U.S.-based engineering and professional services corporation Black & Veatch places a high priority on complying with global regulatory requirements, including those related to export compliance. By automating denied party screening with Descartes Visual Compliance™, Black & Veatch has been able to not only significantly reduce risk but also use compliance as a business differentiator against the competition.

“Automated screening gives us the ability to significantly reduce risk because compliance is embedded into our internally-developed systems and runs automatically. Without it, we would be hamstrung and continually worried because the alternative is manual screening, which is neither fast nor scalable and is extremely labor-intensive, making it prone to error.”

Peter Loftspring, Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Manager - Black & Veatch

Challenge: Manual Screening Impedes Growth

Black & Veatch’s infrastructure development projects around the world include power, oil and gas, water, telecommunications, and mining, among others. Under the direction of Peter Loftspring, SVP & Chief Compliance Manager, the company had built its own robust compliance process at the contract review and accounts payable stages to identify and remove denied parties from business transactions. As sales orders continued to grow, so too did daily screening volumes, rising to more than 30 per day. With screening performed manually, however, the company knew that it needed an integrated and automated screening solution to maintain its growth trajectory.

Solution: Automated Screening Extends Global Compliance Practice

Black & Veatch relied on Descartes Visual Compliance to automate the denied party screening component of its internal compliance system. With straightforward implementation within the Microsoft technology stack, the company was able to quickly start screening customers in an automated manner as the names of individuals and organizations were input into the internal system. In doing so, it was also able to take advantage of an up-to-date international database of hundreds of watch lists, along with audit recording and due diligence capabilities.

Loftspring shared that automated screening of customers was such a success that the company could easily expand the solution to screen other third parties, including contractors, subcontractors, consultants, vendors, and suppliers. And to maximize overall compliance, Black & Veatch uses the dynamic screening capabilities of Descartes Visual Compliance to automatically rescreen all third parties against government entity lists to catch any changes that might be made to the names on those lists.

Stronger compliance was not the only business benefit realized by Black & Veatch. Loftspring explained that it also enhanced the company’s competitive edge: “In the world of infrastructure development, safety is sacrosanct. It’s part of being morally and ethically responsible. People know Black & Veatch take both safety and compliance extremely seriously when they consider hiring us, and they know they don’t have to look over their own shoulders all the time for issues arising in these areas. It’s a benefit in addition to the fact that we are a leader in our space.”

Loftspring added that while the sales organization may have previously thought of compliance as a necessary evil, today he is frequently asked to help in the business development process by discussing Black & Veatch’s commitment to compliance.

The Results

  1. Significant productivity gains: By automating the screening process, Black & Veatch can scan for denied parties at a faster and systematic rate against hundreds of watch lists, keeping pace with the increased volume of daily orders.
  2. Elevated compliance: By relying on Descartes’ technology, screening occurs continually behind the scenes, allowing Black & Veatch to dramatically strengthen compliance while enabling the growth of its global business.
  3. Strengthened due diligence: With audit logging and match-vetting tools, Black & Veatch can quickly and accurately action potential matches, streamlining the flow of business and demonstrating due diligence with confidence.
  4. Enhanced competitive advantage: By using compliance as part of its differentiation strategy, Black & Veatch can stay abreast of international growth while proactively taking steps to mitigate risk, which its customers view as strong points in its favor.

Success Story
Black & Veatch


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