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A certain Prince recently saw what was supposed to be a private incident become highly publicized and embarrassing. Even though most of us are not royalty and no one except possibly friends and family may care about what we do in Vegas, there’s still a lesson to be learned.  Know who you’re ‘partying’ with!!

Supposedly it was someone he had just met who leaked the pictures of the prince.  And just like the prince, we should all know and have a level of trust in the people we interact with.  Otherwise you may be exposed (sorry, couldn’t resist) to increased risk.  This applies not only to personal interactions, but to day-to-day business as well.  Checking suppliers, customers, and even potential employees to assure they deserve your company’s trust is an essential business process.

This diligence goes beyond just being a good business practice, but has become a regulatory requirement.   Governments require companies to know who they are doing business with and issue lists of people and organizations with which no business should be conducted—one of which is  referred to as the ‘Denied Parties List’. There are thousands of entries on these lists, and they are issued by multiple departments within a government. For some industries this goes as far as knowing who will ultimately receive products and how they are going to be used.  And the lists do not remain static; they are constantly being updated and changed.

Checking these lists can be a huge effort for companies if they have not leveraged tools to help automate this partner review process.  SAP’s Sanctioned Party List capability is just the solution to provide this automation. In addition to automation, using a standardized process demonstrates that your company is doing everything they can to check partners against all of the various restricted lists from around the world.

Beyond checking partners loaded into company systems, the SAP Sanctioned Party List solution also provides the ability to do delta checks as your partners change or modifications are made to the various lists. Below is an example from the SAP Sanctioned Party List mobile application showing business partners blocked from use due to “matching” entries in one or more of the restricted lists:

It is also key to monitor partners used on specific transactions, such as sales orders or purchase orders, to assure that any changes made following the original creation of the document are subsequently monitored and checked.  If someone is found on an order, whether the payer, seller, ship-to party or identified end user, who is on a denied list the entire transaction can be stopped and notify an authorized user to determine the appropriate action. 

Unfortunately consistently checking business partners and transactions against these lists is not enough.  Governments will expect your company to be able to demonstrate what processes have been put in place to minimize the risk of shipping to these restricted parties.  You may also be asked to provide proof down to a specific transaction level that lists were checked and who may have approved a shipment to a questionable partner. With this SAP solution, companies can easily demonstrate to their governments that they do have processes in place to avoid doing business with restricted  parities (and since the United Nations (UN) runs SAP, it’s safe to say that our processes are up to par with international standards).

Obviously huge amounts of data are involved in this screening process – so not only does this process need to be thorough and auditable, but also access to the results of this screening process must also be available to users as quickly as possible.  In order to properly manage this, SAP makes the results of Sanctioned Party List screening available by leveraging the high-powered analytics of HANA, SAP’s in-memory database technology.  Partners and documents which have been blocked from further processing are quickly made available to those responsible for assuring compliance with the multiple government regulations requiring screening.  One of the most time-consuming and data intensive activities is checking the history of screening against a particular partner or organization.  Again, the SAP Global Trade Services rapid-deployment solution for sanctioned-party list screening with SAP HAN... provides this history to users with incredible, unprecedented speed.

And just like all other SAP rapid-deployment solutions, this includes preconfigured software, implementation services, content, and end user enablement – allowing companies to run better in less than 8 weeks with proven best practices.

So don’t let your company be the next Prince Harry.   Assure that your company knows who they are doing business with and only ‘party’ with the good guys!

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