Case Study

Senwes: Getting a grip on risk

IsoMetrix Customer Testimonial - Senwes
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My name is Chris Koch and I am the group risk manager at Senwes. We are an agricultural company based in Klerksdorp in the North West Province.

How long has your company been using IsoMetrix?

We’ve been using IsoMetrix for the past four years now and we have combined various Solutions within the period of the four years

How many people in your organization use IsoMetrix?

At this stage, we have about 120 active users on IsoMetrix. We would like to increase that figure as you continue with the innovations.

Why did your company choose IsoMetrix?

We chose IsoMetrix because we were looking for a combined Assurance Solutions partner and at that stage, IsoMetrix was ahead in the market with regards to a combined solution.

Where has IsoMetrix made the biggest impact in your business?

IsoMetrix has made the biggest impact in the risk and compliance areas, as well as with the audits. It has increased our risk culture in the organization and enabled us to live track certain events. And, it has also enabled us to more accurately and effectively determine the impact of events.

What do you most like about IsoMetrix?

What I like most about IsoMetrix is the adaptability. We were quite set in our ways with the methodology that we use and IsoMetrix was quite flexible in implementing those set methodologies.

Why would you recommend IsoMetrix?

The reason I would recommend IsoMetrix is for the same reason as we like IsoMetrix and that is because they have quick adaptability and reason for change. They are at the forefront of Governance and Compliance which we pride ourselves in.

What was it like working with the IsoMetrix team?

It was fun working with the IsoMetrix team. There is no project that goes without conflict, however, between us we managed to handle the conflict very effectively. Their support team is quite remarkable in dealing with issues.

Quick facts

Location South Africa
Industry Agriculture
Year of implementation 2014

Senwes is one of the leading agricultural companies in South Africa, with clients symbolizing the heart of the company. The Senwes Group of companies is supported by three pillars – Input Supply, Financial and Technical Services and Market Access in eight of the nine provinces. The Senwes Group has an integrated business model to facilitate its core objective of making a meaningful contribution to food security in South Africa in a sustainable manner.

Senwes needed to implement Integrated Management Systems for Health, Safety, Environment and Compliance (HSEC), Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Internal Compliance and Internal Audit. The ERM system was built to accommodate Senwes’s quantitative approach to assessing risk.


Implementation of a real-time quantitative risk assessment solution.

  • Simplify – incorporate only what is required from a business needs and risk perspective
  • Standardize – uniform arrangements based on selected practices
  • Automate – ensuring the availability of factual information to management

Why IsoMetrix

  • IsoMetrix provides a fully functional governance, risk and compliance (GRC) suite. This is in line with the internal objective with regards to Combined Assurance reporting
  • IsoMetrix also provided us with a fully tailor-made solution implemented according to our selected preferences which at that stage was lacking in the market
  • Reputation of IsoMetrix as a preferred supplier of GRC solutions
  • Driven towards best practice in all facets of the GRC solution

Working with the IsoMetrix team

  • Management’s involvement throughout the implementation and the team’s solution-driven focus was one of the aspects that stood out
  • The support received after implementation is another great advantage. Support calls receive immediate attention with continuous feedback regarding the situation and aspects of the support

Impact on the business

Risk management cannot and does not create a risk-free environment; however, it enables management to operate more effectively in environments filled with risk. Senwes are actively seeking innovative and industry-leading ways in order to increase the company’s risk management maturity and lower the risk profile.

Internal post risk event evaluations have shown that by following a sound risk management methodology and having the adequate tools, such as the IsoMetrix solution, to support management we could timely and accurately report on the risk event exposures before and during an event with the exception of only a few.


Calculated risks

Senwes is one of the leading agricultural companies in South Africa. The company has a rich and proud history which extends over a period of 108 years.

Senwes monitors a risk register of around 260 identified risks within 22 risk categories throughout the Group. The group’s residual risk exposure range from R300 million with a very low-risk tolerance level to around R600 million in catastrophic drought events.

Senwes previously calculated their quantitative risks using spreadsheet-based systems that were not able to provide real-time information. They needed to replace these spreadsheets with a centralized, electronic system that would provide real-time risk assessment information. The IsoMetrix software now allows Senwes to have real-time dashboards reflecting quantitative risks across the business for HSEC, Enterprise Risk Management, and Internal Compliance.

The IsoMetrix solutions needed to integrate with various third-party data sources containing Key Risk Indicators used to calculate risks. These are imported periodically into the risk management module that was configured to Senwes’s specific requirements.

“The risk quanta are influenced by a wide range of drivers and indicators, including exchange rates, rainfall, crop prices, income, rates of non-compliance, customer dissatisfaction, staff turnover and asset losses,” says Chris Koch, Group Risk Manager at Senwes. Risk drivers are categorized as weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. “By having easy access to information, we are now able to make better, fully informed decisions.”

The initiative to implement the IsoMetrix ERM software has improved the company’s risk management maturity and culture as well as increased departmental efficiencies. “Algorithms built up over time use these drivers to calculate the Rand-value of key business risks,” explains Chris. The next step for Senwes will be to shift towards pro-active risk identification and reporting based on an early warning system in order to improve the risk management maturity towards its role as strategic advisor.


Risk managers are actively looking for various ways in order to enhance their decision-making abilities with real- and in-time risk analysis on threats and opportunities. “The initiative serves as a great benchmark for the industry where risks could be managed or mitigated and opportunities seized,” concludes Chris.

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