In 2021, Arcus partnered with Info Exchange to deliver a system where information would be handled efficiently to save time, reduce errors associated with manual handling and platform cross-talk issues and enable reporting in a cohesive manner.
The key advantages of adopting a singular system approach within the context of this organisation were:
Singular Point of Control – A single system that also operates as a relational database, enables us to streamline our compliance information and related data in one place and is THE primary source of information. It also makes data maintenance easier and serves as the initial source for data entry which can be input into the one, central location.
Elimination of Duplicate System Entries – A singular system approach eliminates duplicate entries and hence increases data accuracy. Our system can manage diverse information types that can be used in more than one part of the business. It also helps reduce departments working in silos and encourages cross-business communication to identify common themes, trends or issues that give a holistic view and provides a more collegiate approach. Our system enables the maintenance of verifiable audit trails for your information and data and output reporting that reduces administrative burdens to match information across previously held multiple platforms.
Integrity of Data – Integrity of data is more important than ever, particularly when demonstrating compliance to the business leadership team, other colleagues, customers, auditors etc. No matter how hard you try, having data in more than one place will eventually result in discrepancies. The single integrated system avoids this scenario as the information is entered once and speaks to all interfaces meaning that end-reporting has greater validity and reliability.
Drilling Down – Consistent data allows for simple research and reporting through one system. Comprehensive, consolidated report styles can be run to deliver across a number of compliance areas allowing us to consider all elements and to suitably “drill down” to any known or emerging themes and trends.
Training – Users adjust to the one system, as opposed to having to deal with several different landscape designs and user controls. It is less stressful for the user and is cognitively less demanding; it reduces the potential for error, saves time and increases productivity making our operations more efficient and user-friendly.
System Support – One system means one vendor and therefore more accountability. This prevents the “not my problem” syndrome that can occur when vendors pass their system problems off to other systems and therefore laying the blame elsewhere. A single support team is responsible for addressing your system features or data conversion issues. It is also much simpler to apply extra configurations that can be developed and implemented as the business evolves to continually keep pace with our requirements.
IT Interventions and Upgrade Capability – System support problems are fewer with a single system, as maintenance is lower. Rather than juggling the support of several systems, technical colleagues can handle configuration upgrades quickly and easily directly. One system means one upgrade, consequently network issues, such as system interaction, software conflicts, with network infrastructure, are kept to a minimum.
Reduced Costs – Multiple systems = multiple costs. Our single system of work reduces costs associated with several systems of work that are costly and implementation costs of system integration with other corporate software. Indirect cost savings are made by reducing user training sessions, increasing staff efficiency, reducing additional stress induced from working across multiple platforms and having a single integrated reporting system that allows immediate snapshots of the status quo.
Moving to a single integrated system has improved Arcus’ operating position, but at the same time drives service delivery and compliance. It has all but eliminated duplication of entry and therefore effort, and increased data integrity. It has empowered its employees with detailed drill-down and reporting, simplified training requirements, along with the other aforementioned benefits. Arcus has also benefited from some initial cost savings, purely from moving from several systems to Info Exchange for a number of HSQE risk areas.
Samantha Howatson concluded:
“There is no doubt that implementing this kind of platform will take initial energy, and more importantly an appetite for change, but the benefits to the business and the people working within it, are enormous. Upon reflection it is difficult to imagine how we managed in a multi-platform era.”
By taking a singular, user-friendly system approach, Arcus has achieved simplification that has supported continuous improvement in both planning and operations.