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Strategic Security Strategy

Betapoint facilitated and developed a strategic security strategy, aligned with the SHE Excellence Model framework (2013), in alignment with global best practice.

In an increasingly globalised and virtual environment business practices are changing rapidly and dramatically and this pace of change is not expected to slow down. Security risks in this environment have also become far more complex and unpredictable. Many of the biggest threats, such as terrorism, organised crime, information security and violent labour unrest, are networked and centrally managed, impacting on an organisation’s ability to manage the impact of these, particularly for increasingly global businesses.

The business world has realised that, in the light of these threats, security has a major role to play in ensuring business success. Security has therefore gained a higher profile in the corporate world than ever before and organisations are constantly looking for new ways to manage risks. 

Against this backdrop, Betapoint was tasked with developing a Group Security Strategy for Sasol and drafting a submission to assist with planning the optimal way forward.

Benchmarking highlighted that 37% of US companies spend more than 1% of sales on security, whilst 25% of US companies with income over US$5bn spend more than 1% of sales, 5% of them spending up to 3% of sales. Industries such as energy, utilities and financial sector spend relatively more than others. In comparison, Sasol’s spend on security in South Africa is approximately R186m per annum or only 0.11% of sales. Sasol has total assets of R146 bn in South Africa of, but spends only 0.13% of that on security (to protect these assets), while the Security budget represented only one-fifth of the amount spent on the total SHE function. Critical activities and deliverables included:

  • An internal landscape and external (best practice) assessment
  • A high level risk survey and assessment
  • Gathering an overview of security incidents
  • The development of a Group Security Framework and a strategic yet action-oriented way forward, including implementation options analysis ranked in terms of both likely strategic and operational effectiveness

It was recommended that Security be incorporated into SHE to form a Health, Security, Safety and Environment (HSSE) function. This would result in Security reporting into the SHE and Risk subcommittee of the Board, which would elevate Security to the executive and facilitate a centralised and standard approach within the Group. 

With a clear strategy and the implementation of the optimal operating model, Sasol stood to gain important benefits such as:

  • Clearly defined strategy, vision and objectives for Group Security resulting in improved alignment to overall corporate strategy and increased overall business benefit;
  • Consolidated Group Security leadership resulting in improved accountability, governance and risk management;
  • More holistic and complete definition of Group Security aligned to leading practice resulting in better integration across the Group and collaborative identification of security risks, closing of security gaps and weaknesses; and
  • Standardised approach resulting in improved efficiency of service delivery, leveraging of economies of skill and scale and improved security performance to BU’s. 
  • In particular it is expected that the negative trends regarding security incidents affecting Sasol can only be turned around using a cohesive group wide approach.

In addition, Sasol expenditure on security was identified as a target for enhancement:

  • Better resource planning, improving efficiencies and effectiveness and achieving economies of skill and scale;
  • Standardisation (reducing duplication, closing gaps in the delivery and utilising best practice across the group);
  • Central sourcing and buying strategy, ensuring utilisation of Sasol’s negotiating power; and
  • Centralisation of information for improved decision-making and crime intelligence, shifting the emphasis from purely operational to a more strategic view.
  • A collaborative and disciplined approach was essential in ensuring the team delivered on the project outcomes, exceeding expectations and both on time and within budget. 
  • Further detailed analysis, business modeling and organisation design was deemed to be best handled within Project Phoenix at the time, to ensure alignment with Group strategy and objectives. The handover to Project Phoenix was successfully completed as part of Betapoint’s strategy phase close-out.
Simon Lunt