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22 May 2020

3 Incredible Benefits of Applying Robotic Process Automation to Your Third-Party Due Diligence

The repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic are already being felt by companies around the world. Faced with unprecedented disruption, companies are quickly coming to grips with one fact: Business as usual has changed for the foreseeable future. What hasn’t changed is the host of regulations that companies must still address—anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, and sanctions compliance to name a few. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, we partnered with the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) to share the numerous advantages of adding Blue Prism® digital workers—otherwise known as robotic process automation or RPA—to Nexis Diligence™. Now, with organizations pivoting to meet work-from-home mandates, companies may want to consider the use of robotic process automation to help with business-critical due diligence.

We’ve all witnessed the consequences of risk management failures—and COVID-19 hasn’t changed the drivers for robust risk management processes. 

Regulatory Drivers

  • UN and national sanctions regime enforcement
  • Anti-bribery and corruption enforcement 
  • Counter terrorist financing and financial crime enforcement
  • Tax avoidance, tax evasion and corporate transparency enforcement

All of which are taking place in with greater cross-border cooperation among enforcement authorities. 

Financial Drivers

  • Fines, penalties and remediation costs that add up to millions—or even billions—of dollars
  • Shareholder class actions and share earnings clawbacks
  • Loss of Board level personnel to resignations, debarment, arrests and imprisonment
  • Sources of investment funding reduced

No company is immune to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, so it is more important than ever to manage the financial drivers that companies do have control over. 

Reputational

  • Negative PR from association with third parties engaged in poor labor or environmental practices
  • Brand damage, consumer boycotts and loss of investor and consumer confidence
  • Increased demand for Environmental, Social, Governance investor reporting  
  • Convergence of reputational risk management and reputation management drivers

Reputations take years to build. Unfortunately, the realities of round-the-clock social media mean that a viral tweet or Facebook post can damage a reputation in just days or even hours. 

Strategic

  • World Bank, UN or local market debarment from government contracts
  • Choosing to exit markets due to inherent misconduct risks
  • Inheriting third-party risk through mergers or acquisitions or supplier misconduct
  • Losing out to competitors who manage risk better

Stagnant growth—or even a retraction—can have long-lasting consequences in the best of times. Smart strategies will be even more important for overcoming the current disruption caused by COVID-19. 

Nexis® Solutions has partnered with global RPA leader Blue Prism to integrate its digital workers alongside human workers to support an efficient, effective due diligence process. RPA can help companies address the above drivers effectively, offering three clear benefits: 

Free Up Risk Management Resources

RPA frees human risk managers from repetitive, manual tasks like third-party due diligence, allowing them to focus on higher value tasks that require human creativity, ingenuity and decision making. When integrated with Nexis Diligence, the digital worker handles everything from login to report delivery, allowing your risk management team more time to analyze the results and determine if any red flags that are surfaced need additional due diligence or ongoing monitoring to mitigate risk in the future.

Improve Agility in the Face of Disruption

Companies benefit from additional flexibility offered by an automated due diligence process. In addition to handling day-to-day due diligence needs, the digital workforce can be used to quickly accomplish urgent ad hoc tasks, such as time-sensitive due diligence remediation or periodic re-checks of higher risk customers, suppliers and business partners.  

Onboard Customers & Suppliers Quickly

Improved process efficiencies allow you to bring on new customers or suppliers quickly—a critical advantage when companies need flexibility to engage wary customers or overcome supply chain disruption. Customers will appreciate a seamless, speedy process. And as the challenges of global supply chains become increasingly clear, the ability to identify, vet and onboard regional or local suppliers to fill in gaps will be a game changer. 

Wondering if RPA is right for you?  Check out our additional resources!

Keep exploring:

  1. Take a closer look at how RPA-enabled due diligence works. 
  2. Read more about leveraging technology to support risk management.
  3. Share this blog with your colleagues and connections to keep the conversation going.