Case Study: Automating Third-Party Compliance Workflow For An Agribusiness Company
At a Glance
Dealing with over 75,000 clients and vendors, the agribusiness third-party management and screening processes lacked structure and systems, resulting in disorganised investigations, which cost the company time and money — and often produced inadequate reporting, which greatly increased the company to risks posed by the third parties.
ethiXbase designed a third-party risk management solution that considered the company’s immediate needs and evolved their long-term goal – implementing systems that accurately assess risk and appropriately escalate investigations when needed, all through an interface that is so straightforward that every relevant employee at the agribusiness company could operate and understand.
The agribusiness company is one of the world’s largest suppliers of food, agricultural products and materials to people who need them all around the world. Operating in over 60 countries, the company operates in many high-risk jurisdictions, exposing it to bribery, corruption, reputational and financial risk.
The complexities of managing a global agriculture operation are immense — especially when the company’s fundamental operations rely on trading with third parties, many of which are small farms in high-risk areas. Without a simple, straightforward system — disarray can easily ensue; and for this company, with limited compliance resource, the challenge was significant.
This challenge rose from both a lack of compliance education, as well as a lack of systems to manage their third-party risk.
Without standard systems in place, employees would either request expensive, deep-dive due diligence reports from law firms or just conduct inadequate, cursory internet searches. Ultimately, the screening process was very much ad hoc, poorly organised, and often relied on pertinent documents traveling back-and-forth in inefficient emails.
Something had to change — but the company’s resources were very limited and did not show signs of changing anytime soon.
The VP – Global Manager of Legal Compliance and Operations knew that confident growth would hinge on finding the right partner to outsource third-party management.
After interviewing several companies, the VP – Global Manager of Legal Compliance and Operations decided that ethiXbase’s platform was the best overall solution for their organisation, due to its innate flexibility and ongoing monitoring — a core component of its product. “When it came to designing a solution, ethiXbase was able to more accurately reflect and understand that we had only a few people who were available to do this work.”
Furthermore, ethiXbase was able to design a system that focuses on the distinctive way of working in high-risk countries, and in particular, created the Predictive Risk Indicator (PRI) that reflected the company’s concerns when it came to sanctions. They have also incorporated a remediation service that helps to keep track of false positives, as well as a classification service that helps the compliance team decide if a company needs to be more closely examined.
By building a systematic flowchart for managing all its third-party compliance lifecycle, ethiXbase worked with the compliance team to build a process that simplified the complexities for everyone in the company — and was such a straightforward interface that anyone could understand it.
Now, the company’s compliance department is armoured with more information, and can focus on making decisions — not chasing paperwork.
When it comes to staying internationally compliant — there’s never a guarantee. Still, the strides that this global agribusiness company has made with ethiXbase’s platform have fundamentally put them in a more advantageous position, where they can now strategise business at a higher level. Having this process in place not only gives the company’s business leaders and compliance team comfort but has also considerably reduces their third-party risks — all while heightening the role and effectiveness of the entire compliance department.
“At first, I was a little bit dubious — thinking it was ‘too good to be true’ … but it’s really been night and day. We’ve gone from partial ad-hoc screening to implementing a risk-based system. ethiXbase is a name our entire company knows.”
—VP – Global Manager of Legal Compliance and Operations
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