines and De Beers Canada Exploration
- South Africa - Venetia and Voorspoed Mines
Upon embarking on this critical project, De Beers Group understood that standardizing their processes globally was key to driving operational efficiency and enhancing their integrated risk management.
They understood that this required a long-term, forward-thinking strategy, designed to build business resilience and make for sustainable diamond mining. This would inspire consumer confidence and create shared value at every stage in their value chain.
Having a standardized software system would be a key enabler in enhancing risk and performance management and driving improvement. The global diamond company wanted to simplify their risk management, and foster collaboration between the business units.
Project Unity aimed to address the following business needs:
- Upgrade and replace out-of-date systems
- Reduce complexity
- Accommodate unique functional requirements at specific operating entities
- Minimize major or unnecessary change
The project supported the group’s strategic objectives to align, standardize and simplify the key processes and systems. They developed a standard system blueprint to realize long-term sustainability goals and leverage economies of scale with fit-for-purpose, and cost-effective solutions.
IsoMetrix is recognized by independent analysts as a world-leading provider of EHS risk management software specializing in fully integrated solutions. The agility of the software allows for specific configuration at site level to be carried out, to match existing processes, thereby reducing change management while at the same time enabling global reporting.
De Beers Group chose IsoMetrix based on the software provider’s global footprint, and the product’s user-friendly interfaces and superior dashboarding and reporting capabilities. In addition, the two companies’ 20 year partnership was a key factor, with the product’s evolution having been spurred to a large extent by forward-thinking customers such as De Beers Group.
How the project developed
The key success factors in the project were achieving functionality, flexibility, and simplicity of design. Building on the IsoMetrix systems that De Beers Group was already using made it easier for employees to adopt the changes because they were already familiar with the systems.
The IsoMetrix team was cognizant of the operational requirements of each business unit, and the software itself had sufficient flexibility to accommodate each business unit’s requirements while still maintaining a global group reporting standard.
De Beers Group and IsoMetrix also safeguarded the success of the project by implementing a comprehensive communication and engagement model. This included monthly status reports, regular updates, a “playpen” environment where concepts could be tested before roll-out, and a clearly defined process for comments and review.
IsoMetrix has also developed video training material specifically for De Beers Group that allows knowledge transfer to happen seamlessly across the organization.
Regular planning and review sessions – even post implementation – and establishing a governance committee, has ensured that De Beers Group continues to get the maximum benefit from the software solution.
Critical success factors
Any type of project implementation involving multiple business units and many stakeholders is complex. It requires careful management to ensure it stays within scope, on time, and achieves its original strategic objectives.
With over 20 years’ experience rolling out large custom projects, IsoMetrix has refined its implementation process and was able to guide De Beers Group on their software requirements. Both De Beers Group and IsoMetrix appointed dedicated project teams. Furthermore, a phased implementation ensured the project stayed on track.
De Beers Group also led an internal change management initiative to ensure the system benefits were fully realized and communicated back to stakeholders.