My name is Kavita Pema and I am the Group Executive for Sustainability and Risk at the Omnia Group, which is a diversified chemicals and mining business.
What IsoMetrix solution do you use?
We are using Version 4 of IsoMetrix which includes all the modules. So we have a fully integrated Risk and EHS system setup. Sustainability and all those issues are also included. We have quite a robust integrated system that we are using.
Why did you choose IsoMetrix?
For many years we have been using a system for EHS reporting but not integrated. It was mainly an incident and audit management system that we were using and we found that it was not really addressing our needs, it was also not very user-friendly. So as a company we started looking at various systems to see what would be a good choice to replace that system. For about a period of one year, we went through a process of assessing various systems, going through demonstrations to see how they work, getting references for all the systems as well as going to places where they were using those systems to see how they work.
There were a lot of systems we went through and eventually we landed on IsoMetrix. The advantages were that it is very user-friendly, we could see how it would fit into our business, it was simple to use and it is very robust, so if we needed to make changes we could adapt and amend or change as needed and that worked fantastically. What we went for at that stage was a pure EHS solution, aside from the fact that some health and safety risks would have been included in that, we went for a pure EHS system and that was on Version 3 of IsoMetrix.
When we saw how the system was starting to fit into our business, it was starting to make sense, we realized that we should actually be doing an integrated risk system and put the whole enterprise risk aspect into the system and that's when we were introduced to Version 4. At the time Version 4 was still in production but we were assured that it will address our risk management needs and once the system was finalized and put all the risk management modules in there, it fit perfectly so the transition from Version 3 to Version 4 was not that difficult. There were some background issues we had to sort out in terms of importing data from an older version to a newer version but we got support for that from IsoMetrix. There was a lot of back and forth in terms of what kind of templates need to be created to move the data but eventually it was done. We have been live on vision 4 since June 2018.
What was it like working with the IsoMetrix team?
We actually had quite a large and diverse team from IsoMetrix working with us on this project, we had subject matter experts from almost all the disciplines that IsoMetrix covers and what we did from our side was bring most of our senior specialists to the development phases. So we had a very good interactive working relationship with the subject matter experts, the business analysts, as well as a system developers. It took us a while to get where we needed and in the process there were quite a few changes, mostly on IsoMetrix side but it felt seamless. We did hit a few hiccups here-and-there but other than that the support was great and the subject matter experts were very knowledgeable, they knew what they were talking about and they supported us in what we needed to achieve in the business. They listened to what we needed and then they came up with a solution. What was also very good was that where we may have missed something, they quickly picked up those gaps and gave us ideas and solutions of how to fill those gaps. So we ended up with what I believe is quite a good solution.
Where has IsoMetrix made the biggest impact?
So the biggest change we have experienced is in our reporting, where we were previously struggling a lot with things like incident management, management of audit findings and tracking actions those things had always been difficult now we have a very good system that helps us for that. the really good thing that I personally find very valuable, is the dashboards but from a management perspective although we don't dive deep into the system, dashboards really assist in making management decisions and to see how things are going, where are the areas of focus and where we should be placing more attention. From that perspective it is been very useful.
How effective has IsoMetrix been since implementation?
Previously we have been doing most of our reporting on spreadsheets. Main reason being, system we had was not user-friendly. Although there was a requirement to report on the system, everyone in the business started creating their own spreadsheets. So every time we needed information, you got 10 spreadsheets that you had to consolidate and it was very cumbersome trying to get yearly stats or six-monthly stats or even monthly stats, it was very difficult. So that was part of the process that we really wanted to do away with. Also, we had a separate system in which we were actually capturing data, it was an in-house system that we had built but just for collection of stats.
We then removed that system totally, we also removed the previous reporting system totally and now everything is in IsoMetrix. we also had a separate risk reporting system so that system (spreadsheets) has also been replaced by IsoMetrix, and the beauty part of that is everything is integrated, so no matter where you are in the system everything touches the different parts of the business. If you base it on the foundation of risk management and tie everything into risk disciplines we get a seamless picture of what's going on in the business.
Why would you recommend IsoMetrix?
My personal choice was IsoMetrix when we went through the process. The main reason was it looked good, the visuals of IsoMetrix is very friendly on the eyes and looks pretty, with beautiful colors but aside from that, it's very easy to use. It requires a little bit of initial training but then it's also very intuitive, so if you're new to the system and you just follow the prompts and you follow the next steps that pop up, you actually already teaching yourself how to use the system. So although we need to do a bit of training and awareness, the need to do in-depth detail training is not there. People from scratch can go into the system and already start using it. The biggest advantage for me was the ease of use and user-friendliness and the adaptability.
Have any unique requirements?
