As cross-border commerce grows, facilitating global trade execution workflow is becoming a more urgent business problem for organizations that ship internationally. Forrester predicted that cross border shopping will make up 20% of total e-commerce trade by 2022.

To handle this explosive growth, organizations must streamline processes and minimize manual labor, while ensuring compliance with global trade rules. Integrating shipping and trade management-related business processes, on a single multi carrier shipping and global trade management platform, is the first step to building a more efficient global trade execution system.

How prepared is your organization? If you’re not sure, here are some questions worth pondering:

  • When your organization ships internationally, how many different applications and systems does it take to send each order?
  • How much time do your people spend toggling between applications to complete both shipping documentation and export compliance paperwork?
  • How much of the work does your staff do by hand due to gaps in each system?

If your organization is using multiple systems combined with manual processes to handle shipping and export management for international shipments, your solution is making it harder—not easier—to get your packages where they need to go. That’s why we believe using a single end-to-end solution for shipping and global trade management is a superior strategy over multiple “best of breed” solutions.

End-to-End or Best of Breed: The Battle Continues

Software companies have been arguing for years over which strategy is better: end-to-end or best of breed? Both strategies have some benefits. Best of breed solutions may provide more robust functionality to meet specific needs. However, an end-to-end solution provides broader functionality with fewer overlapping features, addressing a more complete range of business requirements with fewer gaps that require manual intervention.

In the world of global trade execution, there’s additional complexity in that there are multiple approaches to managing shipping and trade management. These include:

  •       Single carrier shipping software, without global trade management.
  •       Single carrier shipping software, with best of breed global trade management.
  •       Best of breed multi carrier shipping, with best of breed GTM.
  •       End-to-end multi carrier solution and integrated GTM, or Global Trade Execution.

Many organizations that ship internationally use some form of global trade management software. They do this to streamline the documentation and compliance requirements associated with shipping packages overseas. Often these solutions are not integrated with multi carrier shipping. This leaves organizations unable to gather insight into how shipping and trade management each impact their global shipping operations.

It’s also common for organizations to use a carrier-provided shipping solution. When they do so, they send all shipments via a single preferred carrier. This limits organizations to the pricing and service delivery options available from that carrier. They are unable to compare rates, routes, and performance to reduce costs and improve delivery times.

The Worst of Both Worlds?

When you handle multi carrier shipping and global trade management separately you gain few of the benefits of each solution. These include streamlining documentation and comparing rates and routes. You must manage many processes by hand, toggling between systems. This costs time and creates risk of errors and omissions. 

As cross-border shipping volume grows, streamlining these processes with an end-to-end solution becomes crucial.  After all, the recipient information is—or should be—the same information that is passed through denied party screening. Why re-key this data to several disparate systems when capturing the data once is more efficient and accurate?

With PRECISION Global Trade Management, organizations can get the best of both worlds. This is an end-to-end solution that delivers maximum control over shipping costs and performance, along with streamlined global trade documentation and reduced risk of border delays, compliance violations, and more.

Why A Single Solution Is Better than Multiple Applications

Shipping globally is already challenging enough, without having to navigate the complexity of using multiple systems to do it. Here are four reasons why a single, end-to-end solution for shipping and export management is superior to using multiple applications.

Time is Money 

The old saw that time is money is nowhere more true than when it comes to your shipping operations. When you use multiple solutions you’re slowing down the process. Shipping needs to be fast and efficient in order to be profitable and maintain high customer satisfaction.

Complexity adds Cost and Risk

The more complex your systems the more likely it is to miss a step. This could lead to inaccurate or incomplete shipping or compliance documentation. The result? Lost packages, delays, border stoppages or even fines.

Multiple Solutions Deliver Poor Quality Data

Integrating multiple systems is expensive, which is why many organizations either don’t integrate systems (leading to all that toggling around we’ve mentioned), or when they do integrate, they do so at as few “touchpoints” as possible to streamline the systems, while minimizing integration costs. With this approach, more granular data that could provide deeper insight into how trade compliance and shipping operations affect one another simply isn’t available.

Integration between multiple systems is also challenging due to the fact that each best of breed solution might use a different field name for the same data. Worse yet, each system may measure the same data differently. When this is the case, integrating the two solutions is challenging, if not impossible, leading to problems with data consistency.

The Role of Logistics is Changing

Once upon a time, logistics was seen as more of a support function that fulfilled a critical support role (getting products where they needed to go), but wasn’t seen as having the strategic importance that it has today. But that is changing with globalization. Today, as global trade becomes a larger percentage of total revenue, logistics managers  provide strategic insight into everything from total landed cost, export compliance, documentation requirements, shipping costs, routing, delivery performance, and more.

About Precision Software – Trusted Global Trade and Transportation Execution

Precision Software, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global trade management, transportation execution and multi carrier shipping software solutions from a single, integrated platform. Preeminent industry leaders in every region of the world rely on Precision’s global support centers to leverage thousands of carriers and manage millions of shipping transactions every day. Our open architecture easily integrates with Enterprise Resource Planning, Warehouse Management Systems and legacy solutions. An ISO-certified company, Precision Software assists companies to minimize shipping costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, automate free trade agreement compliance, avoid customs delays and mitigate the risks associated with dynamic trading environments to maximize their competitive advantage. Precision Software’s customers span multiple industries including banking and finance, life sciences, high technology, retail, industrial, automotive, higher education and public sector as well as logistics providers. For more information about Precision Software, visit www.precisionsoftware.com.