Combining Web-based Technology With Other Media To Organize And Manage An Effective Compliance Program At PepsiAmericas - Part II

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 01:00

The Editor interviews W. Scott
Nehs
, Vice President of Legal and Chief Compliance Officer for
PepsiAmericas, Inc. In November 2004, Mr. Nehs was named one of the "Top 40
Lawyers Under 40" in Illinois by the Chicago Daily Law
Bulletin.

href="http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current.php?artType=view&EntryNo=50">Part
I of this article appears in the January 2005 issue of
The Metropolitan
Corporate Counsel.

Editor: How do you measure the
effectiveness of your company's compliance program?

Nehs: As a measure of effectiveness, one of the
ways that we've looked at this is to see how the relative volume of complaints
that we are receiving over these new means compares to the number of complaints
that we receive via more traditional means, such as talking to a supervisor, or
even a more public means such as an EEOC complaint or a lawsuit. What we've been
pleased to learn is that activity on the hotline and email has been consistent with the more traditional means. So people are using
the technology at the same, if not higher, rate to report issues, than the
traditional methods of the past.

Editor: Do you tie these tools into your strategy
for rewarding employee behavior?

Nehs: We've been very careful and proactive in
publicizing the fact that people are using the hotline and email, and
publicizing the fact that when they've called, we have delivered results. We
feel strongly that it lends credibility and certainty to the system. Reporting
our results also is a key component in the process of people having confidence
that not only are their problems going to be handled effectively, but that we
are going to protect their anonymity and make sure that they are not "outed" in
the process. This has lead to employees telling their friends and colleagues
that, "hey, this is something that works and if you have an issue this should
work for you too."

We think those results will build on themselves to a
point where as the culture evolves, anonymous reporting will be something that
our employees embrace and are grateful to have.

Editor: You spoke at the 2004 ACC Annual
Meeting. Could you talk a little bit about some of the points that you made
regarding PepsiAmericas' use of web-based training?

Nehs: I spoke as part of a panel discussion that
was intended for corporate attorneys that are currently considering web-based
training modules from any of the providers that offer it. There are several very good products, including Integrity Interactive's,
which we use. The panel discussed some of the different options, what they look
like, and what the component parts are. We also talked about the choice points
in selecting a provider and in selecting the appropriate level of content within
the menu of options most providers offer.

The issues that PepsiAmericas
confronted had to do with what the best fit is from a cultural and technology
standpoint. I highlighted the need for harmony between the compliance training
and the materials that the employees are used to seeing. And then we also talked
quite a bit about the value of pure data, such as really pushing providers to
give you references and points of intersection with other companies that may be
similar or may be very different so that you can gather information from those
that have been down the path before.

I noted that we have seen some
great advantages in using Integrity Interactive as opposed to the more
traditional means of delivering training content, and have witnessed savings and
value derived from allowing employees to take the course on their own schedule,
allowing employees to take the courses at home if they wanted to and of allowing
ease of referral back once they've completed the course. If they needed a
refresher or if there was a point that they recalled but couldn't quite
pinpoint, the ability to go and identify that material without having to contact
the legal department or refer to a binder full of materials is of real value.

Frankly, when compared to the cost
of bringing in large groups of people to
a single location for several hours of
training, the web-based product generally
costs less than bringing 5 people in,
let alone 100 or 150
people.

Editor: How are you utilizing the
web-based training to cover the four
primary areas you mentioned in Part
I of this interview?

Nehs: We are utilizing Integrity
Interactive's content across all four of the
primary areas of risk for our company.
In our first year, we will have trained
employees in no fewer than two and no
more than five courses in their specific
areas of responsibility. The goal is to
have our employees in the domestic
organization fully trained in their areas
of expertise, and in many cases supplementing
or building on the training they've already received.

We plan to do the training in a way
where everyone gets to the same baseline
so that whether they received training
in antitrust law 10 years ago, five
years ago, or never, we will get everyone
up to the same level and have a foundation that we can build upon in future years. And as either the laws change or our business evolves, we'll have a mechanism to introduce those changes to new employees as well as those who have had the training
before.

Editor: What has been the feedback
from employees?

Nehs: We've received terrific feedback
from our employees. They greatly value
the flexibility within their schedule, the
ability to stop and start the training if
the need arises, and the ability to refer
back to the materials. These were all
aspects that Integrity Interactive has
been able to deliver for us that we simply
could not replicate with other forms
of more traditional
training.

Editor: Where do you see your program
going in the future?

Nehs: As we look forward to further
utilization, we are going to effectively
triple the number of trained employees
in 2005, but we are also beginning to
explore the areas of customization. We
think the ability to customize the course
content and personalize the message for
our business has great value. This is
particularly true as we move the training
deeper into the organization where
customization will help us deliver the message
and make our points even more strongly.

Editor: How do you view management's
role in an effective program, and in being able to demonstrate a commitment to compliance?

Nehs: Well, much is made in the press
and in other places about the importance
of walking the talk. It's one thing to say
you support a program, it's another
thing to actively demonstrate it, and
we've tried to demonstrate the importance
of the program by associating it with our most senior executives. They have been the biggest champions of compliance and their enthusiasm has paid big dividends. We also are verykeenly focused on making sure that our senior management team completed the training at a very early stage in the process before we launched it to all employees, so that they really would become advocates for the value of the training. That way, if asked by their direct reports, or anyone else in the company, they could highlight and support the benefits of the Web-based program based on personal experience - not simply based on what I told
them.

In Part I of this interview, which appeared in last
month's issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Mr. Nehs gave an
overview of PepsiAmericas' compliance program and the web-based technology and
other media that support it.