Global trade management (GTM) solutions may sometimes be costly but companies having adopted them often report higher ROIs. GTM solutions support efficient communications among trade lane intermediaries such as logistics service providers, third-party service providers, customs brokers, and foreign trade agents. Trade lane management experts from international logistics and transportation group AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG have identified the three clearest benefits of GTM for import and export businesses:
Benefit 1: faster processing times
Companies adopt GTM primarily to speed up shipments and reduce costs associated with cargo tracking, export order screening, and manual compliance efforts. GTM solutions can boost the efficiency of the entire supply chain by transferring accumulated information automatically to internal and external agents in real time.
Companies not using global trade management software spend precious time screening sales orders manually. Currently, fast deliveries are more important than ever due to individualized manufacturing approaches as well as changing consumption habits and buying preferences. Global competitive trends drive down each item’s manufacturing costs and the time available for its distribution and operational processing.
Denis Gural, Chief Operating Officer at AsstrA, explains why speed has become such an important issue in the transportation business:
“We live in a constantly changing world where the speed of information transfer is outpacing all estimates. That is why companies expect more from their logistics service providers. Our clients’ business success often depends on the quality of our operational capabilities and logistics solutions. Knowing that, we concentrate on bringing top-quality offerings to today’s market.”
He adds that air transport is probably the best solution for fast cargo delivery, as long as higher costs are not a problem. Otherwise, the best solution is the one which best matches a customer’s needs.
“Trade Lane Management significantly helps reduce risks by using the best cargo delivery schemes tailored to real capabilities and opportunities in the surrounding market,” says Mr. Gural.
Over the last few years, AsstrA has been reorganizing its business around the concept of Digital Logistics, wherein business processes are fully automated.
“Of course, without the cooperation of our partners we would not be able to digitalize and automate our operations. We already deliver innovative solutions for electronic data interchange (EDI), Control Tower, and other kinds of tight integration with our direct clients. We are keen on serving clients’ logistics needs as proactively as possible,” continues Mr. Gural.
Benefit 2: no more processing delays
In order to eliminate pre-transport export order processing delays, shippers should prepare all relevant documentation and ensure that it is completed correctly. Delays often occur because shippers are not aware of recent regulatory changes concerning the transport of specific goods. These delays often lead to higher storage expenses and sometimes even the damage of the products transported, especially in the case of FMCG cargo.
GTM systems ensure that documentation related to operations is completed quickly and correctly. Road Freight Transportation Department Deputy COO Vitaly Eremenco indicates that the best way to reduce the risk of transportation delays is to take an individual approach to each client and pay careful attention to all the relevant details.
“The best strategy of course involves the elimination of mistakes, highly competent employees, and strong communication with suppliers. In order to eliminate the risk of delays caused by human error, we are effectively integrating our Oracle Transport Management (OTM) system with those of our clients. Doing so helps us minimize mistakes, exchange information almost in real time, improve our logistical operations even further, save resources, and cut expenses. Also, mutual integration of both parties’ OTM systems ensures data security,” says Mr. Eremenco.
AsstrA is also integrating a proprietary Track&Trace system to help expeditors and clients see visualized cargo turnover and flows.
“The most common sources of cargo delays are problems with discipline, whether they arise from human factors or force majeure scenarios. Our goal is to eliminate them all. And technology is the best investment into doing so. We can’t risk losing our clients’ trust – it cannot be bought with any currency,” adds Mr. Eremenco.
Benefit 3: clear visibility into landed costs
A transparent landed cost strategy plays a significant role in sustainable and profitable supply chains. GTM can help with that as well: it provides visibility into costs for the product itself as well as transportation and warehousing services. All the accumulated data is valuable for further business planning.
Moreover, GTM solutions support logistics management, import and export operations, and financial operations. They automate business processes and help to determine costs, increase productivity, and connect supply chain components on a real-time basis. For example, AsstrA uses trade lane management solutions from Oracle which have helped efficiently integrate supply chain analytics, export and import inquiries, and automated shipping data with operational transportation processes.
Outsourcing and collaboration with third parties is an inevitable part of daily workflows in this business. Normally, a single company by itself can not reasonably handle all the processes involved, from manufacturing to shipping, warehousing, and distribution to the end user. Additionally, the final cost of a product and a customer’s satisfaction with it depend to a significant degree on the quality of communication between supply chain members. GTM systems allow users to navigate internal and external processes easily and simultaneously to track operations and drive down costs.