There were a few things that IsoMetrix did for us which was unique. We are a chemicals business and for us process safety is a huge critical aspect and nowhere could we find a software that could assist us with process safety. IsoMetrix actually built and model specifically for us to manage our process safety. A whole roll out assessment of elements, with reporting and dashboards and although the dashboard requires information from our maintenance system they put in that interface and integration for us so we can pull dashboards from a maintenance system into IsoMetrix. That was a unique thing that we could not find anywhere else.
Did anything else confirm your decision that IsoMetrix was the right to?
In November 2018 the Omnia Group was nominated and won the Institute of Risk Management of South Africa’s industry initiatives award and that was largely based on the fact that we had gone the route of systemizing risk management and embedding it into the organization. It is no longer an isolated tick-box exercise, it is integrated into all our business processes. That also reinforced the message within the group, that we are on the right path and that we have chosen the right tool to assist us in dealing with risk.
Omnia Group initially implemented IsoMetrix Software to manage SHERQ in 2016. Recently, Omnia upgraded from Version 3 to Version 4 of IsoMetrix. This was more than a software upgrade, it was a move to an award-winning, business-wide integrated risk management system.
|Solutions being used||IsoMetrix Integrated ERM (IsoMetrix Version 4)|
|Number of sites||100+ in 50 Countries|
|Number of active users||1 500|
|Go live date||2018|
|Number of Employees||5 000|
|Industry||Agriculture, Mining and Chemicals|
- Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
- Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)
- Emission and Carbon Footprint Management
- Integrated Compliance
- Custom Process Safety
In the beginning
In 2016, after an intensive selection process, Omnia Holdings Limited chose IsoMetrix for its Safety Health Environment Risk & Quality (SHERQ) management system. Omnia required a superior solution with the ability to tightly integrate with other solutions within the Omnia environment – and that’s exactly what they got.
During 2015 and 2016, Omnia sought to find a suitable SHERQ management system. Kavita Pema, Group Executive: Sustainability and Risk at Omnia Holdings, explains candidates were selected based on:
- Their reputation and number of years operating as best practice software providers within the specified industry
- The quality of their demonstrated solutions and the ability to potentially integrate with other functionality/modules and systems within the Omnia environment.
Using the above criteria, six possible vendors were shortlisted. “Following several demonstrations and discussions it was agreed that the IsoMetrix software would best suit the needs of the SHERQ team,” says Kavita.
IsoMetrix software was commended for its ease of use and good aesthetics, agility and adaptability, providing a superior user experience. Omnia also praised the IsoMetrix team for their comprehensive industry knowledge and ability to create pre-populated fields based on SHERQ requirements.
Evolving risk management with integrated technology
In 2018, the group upgraded to IsoMetrix Version 4, and expanded their solutions from SHERQ to an integrated enterprise management system that brought risk management to the forefront of every aspect of the business.
Kavita says that the move from IsoMetrix Version 3 to Version 4 was smooth, “When we implemented Version 3, we needed to a lot of customized configuration, which was already in Version 4, so the transition was easy. Because we had spent so much time defining our risk processes with IsoMetrix, we did not have to do much to upgrade.”
The move from Version 3 to Version 4 of IsoMetrix represented an ongoing evolution in Omnia Group’s approach to risk management, and a move to an integrated system that addressed risk as a primary business function that recognizes risk management as core to the business as a whole, and not just a function of SHERQ. “Our risk management was disjointed, with IsoMetrix we have integrated and tied it all together,” says Kavita.
Integration has been a vital factor in the implementation of IsoMetrix, “We have integrated our business functions and systems. IsoMetrix integrates with other systems such as our SharePoint and we are going to implement HR integration as well.”
By implementing a group wide integrated ERM management system gave Omnia the opportunity to reassess its overall risk management process and re-evaluate its existing risk methodology. “We relooked at everything,” says Kavita. “Where before we had a 7x10 risk matrix, we whittled that down to a 5x5 matrix. We redefined our risk disciplines and used the opportunity to refine our processes which were mostly spreadsheet based or manual.”
“We revamped our whole management system, not just our risk processes. We brought risk management to the fore and made it an integral part of our strategy,” explains Kavita. “
The extensive scoping sessions with IsoMetrix gave Omnia the opportunity to carefully assess existing processes. “We were able to weed out redundancies and duplication in our processes, and fill gaps where we found them,” explains Kavita, “The process gave us a greater awareness in the organization of the management of risk as a group-wide function and we realised that there was a wider business imperative.”
Implementing IsoMetrix created alignment and consistency across the group. Omnia is now reaping the benefits in integrated risk management, increased efficiencies, systematic audits and inspections.
Award winning risk management
IsoMetrix nominated Omnia Group for the company’s integration of risk management from an operational and business perspective. Part of this initiative included replacing outdated systems and spreadsheet-based risk management with an efficient, integrated risk management software solution, namely IsoMetrix.
This initiative was critical to understanding and managing risk from an integrated perspective to ensure controls are effectively identified, managed and assessed for effectiveness.