AB InBev’s sophisticated BrewRight technology wins international award

Technology is a huge point of pride for us at AB InBev and we’re delighted to see others in the industry are also starting to take notice.

This month, BrewRIGHT was recognized at the 2018 Financial Times Intelligent Business Awards in San Francisco, winning the prestigious FT Intelligent Business Award.

The AB InBev team also won the award for Best Use of Legal Data for the second year in a row, as well as being featured as a case study.

The victory follows the company being  recognized at the 2017 Financial Times European Innovative Lawyer Awards for “innovation in data, knowledge and intelligence” just two years after BrewRight’s deployment, andwidespread coverage and acclaim from multiple industry journals.

The praise and awards confirms the tremendous international  potential for the development of this tool which has paved a way for us to improve how we do business day-to-day, but also to champion our company’s ethos as a whole.

“This technology stands as a testament to our vision of increased transparency,” says Matt Galvin, Global VP, Ethics and Compliance.  “It’s a bold approach that’s unparalleled in our market.” 

In the era of big data, business has brought about transformative moves to pinpoint inefficiencies and solve issues more securely.

That’s why Project BrewRIGHT is making waves in the fight against corruption, fraud and money laundering. This innovative in-house tool uses data analytics and risk scoring to help identify patterns in everyday transactions that may require more investigation or oversight.

Risk scoring has long been used in the financial services and banking industries as a way to monitor transactions and communications (as anyone who has had their credit card declined on a foreign vacation may know from experience). In the realm of consumer goods, though, its use can be seen as trailblazing.

The process involves scoring each transaction on a points basis, with specific “at-risk” criteria being taken into consideration. Each of these attributes can add weight and increased oversight to each transaction. For example, a request for a rush payment may be seen as objectively risky: Through the use of the data analytics provided by Project BrewRIGHT, factors such as a known high-risk vendors with political ties making a request for a rush payment can be properly assessed and investigated with unprecedented speed, accuracy and transparency. 

Our General Counsel and Company Secretary John Blood explains: “We use technology in particular to drive transparency, simplify our processes, and empower our compliance and business colleagues to help prevent unethical practices in our operating environments in an efficient and effective way.”

Developed in its early stages with Covington and EY, Project BrewRIGHT has also brought efficiency to a once-difficult process by not only compiling data but by building upon it over time. Through a process of regression analysis (also known as “machine learning”), the very tool that’s tackling fraud and corruption is being made better at less expense to the company.

“We see ourselves at the start of a journey to digitize our company that has a brewing history dating back to 1366.

“As more and more users access and work within the ecosystem of BrewRIGHT, the system learns from their efforts, so the system will get smarter quickly and future compliance officers will benefit from the work of today,” says Tassilo Festetics, Vice President of Global Solutions.

“We’ll be able to complete the same work with a fraction of the budget and workforce with untold more success in the end result.” The system allows us to truly map the impact of other compliance programs and initiatives that we’ve developed with our strategic compliance partners – GAN Integrity (investigations and diligence systems) and Gadfly (innovative ethics training).

Existing in Microsoft’s Azure cloud using Salesforce interface, Project BrewRIGHT has also brought efficiency to a once-difficult process by not only compiling data but by building upon it over time. 

Centralized data and increased visibility tackle endemic problems on multiple fronts, from making the enforcement of blacklist sanctions easier to creating a sustainable system for theoretically catching risk-heavy transactions before they even take place. “You create efficiency by eliminating corruption, and you can do your job much better as an investigator in compliance if you have all your data in a nicely presented way,” says Matt. “For a compliance professional, it’s amazingly empowering.”