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Posts Tagged "Board Management Software"

“For me, eBoard has been an amazing experience. Using it has made it easy for me to manage the process of preparing for board meetings, distribution of board packs, capturing minutes and monitoring who has read the board pack”

Mr. Peter Rotich, Administrator / Trust Secretary, TelPosta Pension Scheme

The TelPosta Pension Scheme was constituted vide a Trust Deed dated 1st July 1997 by then Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation. Its main purpose is the provision and custody of Pension and other retirement benefits of the employees and former employees of Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (now defunct) and Telkom (K) Limited.

The Challenge

“As the Trust Secretary, I am primarily in charge of the board meeting process. For every board meeting, I had to put together board packs; print, assemble and distribute hard copies. Factoring in last-minute updates and amendments to meeting materials after board pack has been released -where a change in one agenda item affects several pages – board meetings were very stressful situations.”  Mr. Rotich recalls

Why Software Technologies

Software Technologies has excellent customer service. It’s not a one-time thing where you get the system and never hear from the company again, it is a consistent and empowering journey. They promptly respond to any queries I may be having and are constantly improving my experience as a client through the continuous development of the system.” Mr. Peter Rotich profoundly states.

The Results

Seamless board evaluations and easy report tabulation: With eBoard, TelPosta Pension Scheme’s Board of Trustees now has an effective, online and dynamic way of carrying out the assessment together with an automatic report generating system. “When we got an external performance evaluation expert, he stated that your evaluation module adheres to set regulated policies by the Law.” Mr. Rotich recalls.

Easy updating and sharing of board papers:  By providing directors with a central document repository, TelPosta Pension Scheme has seen an ease in the sharing of board papers. Mr. Rotich is now able to share corrected documents from any board pack at any time.  “I don’t have to worry when I have to send a corrected document, because I am sure everyone will be notified and it will be displayed on the homepage and stored in the briefcase.”

Ensured 24/7 secure access to data from anywhere in the world: Board members have all time access to the meeting pack. “We upload everything on eBoard and board members can access the details wherever they are, whenever they want, 24 hours a day. The board members can review and annotate from wherever they are. It’s saved us so much time,” said Mr. Rotich. “I regularly see our Board Trustees viewing documents at any time, day or night.”

Savings on time, money and resources: Previously, the company’s time, printers and paper reams were all excessively used in preparation for board meetings.  With eBoard, TelPosta has saved close to 40,000 USD in printing and distribution costs. They also continue to make an environmental impact by using less paper and saving more trees.

Access to previous board papers: It is easy for members of the board to refer to board documents from previous years as they are conveniently stored in the Resources. “We don’t have to interrupt a meeting so as to get a previous board paper as it is readily available in the Resources module.” Mr. Rotich states

 

“We now have a refined approach when preparing for and documenting Board and Committee meetings together with relevant documentation.  As a result of eBoard, we now have paperless meetings, a central document repository accessible to all from anywhere as well as the ability to carry out board performance evaluations and other evaluations/surveys with reports captured seamlessly. When I think about eBoard, efficient, confidential, transparent and effective are the words that come to mind.”

Ms. Betty Kanyagia, Company Secretary, Bamburi Cement Limited.

Bamburi Cement Limited, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim, was incorporated in 1951 and is listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange.  It is the leading cement manufacturing and marketing company in the Eastern Africa region. Bamburi Cement has grown to be the leader and Industry Captain with a bold vision for the future, which is to be the undisputed leader and the preferred partner by providing innovative solutions for nation-building with Health & Safety as its overarching value.

The challenge

Large volume paper use: The Company Secretarial administrative staff compiled Board and Committee packs for all Board/Committee members for every single meeting. The Company then made arrangements to collect the packs after some time for destruction due to their sensitive nature.

Lagged process: Compilation, printing and binding of board packs for each director took days after which the physical copies had to be delivered to the Directors wherever the Directors were located, including outside Kenya.

Manual evaluation: Evaluation forms had to be printed, delivered to the Directors for completion and collected after which the Company Secretary had to manually enter the ranking and compile the reports.

Access to Documentation: the Directors had to have the hard copy documents if they wished to make reference. This proved a challenge if the Directors required access on the go.

Why Software Technologies

“For us, ease of use as well as the adaptive and accommodating nature of eBoard as a product to our specific needs and requirements was a key feature in the selection of a board management software. Software Technologies’ support is commendable with feedback wholly accepted and implemented, where possible,” Ms Kanyagia states.

The Results

Paperless Board Meetings: With paperless meetings, Bamburi Cement has significantly reduced the amount of paper used for Board related purposes. Further, Board members have access to the meeting packs and other documents at all times irrespective of where they are, which has increased the productivity of the Board.

