NIMBUS Web Monitoring of Corporate Incidents and Allegations

Our web monitoring service, NIMBUS, provides a cost-effective way of keeping tabs on companies all year long. It constantly scans the web for the latest reports of allegations and incidents relating to EHS, labour and other ethical aspects of corporate performance in Asia. We currently track about 4,500 companies. The data are available to investors, retailers, manufacturers and banks for use as early warnings of problems and also as inputs to screening and due diligence.

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Managing suppliers to meet an ethical code has traditionally involved:

  • initial ethical screening and, sometimes, due diligence audit
  • compliance auditing and corrective action follow-up
  • training to spread best practice and improve performance.
This has delivered only a base level of assurance. But significant supply chain and investment risks remain because:
  • audits can not see everything in a snapshot visit
  • irresponsible factories cheat the audit process
  • audits are not sufficiently frequent and coverage is too sparse
  • the costs of more intensive auditing and training are prohibitive
  • little is known about current, ongoing performance
  • non-compliances are rarely reported voluntarily by factories
  • but NGOs and media can discover and publicise bad supplier behaviour
  • brands and retailers are less informed and badly prepared to respond.
Industrial performance in emerging economies remains environmentally, socially and ethically poor. Audits have their place but ultimately are of limited value for providing  assurance and stimulating performance improvements.

Invariably, little effort is made to actually monitor ongoing performance of suppliers or investees, in particular poor performance, non-compliance and controversial allegations and incidents.

 

How can you keep tabs on hundreds, or even thousands of your suppliers of investees? An audit every 1-2 years provides bare minimum assurance to your senior management, shareholders, customers or other stakeholders that all is well. Too often, the first notification of a problem comes from an NGO or via the news media, leaving little time to prepare a convincing response.

Earlier warning can provide valuable time to re-assure stakeholders that you have the situation in hand. The internet is the main vehicle by which allegations, accidents and other incidents are communicated across the world. So we believe the web can and should be used by responsible companies to use 3rd parties as their extended eyes and ears.

We use a customised web-tracking and risk assessment process, coupled with on-the-ground research, to monitor corporate incidents and allegations relating to about 4,500 companies. This 'ethical radar' allows us to send regular 'risk alerts' to you, enabling you to investigate and take appropriate action at an earlier stage than otherwise might be possible.

By accessing InvestAssure's web monitoring database and receiving early warning alerts, a traditional management and assurance cycle is informed with real world data and opinion from 3rd parties. This opens up the assurance cycle - what was a 2-way closed process becomes a multi-stakeholder, multi-channel exchange of information.

 

The InvestAssure Web Monitoring Process combines the power of customised web scanning software with the intelligence and judgement of our network of local researchers to build a database of 'alerts' - records of incidents, allegations and commentary relating to corporate performance. These can be accessed as e-alerts or periodic monitoring reports relating to the companies of your interest. We can also undertake customised analyse of the database to inform your decision making and you can have direct access to the database for your own purposes in your own time.