We chat to FRANCOIS STEYN, senior implementation and training consultant at African Human Logistics (AHL), to get the lowdown on risk management software.

AHL is a South African-based company that was founded in 2007 to establish a local base for INX Software sales, implementations, support and maintenance in Africa as a result of the increased interest shown from African based companies in the software.

Why should companies invest in risk management software?

By implementing a risk management system and considering potential risks/events before they occur, companies ultimately save lives and money. These software solutions provide a means for companies to establish suitable procedures to avoid potential threats, minimise their impact should they occur and cope with the results.

For example, in industrial operations, it doesn’t really help to simply look at incidents to see how well you’re doing safety-wise. You need to record these incidents and relate them to your risk assessments so when a risk review is done, the number of incidents that occurred will indicate how well the controls are functioning in the avoiding or mitigating of risk.

What benefits does it provide?

It saves companies money and time, and it helps ensure that the staff  – and the overall environment the company operates in – is taken care of. By using an application like INX InControl, it allows the risk register and the incident register to “talk” to one another. Simply having an incident register on one platform (a software system or Excel spreadsheet) and the risk register on another (a different software system or different Excel document) is not ideal, and doesn’t provide any benefit.

The risk register needs to be a “live” system and needs to integrate with an incident register. Over the years, we’ve seen numerous risk registers that are more than five years old and are never updated; and that’s because a risk register in isolation offers no benefit.

Companies that manage risk in this manner often do so simply because they are compelled to do so by legislation and they derive no benefit from it. The right software solution will also drive greater visibility and insights into a company’s safety culture for all managers and executives.

What risk management software solutions/services do you offer?

AHL provides consulting services for managing all the services surrounding the implementation of the INX Software workforce and compliance management system in the mining, manufacturing, telecommunications, aviation, retail and construction industries, serving both the domestic and international sectors.

Our INX InControl module is an event and risk management system that assists in the recording and management of safety, health, environmental, quality, security and community-related incidents, audits, inspections, meetings, observations and actions often across multiple sites or projects. It provides automated follow-ups, escalation and scheduling for monthly reporting, as well as various analysis tools.

What sets this offering apart from the competition?

INX has a proven track record and has been implemented at over 180 enterprise clients across 24 countries globally. It is easy to use and highly configurable, allowing clients to make changes to drop-down lists, workflows, escalations and reporting structures “on the fly” without being dependant on vendor assistance.

It has no “per user licensing”, meaning we do not limit the number of users on the INX systems, enabling our clients to ensure our systems are widely adopted throughout their organisations and not limited to certain users.

As INX is a commercial off-the-shelf system, our systems can be implemented in a relatively short timeframe, compared to other solutions, resulting in time and money savings.

Access to an efficient support structure is of paramount importance when selecting a system, and we pride ourselves in the level of support provided to our clients.

What challenges do software providers face?

There are plenty: the rate of technology advancement in the IT industry is both a blessing and a challenge. Managing expectations and outcomes, from a development and an implementation point of view, is one of the major challenges.

The scope (for the development of a software solution but also an implementation project) needs to be clearly defined and agreed upon, after which the activities should be geared towards this framework without getting sidetracked by unapproved additions.

And how are you overcoming these?

By clearly defining the scope of all projects, not only for development but implementations as well, and by staying on track with agreed expectations – ensuring that they are met and sometimes exceeded.

What does the future hold for software providers?

Digital transformation. Technology such as Artificial Intelligence, cognitive computing and machine learning can often be deemed challenging to grasp, especially for companies that are inexperienced with enterprise technology.

However, digital transformation is essential for business growth and must be considered as a top-line strategy that is in line with operational requirements. It is at the forefront of corporate development; systems, business processes and tools implemented as part of digital transformation initiatives will enable employees to enhance compliance, safety and efficiencies in the workplace.

Partnering with a trusted software provider can be a low-risk option to achieve long-term digital goals.

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