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Transforming risk management practice into the digital age

With more than 1900 employees across ten global production sites, state-of-the art technologies together with exceptional expertise make Cicor Group a dependable and innovative partner in the development and production of compelling electronics solutions. The group had previously relied on spreadsheets to help manage risk, but found this outdated approach was cumbersome, slow and failing to deliver engagement and collaboration across the business. Cicor turned to GOAT Risk™ for a simple, low cost, cloud based software solution.

Transforming Cicor’s risk management practice into the digital age

Before implementing GOAT, the process for managing and updating risk across the business was hugely “cumbersome and slow” using an old-fashioned excel risk register.

When becoming Group CFO, Patric Schoch inherited a “huge Excel file” and quickly discovered he was the only person actually updating it.

“So when we made updates to the risk management process during the year, I had to go to individuals in the entities (we have about 10 legal entities worldwide). And I had to ask them ‘what is the update? Do you have any input?’ And of course they never did, because they didn’t really care about the process.”

Due to privacy issues and version control concerns, even if there were departments that wanted to update risks and contribute, Patric would have to ask them to send their updates by email or text, he explains, “Because I didn’t want to send the the Excel file because then of course they see all the risks. Plus, I cannot control that they won’t change other things.”

To make matters worse, creating reports for the board and visualising risks was a painstaking ordeal…

“…out of this Excel file, I had to manually create a PowerPoint file, and in the PowerPoint file, I had a list of our risks. There was a heat map that I manually had to ‘paint’, and I had some additional slides giving explanations for the most important risks. So, it was a really cumbersome process. It wasn’t integrated anywhere. Basically, it wasn’t digital.”

With a new board of directors due to arrive in the coming months, Patric realised he needed a software solution to take his risk management reporting to the next level.

Finding a solution that didn’t break the bank

Initially, Patric reached out to his insurance brokers for some advice as to the software they would recommend along with a ballpark cost. He recalls instantly baulking at the estimates quoted – upwards of 50,000SFR (£40,000). The trouble was that these prices were way out of his budget range and the system was packed with features he just didn’t need.

“When you pay, let’s say 50,000 per year (or even 20 or 30,000), you get so much functionality, which I believe could justify the price. But if I don’t use this functionality, why should I pay for it?”

Patric decided to go it alone and set off to explore different options on the internet. He recalls searching for ‘risk – tools – map’ and seeing GOAT come up.

On his second search for a ‘risk heat map’ GOAT came up again. Patric explains “it’s very important for me not to have to create manual versions using powerpoint – the board wants to see something nice and clear…”

Patric soon gravitated towards GOAT thanks to the “beautiful heat map” and also the transparent, low cost pricing model.

It didn’t take long for him to decide that GOAT was the tool he was looking for – “After five minutes on the site, I knew it was exactly what I wanted.”

With that, Cicor signed up to GOAT Risk’s Enterprise package to help support their business’s transition from an outdated and cumbersome spreadsheet system to a clean, modern, cloud-based risk management platform.

Improving board level debate and decision making

Since implementing GOAT, Patric finds the ease with which he can prepare useful, quality executive
level reports has significantly improved, and along with this, so has the confidence of the board.

He explains how difficult it was previously to create board ready reports:

“One issue I always had was presenting the updated risk list to the board of directors. How could I explain to them which risks had been changed and why?”

Since implementing GOAT, he goes on to say,

“I now just give them a report from GOAT clearly explaining what has been updated and why. This gives them confirmation we are actually managing the risks, and that this whole process is something that lives and isn’t just static.”

Driving collaboration and facilitating the risk debate

Since implementing GOAT, Patric has already noticed a step change in the attitude of system users and risk owners towards updating risks. Not only has it become considerably easier to manage through automation, but the level of engagement has vastly increased too.

“What has already started for example, is that one of our users went into the system and saw some risks and told me, ‘For this risk, I’ve already completed these actions to help manage it – and in the definition, perhaps these things could be added for clarification’. So GOAT has already started to generate communication about risk and this individual, well the interesting thing is that for all the years I’ve been in the company, they have never discussed this risk with me. Now they have come back to me with input, with feedback. And that’s only because they like the tool. It was easy, they felt involved, and started to positively contribute.”

Making risk management fun

Achieving the buy-in of his colleagues at Cicor proved to be easier than initially anticipated.
Patrick explains:

“I was working for another big Swiss company and they had this expensive risk management software tool. You had to log into this very cumbersome, non-graphical interface. It was so ugly, not user friendly, and I hated updating it every year. So I know from experience, users and risk owners will only update a system if it’s easy and fun to do. When I trialled GOAT it was very modern, very clean, and actually fun to use. So that for me was the big difference I immediately saw when comparing GOAT to other risk management systems I had seen.”

Offering complete flexibility with editable templates and custom development

Cicor began its journey with GOAT in early 2021 and has already started rolling it out to risk owners across the company’s various entities. What Patric particularly likes about GOAT is the flexibility of the tool:

“The interesting thing is, I was talking with the Managing Director of one of our legal entities, a very innovative company, and he asked me if he could use GOAT to manage innovation project risks. At the moment he uses Excel. I said ‘You can use GOAT – the functionality is there’. It’s another thing I like about the tool. It’s not static. The headings in the columns and fields are not all fixed. You can change them yourself and use the tool for many other purposes.”

Furthermore, due to the opportunity GOAT offers for bespoke custom development, its clients don’t just have to accept what others deem as valuable. Patric explains:

“Big risk tools don’t provide the functionality we need. The companies involved don’t care when you’re the only one who needs a feature. It’s not worthwhile for them to discuss development for a single business. The approach from GOAT is very different and I’m positively surprised about how open they are to making the tool better based on customer input and feedback.”

Cicor also appreciate how quick and easy the system is to set up, meaning risk owners can start using it without delay:

“It’s in the cloud. I think that’s very important. You don’t have to install anything. If you assign a user, your IT department doesn’t have to go there and install something on a computer.”

Cicor also rely on the excellent level of support for complicated issues:

“If you have a problem, we will get help from GOAT quickly. You don’t send a support request and then four weeks later just get some answers that don’t really help you.”

Looking to the future

Using GOAT, Patric plans to move all of his Cicor Group’s risks from 10 legal entities across the globe into the digital space, providing a higher level of accountability, visibility and collaboration for his colleagues responsible for managing the business.

“The target I have is that this year’s risk management update is fully run in GOAT. This will happen in the budgeting process, which starts in late Summer. We’ll have at least two people per legal entity. So this will involve around 20 individuals and some additional corporate resources. So we will have close to thirty users in our global rollout. We have companies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Germany, Eastern Europe, and of course, in Switzerland. These risk owners will all start entering their risk updates and so GOAT will really become a living tool in our Group.”

Why Cicor recommends GOAT Risk™

“GOAT is exactly in the right price range. It’s good, it’s fair and we don’t pay for functionality we don’t need.”

“This solution works. That’s why I’ve already talked to my CFO colleagues, and told them, if you’re looking for a risk management tool that is affordable, and has everything you need, look at GOAT.”

Scale risk with confidence