Easy updating and sharing of board papers: By using eBoard, Bamburi Cement has seen ease not only in the sharing of board papers but also in the ability to update or amend them, when necessary. Betty explains, “I do not worry when I have to update a document, because I do not have to send notice that a document is updated then send hard copies of the updated version – the system automatically notifies everyone and the updated version is immediately available.”

Seamless board evaluations and easy report tabulation: With eBoard, Bamburi Cement’s Board of Directors now has an online and effective way of carrying out the assessment together with an automatic report generating system. “Performance evaluations are seamless, easy to analyze and generating reports is just a tap away,” Betty states.

Savings on resources: Previously, significant time, printers, paper and staff resources were used in preparation for Board and Committee meetings. With eBoard and, in line with its environmental agenda, Bamburi Cement continues to reduce its environmental impact by using less paper thereby saving trees. It has also saved on resources previously spent on the preparation and distribution of meeting packs.

“We are now up to date with our compliance in all the Liasion Group Branches. The regular compliance notifications keep us in check and on our toes. Our directors are happy with eBoard.”

Mr. Jasper Wendo, Head of Audit and Governance.

 

Founded in 1981, Liasion Group, is an independent Risk, Insurance, Healthcare, Pension and Investment Advisor to a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, large multinational corporations, parastatals, NGOs, SMES, business partnership and individuals.

“We are now up to date with our compliance in all the Liasion Group Branches. The regular compliance notifications keep us in check and on our toes. Our directors are happy with eBoard as there is easy access to the documents. Our board meetings are now more productive.”

Mr. Jasper Wendo, Head of Audit and Governance.

THE CHALLENGE

The Liaison Group provides risk, insurance, healthcare, pension and investment solutions to countries all over Africa. Yet the board and management were faced with serious compliance and bulky board meeting challenges for the regional company.  “For every board meeting, I had to put together board packs; print, assemble and distribute hard copies using courier services. This was risky considering the sensitive nature of board information. Factoring in last-minute updates and amendments to meeting materials after board pack has been released -where a change in one agenda item affects several pages – the situation grew even more complex. In addition to that, for every evaluation, the administrators had to print evaluation forms and the Board Directors had to be physically present to fill in paperwork and collating the responses so as to generate a report was a timely board process,” Ms. Alice Wambui, an Executive Assistant recalls.

WHY SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES

“For us, the adaptive and accommodating nature of eBoard as a product was a key feature in the selection of board management software. Software Technologies’ response time is commendable and I like the fact that our feedback is wholly accepted and implemented. STL is also accommodating to the client and the system is simple to operate and navigate.”

THE RESULTS

Gained immediate visibility of compliance tasks and deadlines: Through eBoard’s Compliance module, the Liaision team can easily track their compliance state with regulatory bodies, and automatically notify when compliance is due. This has been crucial to both identifying bottlenecks and streamlining workflow. “We can now proactively divide tasks pertaining to compliance,” says Mr. Wendo.

Easy updating and sharing of board papers:  By providing directors with a central document repository, Liaision Group has seen an ease in the sharing of board papers. Ms.Wambui is now able to share corrected documents from any board pack at any time.  “I don’t have to worry when I have to send a corrected document, because I am sure everyone will be notified and it will be displayed on the homepage and stored in the briefcase.”

Savings on time, money and resources: Previously, the company’s time, printers and paper reams were all excessively used in preparation for board meetings.  With eBoard, Liaision Group has saved close to 40,000 USD in printing, distribution and meeting travel costs. They also continue to make an environmental impact by using less paper and saving more trees.

Ensured 24/7 secure access to data from anywhere in the world: Board members have all time access to the meeting pack. “We upload everything on eBoard and board members can access the details wherever they are, whenever they want, 24 hours a day. The board members can review and annotate from wherever they are. It’s saved us so much time,” said Mr. Wendo. “Everybody is now more productive.”

 

With current conversations about climate change, deforestation, and the finite nature of natural resources, sustainability is on the minds of consumers, investors, and corporations.

But more than that, it’s also in our hands.

1.1 Hectares of Indigenous Trees

In an effort to help reforestation efforts in Kenya, Software Technologies Limited participated in a tree planting activity together with the Kenya Forest Service, Uplands CFA and the area Chief at Uplands Forest Station in Kiambu County where over 1.1 hectares of assorted indigenous trees were planted.

