A radical decision has been taken: to overhaul the process for processing reports and to acquire a new platform that is more modern, more responsive, and better suited to the challenges of the company.
– Stéphane Bernardeau, Chief Compliance Officer

COMPANY SIZE

>180k

INDUSTRY

Retail

LOCATION

Europe, Asia and Africa

PREVIOUS SOLUTION

Whistle-B

takeaways

“Auchan Retail’s teams have noticed a drastic decrease in the number of unsuccessful reports and a more fluid exchange with whistleblowers.”

Stéphane Bernardeau | Chief Compliance Officer

overview

About Auchan

Auchan is a large retail brand that is part of the Mulliez Family Association. Founded in 1961 by Gérard Mulliez, he was its director until 2006. In 2019, it was the fourth-largest retailer in the world and the second-largest in France. 

On the occasion of the adoption of the new requirements brought by the European Directive for the protection of whistleblowers, Auchan has taken the decision to overhaul its whistleblowing process by adopting an approach that ensures fairness in the treatment of reports, a better knowledge of the risks of each entity as well as adequate support for teams managing few alerts

the challenges

Maintaining a dialogue with whistleblowers

Auchan faced several problems with their previous whistleblowing system: a large number of poorly handled alerts, an unintuitive reporting platform, and a less than optimal treatment process. The process Auchan had set up before the redesign certainly allowed whistleblowers to launch an alert, but it was difficult to follow up due to the fact that informants tended not to reconnect to the platform. Auchan had also chosen to decentralize the treatment of alerts, giving independence to each entity to deal with their own problems, but it lacked transparency and required a dedicated expert for each one. On the other hand, Auchan continues to evolve on a global scale in a constantly changing legislative environment. 

These obstacles to the proper functioning of the system, beyond the legal dimension and respect for laws, represent an increased risk of loss of trust among employees and endangers whistleblowers. 

For Auchan, the redesign of the whistleblowing process is in line with a deeply held belief that the procedures for collecting and handling reports are a key element of good governance and reflect a healthy corporate culture.

the process

A solution designed for whistleblowers

Following the findings of the previous whistleblowing system, Auchan decided to turn to Whispli. 

With the guiding principle of facilitating reporting for whistleblowers, increasing risk detection, and eliminating malfunctions at the source, the choice of an internet platform associated with a smartphone app allows Auchan to facilitate real-time exchange with its whistleblowers.

The intuitive reporting experience offered by Whispli allows for real maintenance of the discussion, notably thanks to the inbox system, allowing for easy reconnection, drafting before reporting, and communicating in real-time via the platform.

In addition, Whispli offers high security ensuring compliance with all legislative restrictions and requirements, including in Russia and China. Automations are also a considerable asset for the company and for compliance with ever more demanding regulations, especially with the new provisions of the European Directive.

Some of Whispli’s features have played a key role in removing the obstacles encountered by Auchan, including

  • A safe inbox, allowing whistleblowers to choose their logins and easily reconnect in order to follow the processing of their alert, complete the information provided, send attachments if needed, and save drafts before sending their report
  • A smartphone application that facilitates real-time exchanges between whistleblowers and case managers
  • An intuitive, high-performance, and highly secure platform, making the procedures accessible to all

results

Technology at the service of the Organization

Following the implementation of Whispli, Auchan has greatly extended its communication on the existence, operation, and guarantees provided by their reporting system to its employees. This regular communication takes the form, among other things, of training, posters, articles on intranets, contractual notices, and also video testimonials from investigators during internal events such as “compliance week”.

The benefits brought by the platform were quickly felt:

  • the fluidification of exchanges between whistleblowers and case managers, leading to better follow-up of alerts;
  • maintaining exchanges with whistleblowers results in more qualitative alerts, which are easier to process, and which therefore lead to better management of ethical and compliance risks;
  • the increased visibility of risks and trends within Auchan, provided in particular thanks to Whispli’s automation and advanced statistical tools, guarantees a constant improvement of the Group’s ethical culture as a whole.

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