Following the success of the Pentana auditing software within its Internal Audit and Risk Management departments, Argenta turned its attention to transforming the operational performance of its Inspection team using the same software.
With over 500 branches which need to be visited regularly each year, Argenta‘s Inspection team was continuously battling issues during each visit, mostly related to their use of a series of manual, paper-based methods.
Christel Van Camp, Process Manager within the department of Compliance and Integrity at Argenta, said: “Before the introduction of Pentana, our inspectors mainly used checklists and classifications in Microsoft Excel and Word to document their inspection results. Those were often based on hand written summaries. The majority of this information was then stored on our network drives. There were no reporting tools, no dashboards, no risk matrices nor risk libraries or an insight on the weight of each risk. Microsoft Excel was used for the registration of incidents.
“This way of working was not as efficient as it should have been and, through working with paper-based systems, there was a lot of manual work and re-work required, which was both time consuming and detrimental to the department’s performance.”
Furthermore, as there was no weighted risk library, there were no objective criteria when setting the scope of each inspection. Christel continued: “Before starting to determine our own functional requirements, we were involved in the selection of Pentana within our Internal Audit and Risk Management department and witnessed a lot of similarities between our departments. Plus, we knew how well Pentana could be adjusted to our needs and realised it could be adapted to tightly fit and improve our existing paper-based inspection processes.”
How did Pentana, with help from Ideagen’s partner Sepia Solutions, enhance Argenta’s Inspection team to increase performance?
Argenta’s inspectors are tasked with regularly visiting more than 500 branches. During their visits, they are required to run various tests and document many observations and results. With each inspection lasting just one day, Argenta’s Inspection team has no time to waste.
By implementing Pentana, the paper-based and manual processes which were obstructing inspectors during their on-site reviews, could be removed. Now, the Inspection team uses Pentana to perform inspections of Argenta’s local branches, to document their findings, recommendations and actions electronically in a consistent way and to deliver the outputs in a standardised and easy to consume report. In short, Argenta’s Inspection team’s processes are now solid and consistent while objective measurement is now possible and action follow-up automatic.
- Audits of local branches and agents are conducted in a consistent way, including findings, recommendations and actions
- Introduction of a risk library to ensure all risks to the business are being properly assessed and defined
- Risk ranking provides opportunity to properly scope audits and classify branches as low or high risk
- Multi-lingual capability assures understanding and ease of communication for Dutch and French speakers in this project
- Standard reports capture incidents from across the organisation allowing for repetition to be measured in an objective way
Christel added: “Because our inspectors do not have to deal with potential barriers of paper-based systems and processes, our inspections now generate around 50% more output while re-work and other manual tasks have significantly decreased.
“We now have a risk library which is filled with objectives, inherent risks, controls and tests against specific processes as well as standard findings. Our findings and recommendations are now pre-defined in a central library and classification is consistent. In terms of risk assessments, we now have risks ranked from high to low with regard to the business. Previously, we were conducting inspections without knowledge of those risks. Now we know we are reviewing the correct elements and can classify them as low or high risks based on accurate data.
Because our inspectors do not have to deal with potential barriers of paper-based systems and processes, our inspections now generate around 50% more output while re-work and other manual tasks have significantly decreased.Christel Van Camp, Process Manager within the Department of Compliance and Integrity
“Standard reports extract information on findings and incidents allowing to objectively measure agents’ recidivism. Everything is set up and configured to our exact requirements, including bi-lingual elements in both Dutch and French.”
Ideagen’s Belgian partner, Sepia Solutions – who were previously involved in implementing Pentana within Argenta’s Internal Audit and Risk Management department – took on the Pentana roll-out for the Inspection team, supporting Argenta’s ICT department during the technical installation and the product’s customisation to Argenta’s unique processes and requirements. Sepia also trained the key users and delivered ongoing support through a series of workshops, enabling the Inspection team to configure the tool to their methodology and maintain the landscape of independent branch managers. Sepia’s role within the implementation helped Argenta’s inspectors become familiar with the system, which ultimately eased adoption and product knowledge and ensured quick return on investment.
Christel said: “We are delighted with Sepia’s support throughout. With their help in configuring Pentana and spreading the knowledge of how to use the product across the organisation, we have witnessed great benefits and it modernised our ways of working.”
“The implementation focused on making our entire inspection process as simple as possible. That included the creation of around 30 templates in Pentana which auto-populate with data entered into the software. The automatic notification capability of the software – which sends e-mails to our branch managers – has also been outstanding. It keeps them aware of outstanding actions and deadlines, ultimately improving workload and branch efficiency. The status of these actions and any comments against them can be captured in the system and sent back to the Inspection team via Pentana, keeping us informed at all times. For us, Pentana is the perfect product to complement the work of our Inspection department.”
We are delighted with Sepia’s support throughout. With their help in configuring Pentana and spreading the knowledge of how to use the product across the organisation, we have seen great benefits and it modernised our ways of working.Christel Van Camp, Process Manager, Department of Compliance and Integrity
Headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep is a banking and insurance group which focuses exclusively on families. Operating in Belgium and the Netherlands, Argenta is the fifth largest Belgian banking institution, focusing on savings and investments, credits and insurances.
Implemented by Sepia Solutions
This success story clearly illustrates that the Pentana software is fantastic for audit as well as for other GRC functions. Because of its flexibility is can be tuned and configured for all types of “reviews”.
In addition, the story underlines the value of our expert services. We specialise in exactly this type of A to Z implementation projects, starting with the technical installation, continuing with training of key users, organising configuration workshops and automating reports. Even after the implementation project, our clients can depend on us for both technical and functional support.
We can make this work for you too!
Invite us for an on-site presentation at your offices so that we can demonstrate the Pentana software and propose an implementation plan tailored to your GRC function and methodology. No costs, no obligations only additional insights.
This success story was originally published in PDF format in March 2016.