April 2012 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

GTM Solutions Keep Businesses Plugged In

Tags: Global Trade Management

Nathan Pieri is Senior Vice President Marketing & Product Management, Amber Road, 201-935-8588

Q: Why is it difficult for organizations to integrate true end-to-end global trade management?

A: True end-to-end global trade management (GTM) means managing and optimizing all the functions required to move goods across international borders. Organizations may argue that they are already doing GTM, when in fact they are only undertaking disparate pieces, such as international trade compliance or global transportation management.

GTM functions may be distributed among departments such as warehousing, shipping, and legal. It can be difficult to unite business processes and establish communication channels where none exist. Adopting GTM technology helps achieve this. Each section of the organization gains an understanding that its activities tie into larger objectives and can affect outcomes outside that department.

As with adopting any technology, organizations may struggle with managing change and pushing through the initial disruptions that a system implementation can cause. Today's Software-as-a-Service solutions minimize the need for IT support, and dramatically decrease disruption to daily activities. This makes them a good option for organizations that don't currently have any systems in place.

Q: What do customers look for in GTM solutions?

A: Customers want GTM solutions that are flexible enough to support different supply chain segmentation strategies. These tools must address the different needs of unique product segments within a company. They must also be flexible enough to accommodate the requirements of the company's extended supply chain partners, such as suppliers, logistics providers, and customers. In particular, systems must be able to:

  • Extend processes to suppliers and logistics providers.
  • Manage logistics and compliance activities within one solution.
  • Tune or configure business processes to support each segment's needs.
  • Provide a centralized view of the global supply chain across all segments.
  • Capture all associated data to support reporting and predictive analytics.

For example, an organization may need supply chain processes specialized to goods with unpredictable demand, as well as goods with more predictable demand that require steady replenishment. Similarly, other goods may have higher import and export compliance requirements that must be carefully managed.

Q: What are the most important criteria for evaluating and selecting a GTM solution provider?

A: Look for a GTM provider that has successfully deployed its solution at a company similar to your own, within your industry, with similar segmentation requirements, equivalent number of products, global shipping volumes, and within countries or regions that map to your own.

Global trade management can be very complex, and there's typically no better indicator of future success than finding a vendor that has been there and done that with one or more companies that mirror your own.