The Area Chief of the Uplands area highlighted that:

  1. Trees clean the air.
  2. Trees sequester around 20% of the carbon in the atmosphere (carbon contributes to climate change).
  3. Trees help clean the water. It actually is like a filter when there’s heavy rain. Trees absorb the water and release it gradually.
  4. Trees help with soil erosion.
  5. Trees have a social impact on it in terms of employment and life (1.6 billion people on this planet are somehow connected to forests for their livelihood).
  6. Trees are home to 80% of the world’s biodiversity (on land).

We lose about 46-58 thousand square miles of forest each year. Not for nothing—a large portion of those trees are turned into the products we buy and use every day. However, this would be unsustainable without active reforestation efforts, especially when you consider how long it takes for a tree to grow and mature.

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

The eBoard iPad use is very intuitive and learning to use eHorizon eBoard system is quite easy. Recently, our new Company Secretary was able to capture minutes using the eHorizon eBoard system without any formal training and for the first time; our board meeting minutes were ready immediately after the meeting. Samuel Karema, Information Services Assistant – KenGen

Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen) with an installed capacity of 1,631MW is the leading power producer in the Eastern Africa Region. Established in 1954, the company employs over 2,500 people and commands a market share of about 69%. The key to its survival has been the ability to change with the times. And doing that requires an effective governance approach.

The company has eleven board members, seven of who are non- executives and 5 board committees with 4 -5 members each. KenGen board meets physically at least eight times a year, including a board strategy conference while its committees meet quarterly or more often in accordance with the requirement of business. The board’s lineup of meetings calls for extensive information to be generated in advance.

The Challenge

KenGen old approach to board meeting materials was to create paper-based packs that could be quite large and then deliver them physically to each board member across the country. According to the Board Services Assistant, Afline Onyango“ that added up thousands of shillings in distribution cost annually, in addition, other staff cost and time spent in collating and copying each report.

The effort needed to produce board materials occupied as many as three people with photocopying, binding and collating – in what Judith Ndegwa, Board Services Officer referred to as “a nightmare process.” “We would have the boardroom booked for 4 – 5 days to spread the papers everywhere,” she adds. On the user side, the situation was equally unmanageable. Board packs ran up to 500 pages each. And when an exceptional issue arose, like approving a prospectus or reviewing an annual report that number doubled or even tripled so that reports at times ballooned to 800+ pages. Add in papers of average 130 pages for board committee sessions held alongside the board meeting, and directors often travelled with files full of paper.

Security was also an issue when it came to paper board packs. Sometimes the packs would be left with the secretaries of Directors. Disposing copies of older papers was challenging. “A few Directors would return them for shredding while majority stored them in their houses and the company would lose track of what happened to them,” explains Samuel Karema, Information Services Assistant at KenGen.

Approach

With the effort and expense of creating paper-based board packs mounting, KenGen began an extensive research into finding the most suitable solution able to meet their needs. They vetted several solutions from leading board software providers and settled for eHorizon eBoard. What board members liked most about eHorizon eBoard was the easy to use interface combined with a single view of all aspects of the Board from Minutes & Agendas through to Director Evaluation and Compliance as well as board calendar on their iPads dashboard.

Another top priority feature KenGen was evaluating was security. They were impressed by eHorizon eBoard security standards and extensive measures of data protection, control, availability, and application security that make sure that the integrity and confidentiality of the information is maintained.

The Results

eHorizon eBoard has made life easier for the board administrators. For Judith, the flexibility of eBoard is a heaven on earth. “So often, information arrives very late and we are in a rush. We used to stay in the office until 11.00 am to review and prepare information. Now, I receive information digitally and in the comfort of my home, I can upload and update the information available on an ongoing basis then share at the click of a button and directors will be notified.” What took up to 5 days, now takes minutes with the eBoard solution.

120 Days – Number of days saved in administrative work preparing board and committee meetings packs every year, in addition to the board going green; saving 6 trees annually from eliminating the printing of 53,617 pieces of paper board packs.

Whats more, Board members have their folders arranges by session and a date making it easier to refer to previous sessions, make enquiries into changes and keep more accurate records. In addition, eBoard allows collaboration and supports better decision making. Board members have at their fingertips, the most up-to-date information for current meetings and can also readily access an archive for key papers and minutes over the last years.

Further, “the iPad use is very intuitive and learning to use it is quite easy. Recently, our new Company Secretary was able to capture minutes using the eBoard system without any formal training and for the first time; our minutes were ready immediately after the board meeting,” explains Mr Karema.

It’s also a good reference point. “Recently I was searching a circular number for the year 2015 and it was so easy to find. I just typed the date and I found it in seconds” explains Judith.

For Karema, stability is the eBoard systems main asset. One time, Judith relates, they had trouble with the passwords of some of the board members who could not get access to their eBoard app on their iPads. Karema called IT support and “it was solved in less than 10 minutes.”

 

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