Supporting Compliance Enterprise-Wide
Providing Global Access to Critical Response Data
About the Client
Operating throughout North America, our client is recognized as a leading producer in oil and gas exploration, production technology and a top contributor of natural gas and gasoline. The client currently has 120 U.S. assets (facilities) that are regulated by various government agencies.
O’Brien’s Response Management Inc. (O’Brien’s) served as a consultant to the client for over 20 years on various projects, ranging from emergency response management support on oil spill incidents to planning services for environmental regulatory compliance. Regarding the client’s planning process specifically, O’Brien’s was the primary consultant providing the development and management of their compliance plans on an annual basis.
Understanding the Problem
In order to satisfy both internal audits and external regulatory compliance, the client must maintain a variety of environmental and response plans for each asset. Facilities owned by the client are required to document and file with appropriate oversight agencies updates made to these plans within 48 hours of any changes being made. The previous planning process involved the manual maintenance and update of plans.
The client performed an internal feasibility study and gap analysis of its existing planning processes for development and maintenance, which revealed opportunities for improvement that included:
- Inefficiency of a manual versus automated process.
- Potential for human error.
- Expense of additional staff required for a manual process.
- Lack of enterprise-wide and global access to plans.
With the ongoing acquisitions of new assets and the increased demand for plan generation and maintenance, the client recognized that leveraging the existing manual process was not a sustainable solution. By not having an automated system in place with enterprise-wide capabilities, the client risked exponential non-compliance due to the potential for human error in manual maintenance; reduced workforce leading to process and informational gaps between workers; as well as, lack of company-wide and global access to existing plans and compliance measurement. The current system also lacked the capabilities to effectively track the histories of plans and each generation of revisions.
The company recognized that the long-term consequences of potential non-compliance could include damage to their reputation along with the monetary effects of significant penalties. Therefore, the client’s primary goals were to reduce the risks of non-compliance through an automated, enterprise-wide system, to increase efficiencies with reduced staff and to manage plan revision histories.
Analyzing the Alternatives
The client evaluated several automated planning systems based on cost and overall system capabilities and functionality. O’Brien’s ePlanPro was selected as the preferred provider due to its rich features and robust capabilities. The client also selected ePlanPro for its compliance tracking component and true web-based global access. ePlanPro enables their Health, Safety, Security and Environmental program (HSSE) to manage the maintenance of facility response plans; Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure plans; crisis management; dock operations manuals; hazardous waste contingency plans; facility security plans; waste minimization plan; fire pre-plans; canadian fire pre plans; and emergency response plans ensuring that all plans are current and fully compliant.
Implementing the Solution
With the client’s exceptional internal project management and O’Brien’s industry-proven approach to environmental planning services, the implementation of ePlanPro into the client’s downstream business took nine months from start to finish. This included an identification of customer requirements, which resulted in customized programming within ePlanPro; internal training to the client’s staff for plan maintenance; pilot testing of multiple plans; internal user testing; and a staged roll-out of the ePlanPro system to their global enterprise. The annual subscription to ePlanPro also includes multiple services and system maintenance to support the client’s planning success.
As a result of implementing O’Brien’s ePlanPro, the client currently maintains hundreds of plans in the system with a reduced staff. The current and expected long-term results of ePlanPro as a solution include:
- Reduced costs in the global planning process including reduced risk of fines for noncompliance.
- Increased and better access to a larger number of plans.
- Efficient maintenance of plans.
- Better tracking of compliance.
- Access to detailed histories of plan revisions.
- Reduced resource demands for plan development and maintenance.
Opportunities for You
With ePlanPro, plans are stored through a controlled-access, webbased platform. The system’s plan editor makes changes online that propagate to all plans in the system, as appropriate—one change, one time as opposed to manually editing individual plans across a global enterprise.