Case Study – Implementing digital audits to reduce auditing time by 66%

(5 minute read)

The Situation:

Our client, a prominent mining and industrial services company in South Africa, completes operational safety audits at each of its sites at least once a year. It conducts an audit on one site each month on a rotational basis to achieve its annual audit target.

Previously, audits were conducted by hand. A team of auditors would receive printed lists of items to be checked for each area within a mining site (be it a conveyor/change house/ workshop etc). Each auditor would confirm if an item was in order and make a comment if it was not. Once each auditor had gone through his/her respective areas, the team would come together to discuss observations and exchange notes on corrective actions. At times, there was confusion as to “which conveyor?” or “which red door?” the team member may have been referring to; and sometimes issues had to be explained at length and the auditor’s response corrected.

Additionally, some of the items on the audit checklists were marked to be of particular interest to the audit team. Highlighted items were considered critical and if an item failed, that section of the audit was immediately considered to be non-compliant and given a 0% compliance score. The rationale for this was that if a critical item was not up to standard, but all other non-critical items were compliant, the section may have achieved a score of 95% and the team responsible for this area may have overlooked the problems of the section because of the (seemingly) high score. If the problem is on a critical component, this may create a severe safety hazard.

The Solution:

Ariscu joined the client on an audit in order to better understand its way of conducting these audits as well as to identify possible pitfalls and areas of improvement.

Using our Checklist Manager Module, the client’s audit checklists were built into the system so that the audit could be conducted digitally. To provide a smooth transition from the old paper-based auditing method to conducting them digitally on Ariscu, the following steps were taken:

  • Each section of the audit for a site was built as a separate checklist template. This allowed for multiple auditors on a single mining site, each auditing a different section and each arriving at a separate score. This, in turn, allowed any concerns for each section to be addressed individually by our client and the mining site.
  • The scoring system of the checklist templates had to be flexible enough to allow for the more complex scoring mechanisms that the audit team required. For that, our IT development team became involved to create a workable solution.
  • Ariscu had a dry run with our client to test the solution and to demonstrate how it can be used on the day of the audit.

The Result:

We received great feedback from a team of very impressed auditors! Apart from one or two glitches on the day, the audit team set out to do their respective sections armed with nothing but their mobile phones or tablets. The audit questions were easily answered, and photos were taken of any items that were not compliant. When the team arrived for their feedback session, the audits were synced back to the Ariscu system and the results were projected for everybody to see. Each auditor could now run through what they had seen at the site and show the photos of the areas of concern, eliminating any confusion and disagreements.

The audit checklist report could then be published, without the need to recapture results or manually calculate scores, leaving the audit team free to focus on the results rather than the paperwork!

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