07 November 2008 – AccTech Systems: Using technology to save the world – one PC at a time

THE MICROSOFT SOLUTION AND SUITE OF PRODUCTS BEST SUITED THE BUSINESS NEEDS

When an international mining company found Environmental Management Inspectors knocking on its door, it chose a Microsoft solution to avoid the sting of being found non-compliant with international best practice.

Company Overview

For more than a decade, AccTech has transformed the landscape of IT business support in Africa. Embracing the unique challenges presented by the African market, AccTech has designed, implemented and supported some of the largest ERP and IT projects in the world. AccTech has a comprehensive team of specialists who work together to provide customised solutions for its clients.

Business Challenge

Complying with pre-project impact assessment studies is one thing, but measuring ongoing impact is another. This mining house had certainly done the former, but it had not set systems in place to monitor the daily impact of its various operations. The fact that its sites are scattered all over the world meant that existing manual tracking systems were seldom adhered to or monitored. The scale of the business posed significant problems for managing and controlling the records of decision, while distilling statistics for each location and the group as a whole proved nearly impossible.

As a global citizen, the company was compelled by environmental management inspectors from the Department of Environmental Affairs to implement a solution to overcome these obstacles, and manage the ongoing environmental impact of its operations more effectively. It approached AccTech Systems (Pty) Ltd, a Microsoft Partner already au fait with the influence that an efficiently run IT system with customised solutions could make on the monitoring of a mining company’s impact on the environments in which it is active.

According to the Smart2020 report (a Global e-Sustainability Initiative), information and communications technology (ICT) has a key role to play in managing the effects of business and industry on the environment. This is not as much to do with the hardware and software that the corporate world uses to diminish its greenhouse gas contributions, as it is to do with enabling energy efficiencies through the implementation of technology solutions.

The report suggests that by enabling such efficiencies, the ICT industry could deliver carbon savings five times larger than the total emissions that the sector is expected to produce in 2020.

In order to track the impact of its operations, the mining company engaged AccTech Systems to identify solutions to meet its need for a full collaborative environment that could be used by employees, internal and external auditors, and various official monitoring bodies. It needed roll based solution components, a risk and issue management solution, and the ability to plan and control conditions and actions. The facility to auto-escalate was also deemed essential.

Solution

AccTech Systems suggested an Authorisation Compliance Tracking (ACT) system, supported by various Microsoft components. “The ACT system is not a legal prerequisite, but it is used to track compliance to conditions set in environmental authorisations,” says a representative of the mining company. “If a company such as ours does not comply with these conditions, many countries may interpret it as a criminal offence. Charges could be laid, with a guilty verdict resulting in fines, imprisonment or the withdrawal of the rights to mine a particular site. Even though South Africa lags behind the rest of the world in implementing such legislation, thanks to the environmental management inspectors, mining houses like ourselves are now being held accountable for our actions and decisions.”

Tertius Zitzke, Managing Director of AccTech Systems, explains that the ACT system has given the mining house the ability to centralise task management and better track its systems and processes. “They are able to manage their activities and applications more effectively, and the system facilitates document and report creation that is in line with legislative requirements, both locally and abroad.”

He adds that any industry can create and use technology solutions that could monitor and possibly reduce the impact that their business processes have on the environment. “Monitoring, modelling, analysing and effecting changes to any company’s operational procedures – whether it is a mining operation, a power station or a logistics company – can be effectively achieved with IT. Using technology to adapt systems and workloads to reduce industry’s impact on the environment is one of the most effective ways to comply with ‘green’ guidelines that are increasingly being implemented both in South Africa and abroad.”

Business Benefits

Why did the mining house choose the Microsoft solution proposed by AccTech Systems? “Looking at all our business needs, the Microsoft solution and suite of products is the one that is best suited to our business needs, both now and in the long term, at a low cost of ownership,” they say.

“Complying with green imperatives and resolving the concerns expressed by the environmental management inspectors means that we now comply with international best practice. Decentralising responsibility for functions that are intrinsic to the whole operation has resulted in more detailed tracking and reporting – both of which are key to the success of our business well beyond the demands of the environmental management inspectors.”

AccTech Systems Solution Overview

CUSTOMER PROFILE

AccTech has designed, implemented and supported some of the largest ERP and IT projects in the world. It has a comprehensive team of specialists who work together to provide customised solutions for its clients.

BUSINESS SOLUTION

Complying with pre-project impact assessment studies is one thing, but measuring ongoing impact is another. This mining house had certainly done the former, but it had not set systems in place to monitor the daily impact of its various operations.

SOLUTION

AccTech Systems suggested an Authorisation Compliance Tracking (ACT) system, supported by various Microsoft components. The ACT system is not a legal prerequisite, but it is used to track compliance to conditions set in environmental authorisations.

BENEFITS

“Complying with green imperatives and resolving the concerns expressed by the environmental management inspectors means that we now comply with international best practice.”

SOFTWARE AND SERVICES

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – .Net 3.0 including WWF and WCF
  • Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007
  • Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for reporting and analysis services
  • CTM (Central Task Management)

Editorial contacts

AccTech Systems
Nick Botha
(012) 640 2600
nb@acctech.biz