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Transnet Engineering achieves rapid ROI with IsoMetrix EHS

Transnet Engineering achieves rapid ROI with IsoMetrix EHS

In 2010 Mirriam Tenyane, Divisional Executive: Compliance and Regulatory Affairs at Transnet Engineering, assumed responsibility for standardising and automating the company’s EHS processes.

This is how they achieved their phenomenal success and rapid ROI.

Quick Facts

Company Transnet Engineering
Project Length 14 months
Users 500
Project Cost R3 million
ROI Period 2 to 3 months

Transnet Engineering consists of eight different business units, which contain 132 depots and six factories spread across South Africa. The different depots and branches had been permitted to develop their own approach to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, which diverged significantly over time. This was done for the purpose of accountability, and to ensure that each site should be independently ISO-certified. In effect, there were around 80 entities that had their own way of working within the standards. This resulted in inconsistencies in practices, confusion, and despondency from the implementers and a high number of findings experienced during audits.
Mirriam’s first objective was to standardise the EHS framework across the organisation. This took 2 years, during which period she invested her time in ascertaining best practice and engaging with stakeholders to ensure their buy-in.

An energetic, passionate person, Mirriam sold the concept internally and cajoled the change-resistant, explaining that standardising would create a safer environment, and significantly reduce costs. Mirriam understood that getting all business units to work in a uniform way would streamline the external audit process. Her vision was borne out: the costs of external audits over a three year period dropped from R21m to R16m.

The systems remained largely manual, however, and Mirriam’s next focus was to automate the standardised framework Transnet Engineering had developed. Pressing issues included the difficulty in managing historical data, the inability to easily trace the movement of documents, the lack of notifications over expiry dates and actions, and the inability to link documents to the last person to have modified them.

Komane Maphutha, Primrose Madikizela, Mmalaka Phejane and Mirriam Tenyane of the Transnet Engineering Risk and Safety team, accepting their award at the Annual IRMSA Risk Awards 2016

IsoMetrix was chosen as the preferred solution for automating EHS, due to the agility it offered, the strong dashboards, and the fact that it had been successfully rolled out at Transnet Engineering’s sister company, Transnet Freight Rail.
There is no sense of panic if someone leaves, like there used to be. Our knowledge is now institutionalised, it is in the system. This makes us so much more robust as an organization. Mirriam Tenyane, Transnet Engineering

After a 14 month project, the official go-live was in June 2014. The benefits of automating were immediately apparent. Reports that had previously taken senior staff members days to compile were now available instantly. Dashboards gave a clear visual understanding of trends and exceptions. One particular dashboard highlighted the extent to which injuries to hands occurred in the organisation, a fact that had been rendered invisible under the previous manual systems. Mirriam acted on this insight immediately, through programmes focussed on PPE and training, and was able to bring the occurrence of hand injuries down significantly. In fact, the overall lost time injury frequency rate has come down from 1.02 per 200,000 hours in 2012 to 0.42 by end of March 2016.

One of the biggest areas of cost saving was a further reduction in the cost of external audits, which reduced from R16m over three years to a projected R2.75m ($203 500), a reduction of 83%.

Improved visibility and access to information has also reduced the effort and time required for internal audits, and greatly reduced the extent of audit findings. Whereas before the implementation of IsoMetrix audit findings stood at 1500, they now average around 120, an improvement of more than 90%.

Transnet Engineering and IsoMetrix celebrating Transnet Engineering’s win at the IRMSA Awards 2016

The implementation of IsoMetrix required an investment of around R3m. If one considers the reduction in audit fees alone, the return on investment period is less than four months. Factoring in other savings such as reduced time to compile reports, greater efficiencies across the EHS workforce, improved decision making, and lower LITFR, the estimated ROI period is between 2 and 3 months.

Says Mirriam: “Simply put, IsoMetrix makes business sense. It has been a great investment. Within Transnet Engineering it goes beyond EHS: we have easily been able to incorporate Quality and Security as well. It is a true business management solution.“

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