Aqualectra is the Curaçao government utility company that produces and distributes water and electricity to more than 80,000 households and businesses. Its 615 dedicated employees work every day to ensure a trouble-free supply of water and electricity to its customers. Meanwhile, 40% of its supply consists of renewable energy.
Risk management is a crucial part of Aqualectra’s operations and processes. For this purpose it recently started using Zenya, a software solution for risk and quality management, among other things. In addition to Zenya RISK, the company also uses FLOW and CHECK modules.
As Risk Officer, Muriëlle Belioso is responsible for carrying out the company’s risk management tasks at Aqualectra. She advises and supports the Executive Board and management on the various aspects of risk management. In her position, Muriëlle provides support to the Management Board.
Muriëlle explains why risk management is so important to Aqualectra: “For a utility company in an island environment, and certainly as the only one on our island, risk management is an integral part of our operations and processes. In 2020, we decided to structure our decentralised approach more towards an organisation-wide approach.”
The main reasons for this strategic choice were the global developments within the Energy & Utilities sector, the increasingly stringent requirements from laws and regulations and the social responsibility Aqualectra bears as a public company.
Muriëlle: “In this process, a number of needs had explicitly emerged. Firstly, as an organisation we had an urgent need for improved and more transparent insight into the status of risks and associated control measures. In addition, we were keen to have a proper alignment of tasks and responsibilities between the ‘silos’. Furthermore, there was a need to improve the manner, speed and effectiveness of reporting on risk management activities.”
During a conversation with local Zenya partner Grant Thornton – as part of relationship maintenance -, Aqualectra had expressed a need for a reliable and efficient Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) solution. Muriëlle: “Until then, we were using a number of intelligent Excel sheets with smart sheets linked to them. However, this was not very efficient and it also lacked options to support the delegation of actions to be taken. When we were introduced to Zenya’s capabilities via Grant Thornton, we immediately saw the added value for our organisation. Zenya fits our current needs: user-friendly, simple, multilingual and cost-effective licensing.”
Muriëlle certainly does not experience the geographical distance between the Netherlands and Curaçao as a threshold. “Physically the distance is of course enormous, but we speak the same language, we can easily communicate online and the lines of communication with Grant Thornton Curaçao are short in all respects. We therefore experience the partnership as very pleasant. Towards the future, I expect this to intensify as we roll out the Zenya software further.”
Aqualectra uses the RISK, FLOW and CHECK modules and combines them into an integrated risk management solution. Muriëlle says: “We use Zenya both for capturing and describing risks (RISK) and for linking control measures to the risks and plotting checks of these measures by our department heads. This involves a smart combination with FLOW and CHECK. So we are not opting for static risk management, but really for active control.”
Once this process is fully rolled out, the next milestone will be the commissioning of Zenya by Aqualectra’s Quality Department. Here, mainly the FLOW and CHECK modules will be deployed in combination with the standard functionality, in which standards frameworks can be recorded (ISO etc.). The Quality Department will also use Zenya to conduct internal audits on the given standards frameworks, recording the findings and subsequently linking improvement measures to the findings.
Muriëlle: “We haven’t reached that point yet, but so far we have had good experiences and great confidence in the software.”
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