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4 Steps to Streamline Global Shipping

When you work across multiple sites and geographies, standardized, streamlined processes may seem an impossible dream. It’s not. In the latest QAD Precision Report we outline the four steps global shippers need to take to streamline shipping across all their locations.

For global manufacturers, managing logistics across locations, countries and regions, as well as carriers, is no easy task. Add to that the fact that global trade is getting more complex. According to the World Trade Organization, tit-for-tat tariffs between major economies, turbulent financial markets and weaker global economic growth, all negatively impacted trade in 2018. The WTO predicts that world merchandise trade volume will grow just 2.6 percent this year. The WTO may need to revise this already low forecast should trade tensions between the world’s largest economies persist.

Geopolitical maneuvering is beyond the control of global shippers. What they can do, however, is to standardize global trade operations across all their sites. When you have multiple manufacturing locations across the world, it can feel as though your enterprise is not one organization, but a number of different companies, all using different guidelines. With a standardized global shipping solution, all sites operate adhere to the same procedures, workflows and processes.

This is a significant differentiator when building relationships with customers and partners. It bolsters trust because they know that no matter where they engage with your enterprise, they can expect consistent service.  Here we discuss the four steps of standardizing shipping across your manufacturing enterprise.

Step 1: Automate Compliance

Global manufacturing and shipping comes with a number of compliance regulations. Whether you ship containers or parcels, you must ensure every shipment adheres to global trade policies.

Done manually, compliance would require spending hours of manual labor. sifting through regulatory reports, denied party lists, licensing agencies and other critical information. Automated trade compliance streamlines this process.

Automation is the most reliable way of ensuring that no compliance missteps occur. An automated compliance solution that is integrated with your transportation execution solution speeds up processing time.

Furthermore, by automating compliance your company is not relying upon the tribal knowledge of a few specialists to handle day-to-day operations. Instead, global trade professionals and logistics managers are free to concentrate on long term planning and strategy.

Step 2: Automate Documentation and Reporting

Global shipping involves a ton of customs and export reporting. Manually creating all the documents needed to complete a shipment is time-consuming. These may include accredited carrier labels, general purpose shipping labels, address labels, packing lists, bills of lading, dangerous goods notes, driver manifests and commercial invoices.

Incomplete documentation or license requirement errors will lead to delayed shipments. Recurring delays lead to damaged customer relations, and possibly cancelled orders. Automating documentation and customs reporting streamlines the international shipping process and reduces the possibility of hold-ups.

Step 3: Leverage a Global Multi Carrier Solution

Global manufacturers generally have highly complicated, intertwined transportation needs. As a result, they may decide it best to rely on a few carriers that they know and trust. Trust is of course critical. But when you rely heavily on a handful of carriers, you are vulnerable to higher pricing.

A global multi carrier shipping solution could include local and regional carriers as well as global ones. Some regions — such as Europe and Asia — have dozens of carriers. It makes sense to include the ones that offer the routes and services you most need. By leveraging a multi carrier shipping solution, manufacturers can seamlessly switch between carriers while still maintaining standardized shipping processes.

A multi carrier shipping solution should allow logistics managers to:

  • Find the best carriers: Instead of relying on a few carriers for all global shipping needs, logistics managers should be able to easily compare carriers to see which ones have the best rates and routes for specific jobs.

  • Proactively resolve delays: Logistics managers should have visibility across every step of the transportation and shipping process, and receive alerts should issues arise, allowing them to be more proactive.

  • Create standardized shipping processes: Instead of needing multiple processes for different locations or carriers, standardized global shipping processes make it easier to manage carriers, compare prices and organize critical paperwork.

  • Reinforce customer and partner relationships: Efficiently managing shipments will increase customer satisfaction, bolster trust and build credibility for an organization.

Step 4: Ensure Ongoing Carrier Compliance

Leveraging multiple carriers reduces costs in the long run. However, it can still be a challenge to remain compliant with each carrier. Different carriers have their own requirements, and shippers must comply with their labeling and electronic communication standards. Carriers must enforce these standards in order to efficiently process high volumes of shipments through their networks. When you use a multi carrier solution, your provider is responsible for ensuring carrier compliance standards remain up to date.

By automating trade compliance checks, automating export documentation, transportation labels and customs reporting along with a global multi carrier shipping solution, manufacturers can create standardized export processes, reduce overheads, improve cycle times and increase visibility into global shipping operations.

About QAD Precision – Trusted Global Trade and Transportation Execution

QAD Precision (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 QAD 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, QAD Precision 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. QAD Precision’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 QAD Precision, visit www.precisionsoftware.com.

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