Oxbow Carbon LLC engages in mining, production, marketing, and distribution of solid fuel and other carbon-related products, including coal, natural gas, and petroleum to customers worldwide—primarily in the cement, utilities, steel, and home heating industries. The company, founded in 1983, maintains operations in 17 cities across the United States, and 35 cities internationally. Additionally, the company operates four bulk shipping terminals, located on the Gulf Coast and the West Coast of the United States, the Caribbean, and South America.
Oxbow Carbon, focused on growth, has gone through numerous acquisitions in recent years. As a result, the company was running 13 distinct enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which limited visibility of critical business information and created IT governance challenges. It wanted to improve its ability to ensure real-time data and tight control of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) processes, such as monitoring application access in real time. For example, Oxbow Carbon wanted to know immediately when remediation was required as a result of a user being assigned a role or access that was not appropriate or represented a conflict. The company also wanted to ensure that it could efficiently onboard and terminate access when employees join and leave the organization. Further, Oxbow Carbon looked to respond more efficiently to auditor requests.
To meet these requirements, the company rolled out Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 as its enterprise application standard. As part of the initiative, it deployed Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance Controls Suite to facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements, automate controls in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, and ensure continuous monitoring of those controls.
Today, Oxbow Carbon can efficiently provision access to enterprise applications when an employee enters or leaves the organization. It also effectively and consistently identifies segregation-of-duty issues in the ERP system as they occur, or in some instances, before they occur, to take a more preventive approach.
Additionally, the company is using Oracle Configuration Controls Governor to track changes to application setup data, using notifications to facilitate change management and track changes. It now has a detailed audit history that permits quick comparison of values from different points in time and across environments, and it can continuously monitor setup for better compliance.
“We are finding a tremendous time and cost savings with Oracle Configuration Controls Governor, to say nothing of the problems we are avoiding,” said Patrick Palmer, manager of internal audit, Oxbow Carbon.
In addition, the organization is using Oracle’s GRC solutions to help expedite external audits, and has decreased the amount of time auditors spend on site, thereby reducing costs. The company can provide auditors with detailed reports in a more timely manner, and in some cases, provides them with access to the GRC solution to run reports and analysis off-site.
“With our Oracle GRC system, we’re able to provide systems auditors with more rapid analysis, while increasing the accuracy of our reports, to illustrate first-hand, that our business processes and controls are better because of improved governance, risk, and compliance. I would recommend that any company going through an ERP system upgrade or implementation consider Oracle GRC as a part of that implementation, as it has proved invaluable to our company,” Palmer said.
Oracle Specialized Partner Hitachi Consulting enabled the full suite of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 Financials, Process Manufacturing, as well as critical aspects of Oracle Human Resources and Oracle Projects. The final roll outs will span a total of 10 countries in North America, Europe, and Latin America. The project covers highly complicated process flows to accommodate flexible, scalable operations, and process variances across lines of business for manufacturing, shipping, sales, and logistics.
“Oxbow Carbon chose Hitachi Consulting primarily because of its flexible and friendly approach to our complex global project. It provided us a clear methodology, and proved that it had the required Oracle specialized staff to execute on promised deliverables. Hitachi Consulting’s depth and strength in the manufacturing industry and its expertise with the Oracle Manufacturing modules, provided us with the confidence to select them as our implementation partner.” said Patrick Palmer, manager of internal audit, Oxbow Carbon, LLC.