Managing all the regulatory, statutory and voluntary compliances, and audits was proving to be a big challenge for the company. A look at how IT stepped in to ease off all the issues.
India Glycols is a major player engaged in the manufacturing of performance and specialty chemicals. Established in 1983, the company employs state-of-the-art technology and innovative processes to manufacture its products. Its product range includes nutraceuticals, sugar, spirits, industrial gases and gums.
The challenge: Managing regulatory, statutory and voluntary compliances and audits
All organizations need to meet the defined regulatory and statutory compliances. The ambit of compliance, meanwhile, is growing with each passing year. It is, therefore, extremely pertinent for any organization to take structured steps to minimize any likelihood of delayed or non–compliance and also ensure fulfillment of all audit requirements.
An enterprise has to ensure its employees are made aware of what regulations and statutes they need to comply with and accordingly consistently handle these in a proactive manner. Non–compliance or non–adherence to the applicable compliance can lead to serious consequences for an organization. For India Glycols, managing all the regulatory, statutory and voluntary compliances and audits, as applicable to the organization, was proving to be a challenge.
“There was no single version or cockpit-view on the status of about 1900 compliances that were applicable to the organisation. It was becoming increasingly difficult to practically and realistically manage them,” said Atul Govil, Head (SAP & IT), India Glycols.
The company had an individual-centric approach of handling compliance. As a result, there was substantial risk of slippages, particularly in situations wherein the concerned employee moved to a different role or switches job or superannuates.
Besides, there was an urgent need to make the compliance and audit handling process more efficient. The manual system took as long as 2-3 hours to handle compliances and to retrieve the necessary data. Reputational risk was also another very important consideration for India Glycol to urgently look for a solution that would take care of the issue.
Deploying an audit and compliance management platform
To handle the realities of constantly evolving statutes and regulations and avoid punitive actions and fines, India Glycol decided to develop and implement a comprehensive compliance and audit management solution.
For developing the solution, Govil leveraged ASP.NET and jQuery-based web application with a link to comprehensive Sharepoint “Intranet” platform. The company roped in Path Infotech for software development based on a detailed requirements provided by it.
“The project was kick-started by mapping of acts and laws according to the different group companies and mapping of compliances with respect to those acts. The compilation of the applicable compliances across different sites, head office, depots and branches was voluminous and we had to hire an external agency to validate the listed compliances to ensure due coverage,” said Govil.
There was creation of multiple approval and escalation levels (through email alerts and reminders). Besides, there were audit trails to track compliance at every step. “The initiative involved development of user-friendly dashboards for the senior management to help them keep a tab on the status of compliances. Also, there were remediation measures in the system to meet an extreme eventuality of any delayed / non – compliance. This made the package very comprehensive,” Govil said.
In certain cases, individuals perceived the new implementation as creating a loss of control on the related business critical aspects. However, the IT department allayed their apprehensions “through counseling and mentoring.”
The entire project took four months to go live, and incurred a cost of Rs.30-40 lakhs.
Compliance and audit management at the click of a button
The deployment of the new solution eased off all the issues that India Glycols was confronting.
The audit and compliance management solution provided an enterprise-wide view of risk and compliance to the concerned execution team and senior management. It provided visibility into the entire process with timely alerts and update on status of compliances and audits.
History data of compliances and audits which was earlier available in an individual's PC's and/or in physical files is now available at a click. “The solution has enabled us to make the critical aspect of compliance management process-oriented rather than person-oriented. It has created due visibility to all concerned in the organization with respect to the applicable compliances & audits,” Govil said.
“Compliance handling which was till so far considered a very specialised and to some extent a black box, of which only select individuals had a know how, is now a system centric and person agnostic tool,” he said.
The entire compliance and audit handling process has become more efficient.
“From the earlier manual system that took 2-3 hours to handle compliances and to retrieve it’s data, it now takes only 12 – 15 minutes (a reduction by at least 6–8 times) to do so varied from 2 -3 hours,” Govil added.