Arysta Case Study | Real IRM

Real IRM

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Arysta Case Study

Tuesday, 20 September, 2016
“Real IRM was able to design structures between COSO, COBIT and SOX, and illuminate the value of the architecture frameworks we were using – giving our organisation the potential fluidity it needed.”


Arysta LifeScience develops, markets and distributes chemical solutions for the agroscience and health & nutrition science marketplaces.

One of the world’s 15 biggest agrochemical companies, Arysta was acquired by NYSE-listed Platform Specialty Products in early 2015.

With a focus on emerging countries and niche markets, Arysta LifeScience manages a portfolio of more than 200 active chemical ingredients – and maintains more than 40 offices and subsidiaries that serve 125 countries across the globe.


In 2013, as it courted the attention of international prospective buyers, Arysta’s management embarked on a programme to ensure the company was attractive, and easily ready to conform to various US-based and international governance standards.

The intent of an acquisition/merger/listing required Arysta to make sweeping changes to align all its global entities. The company’s finances also needed to conform to aspects of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, International Financial Reporting Standard, and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Specialist Enterprise Architecture (EA) consultancy, Real IRM was asked to extend the thinking beyond merely business process management for the South African arm of Arysta LifeScience:

“We needed something far bigger than just flowcharts,” explains Graham Fleischer, S&OP Coordinator, Business Process and Demand Analyst at Arysta South Africa.

“We wanted to bring together all aspects – to aggregate laws, policies, processes and procedures – with the ability to control and adapt their changes in a logical method.”

Arysta South Africa’s leadership realised that the key to success would lie in creating a fertile environment in which individuals and their intellectual property could flourish. This intellectual capital needed to flow across the company, across international borders, and synthesise with the inspiration of other individuals – to ultimately create ‘social capital’.

“Most companies who have not yet gone down the route of EA fail to realise the true benefits of intellectual property and social capital. Without this, you’re unable to fully benefit and plan for the future, control the now, or remediate the past,” summarises Mr. Fleischer.


With Real IRM’s assistance, Arysta South Africa assessed and defined its current processes. Real IRM, at the behest of Arysta South Africa, took a dual-track approach: defining current processes in detail from the bottom-up, while at the same time creating top-level business model definition.

Key to understanding the organisation and its current practices was to spend time with Arysta’s staff, getting them to talk about their roles and their approaches in everyday routines.

“Applications and systems will follow a defined process if programmed to do so, but people will always have variability,” notes Mr. Fleischer. “As a business we knew we needed to provide the freedom and flow of social connectedness, and lessen the red tape, while also preparing for more stringent regulatory and legal frameworks.”

“Real IRM was able to design structures between COSO, COBIT and SOX, and illuminate the value of the architecture frameworks we were using – giving our organisation the potential fluidity it needed.”


Through EA, Arysta was empowered with a macro and micro view of the entire Southern Africa organisation.  Using TOGAF(R) as an EA framework and BPMN as a modelling notation, Arysta could iteratively design new processes which would ultimately provide the platform with which to achieve its desired states.

Arysta prepared itself for acquisition by Platform Specialty Products, and was able to adeptly manage the ongoing regulatory and listing requirements subsequent to the takeover.

“But, noting all the international laws, regulations, frameworks and oversight requirements, nothing can beat the notion of truly knowing the organisation – throughout every layer and every region – from factory floor to boardroom,” adds Mr. Fleischer.

Through open involvement and consultation with staff at all levels, Arysta was able to achieve the desired outputs but still requires to instil  the culture of ‘thought without barriers’, a boundaryless flow of information that accelerates innovation and creative thinking, in a very competitive and fast-moving industry.

In summary, Real IRM’s assistance in developing an EA understanding yielded the following key advantages to Arysta:

  • High degree of compliance with the various SA, US and international standards and regulations
  • Stronger risk mitigation capabilities
  • A clearer view of the organisation’s operations (throughout all regions and lines of business).
  • More fluidity in knowledge-sharing and collaboration throughout the group
  • The ability to adapt to new market trends and adopt new processes with relative ease
  • Quality employee engagement and co-creation of company processes and future direction