Political manoeuvring has created challenges for global trade operations. These include unclear UK/EU trade relations post-Brexit, fractious NAFTA negotiations, ongoing tariff spats and a potential trade war. Multinationals may not be able to do much about global trade uncertainties, but they can ensure their operations are optimized to navigate dynamic trading environments. In the latest Precision Report we look at automated global trade and multi carrier shipping solutions for multinational enterprises.
This year has brought about significant changes — and threats — to global trade operations. Companies manufacturing or distributing from multiple sites around the world have had to grapple with a number of uncertainties caused by political wrangling.
There is as yet no clarity on how the UK will trade with the European Union once it withdraws from the bloc on 29 March 2019. Recent news from the UK suggests that a so-called hard Brexit is unlikely. Then there are ongoing tit-for-tat tariffs, which could result in a full blown trade war. Add to that difficult NAFTA re-negotiations and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Last, but not least, in April, the US imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia.
It’s not all bad news. The World Trade Organization expects trade volume to grow 4.4 percent this year. That’s down slightly from 2017, but far above the 3 percent achieved during the post-financial crisis period. However, the WTO also noted that escalating trade tensions may negatively impact this forecast.
Enterprises may not be able to do much about global trade uncertainties. What they can do is ensure their own operations are optimized to navigate dynamic trading environments.
This presents a challenge for any company, but especially for those who work across a number of sites. Complex global trade policies, export regulations and denied parties can change at a rapid pace. Failure to comply is not an option. Every shipment, carrier and customer must adhere to global trade rules.
Automating trade compliance is the most reliable and effective way of ensuring that no violations occur. The alternative is to spend hours sifting through numerous regulation reports, licensing agencies and denied party lists. Even if a company has the labor resources to do so, human error can occur.
An integrated automated compliance solution speeds up processing time. It also ensures that each site uses the same enterprise-wide procedures. Furthermore, by automating compliance and global trade management your company is not relying upon the tribal knowledge of a few specialists to handle day-to-day operations. Instead, global trade professionals and logistic managers are free to concentrate on long term planning and strategy.
Global shippers need to ensure that their products reach their customers reliably, efficiently and cost-effectively. Standardizing and streamlining their shipping processes can help them achieve this. In addition, they must mitigate trade compliance risks. They also need to be able control shipping spend without negatively impacting customer satisfaction.
Global enterprises with sites spread around the world often lack standardized procedures. This is particularly true if the company has grown through acquisition. Legacy systems as well as different guidelines can make a multinational behave like a number of different companies struggling to work together. With a global shipping solution all sites follow the same standards, workflows and processes. This can be a key differentiator that helps build better relationships with customers and partners as all operations provide a consistent service.
Multinationals generally have complex operational needs. Because of this, some rely on a handful of trusted carriers in different parts of the world. Trust and reliability are important, but companies that restrict deliveries to a few carriers are also putting their shipping operations at risk. Capacity crunches during peak delivery season, route and lane outages or labor disputes can halt shipping operations. In addition, companies may be subject to monopoly-like pricing from their carriers.
Leveraging multiple carriers reduces costs, but it can be a challenge to monitor all shipments and maintain all of these relationships. Furthermore, different carrier systems mean that shipping data is siloed. To check three shipments from the same facility, a logistics manager may need to check three different carrier interfaces.
Multinationals benefit from visibility across their operations. Comprehensive multi carrier shipping solutions allow logistics managers to keep track of multiple shipments with multiple carriers from a single portal. For companies shipping hundreds of parcels every day, visibility is not enough. Logistics managers also need to be alerted to problem shipments so that they can proactively resolve issues as they arise.
With PRECISION Global Trade Management and Multi Carrier Shipping solutions, companies can standardize shipping across their entire enterprise, streamline procedures and control costs by reducing unnecessary shipping expenditures all from a single software solution. This offers a number of benefits.
An integrated shipping solution with standardized processes makes it easier to manage carriers, compare prices and organize critical paperwork no matter where the shipment or carrier is located.
Multi carrier shipping solutions allow you to quickly compare carriers, service levels and costs to find the carriers best suited for you needs.
With PRECISION, managers will be notified if a shipping delay occurs. This allows your company to take steps to resolve the issue, resulting in better customer relationships.
Global shipping involves a ton of customs and export reporting. PRECISION Global Trade Management automates the documentation workflows to streamline international shipping process.
Efficiently managing shipments and logistics increase customer satisfactions. Monitoring processes with real-time reports can bolster trust and reinforce partnerships across the globe.
Shipping managers can create global shipment plans that accurately predict the total cost of each leg of a carrier journey, increasing transparency and visibility into overheads.
Precision Software, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global trade management, transportation execution and multi carrier shipping solutions from a single, integrated platform. Preeminent industry leaders in every region of the world rely on our global support centers to leverage thousands of carriers and manage millions of shipping transactions every day. The PRECISION solution’s open architecture allows for easy integration with leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and existing legacy solutions. An ISO-certified company, Precision Software assists companies around the world to minimize shipping costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, avoid compliance delays and mitigate the risks associated with dynamic trading environments. 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.