Season 2  |  Ep. 16: SOX in a Box: A Hidden Factory Example
Podcast

Season 2 | Ep. 16: SOX in a Box: A Hidden Factory Example

April 9, 2024

In this Risk Intel Podcast, host Ed Vincent invites Niki White, Chief Growth Officer at SRA Watchtower to the show to share a real-world example from her past life as a Chief Risk Officer that epitomizes the challenges of hidden factories in risk management. Niki shares a funny story that revolves around one seemingly innocuous box in her office that doubled as a makeshift space heater stand. Little did she know, this unassuming box concealed a treasure trove of essential documentation pertaining to control certifications and attestations – the bank's SOX documentation from her predecessor!

While we’ll have to save how a space heater is an entirely different risk for another day, listen or read the summary below to learn about Niki’s “SOX in a Box” hidden factory story.

As Niki recounts her journey of discovering where the bank kept their SOX documents (apparently right under her feet), she unveils the pervasive nature of hidden factories within organizations. Her experience underscores the profound implications of operational inefficiencies and the risks posed by decentralized or ad-hoc control mechanisms. The "sox in a box" saga serves as a poignant reminder of the hidden costs — both tangible and intangible — associated with suboptimal risk management practices and a lack of technology to keep information in a secure centralized location.

"So the #1 problem is that no one knew where to find stuff. No one knew where these things even lived." – Niki White, SRA Watchtower, Chief Growth Officer

Beyond the immediate operational challenges, Niki's story resonates on a strategic level, prompting reflection on the broader implications for organizational resilience and regulatory compliance. The episode delves into the ripple effects of hidden factories, from the time-consuming process of uncovering vital documentation to the potential repercussions of regulatory non-compliance. Through Niki's lens, listeners can gain a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of risk management and strategic decision-making, as well as the imperative of fostering a culture of risk awareness.

In light of Niki's revelations, the conversation pivots to actionable solutions, with a spotlight on technology-enabled risk management tools. Niki and host Ed Vincent explore the role of innovative solutions, such as risk and control self-assessment modules, in streamlining processes, enhancing transparency, and fortifying control environments. By leveraging technology to address hidden factories head-on, organizations can proactively mitigate risks, optimize resource allocation, and safeguard their reputation in an ever-evolving risk landscape.

So what actions did Niki and her team implement once they identified this hidden risk? "We brought in all the branch managers and talked about what controls we had in place,” Niki explained. “It really drove the conversations to help us decide should we have this product or should we not have this product.”

In essence, Niki's "Sox in a Box" tale serves as a cautionary yet empowering narrative, urging organizations to confront hidden factories with diligence, especially since it has been estimated that as high as 40% of the capacity of an organization is wasted by the hidden factory. Through transparency, thoughtful technology adoption, and a commitment to continuous improvement, banks can navigate the labyrinth of hidden factory risks with confidence, ensuring resilience and sustainability in today's dynamic business environment. Learn more about hidden factories below or stay tuned as we cover the cost of hidden factories and share more enlightening examples in future episodes.

Catch up on our series around Hidden Factories:

RMA RIsk Maturity Framework

Powered by SRA Watchtower

Take the self-assessment today to
measure your institutions risk maturity.
SCHEDULE a demo
risk maturity framework

EXPERIENCE. WISDOM. KNOWHOW.

Book an

SRA CONSULTING

discovery session

SCHEDULE NOW
enterprise risk management for credit unions
Three ways to tap into the people, technology and insights of SRA.
We're focused exclusively on the serving the financial & Insurance industries.

DISCOVERY 
SESSION

Discovery Session
Schedule a 30 minute discovery call with an SRA risk expert to understand your challenges or opportunities ahead to see how Watchtower can help you achieve your goals.
SCHEDULE NOW

WATCHTOWER
DEMO

watchtower demo
Look inside Watchtower, the holistic risk intelligence platform to learn how it helps executives navigate risk and drive growth.
BOOK TODAY

Risk Intel
Podcast

Risk Intel Podcast
Listen and learn from SRA risk enthusiasts, Watchtower customers, and experts across the financial industry through our weekly risk focused podcast.
REGISTER

MOre FROM

Watchtower News

RMA RIsk Maturity Framework

Powered by SRA Watchtower

Take the self-assessment today to
measure your institutions risk maturity.
SCHEDULE a demo
risk maturity framework