April 2011 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

The Secrets to a Successful Global Trade Management Program

Tags: Global Trade Management

Tom Madzy is Chief Information Officer, SEKO Worldwide, LLC, 800-228-2711

Q: What are the elements of a successful global trade management program?

Madzy: Global trade management is a dilemma for most organizations because it is an enterprise-wide discipline that needs to be developed. In today’s decentralized and outsourced business climate, it is difficult to bring together all the resources and expertise required to develop and implement a global trade management program.

A comprehensive global trade management program must include sourcing, purchasing, transportation, sales, compliance, and accounting expertise. An exhaustive analysis of an organization’s import and export procedures must be analyzed and documented. The documented procedures will require each department to develop practices around the goals to implement a comprehensive global trade management program.

Q: What goals should companies strive for when implementing global trade management programs?

Madzy: The goals of a global trade management program should include: regulatory compliance for each commodity, cost efficiencies in product movement, high standards for on-time delivery, and meeting every customer expectation. In addition, each step in the process must be traceable and verified to provide impeccable customer service, all from a company that adapts to the changing industry.

Q: What’s the best way to manage the constant change involved in global logistics?

Madzy: Partnering with a proactive supply chain partner is essential to staying on top of change. A proactive partner will alert you to regulatory compliance, geo-economic, or geo-political changes that will disrupt the supply chain and cost variables that could have a significant impact on your budget. In today’s world, there is no shortage of information that could affect your business. Likewise, it is imperative that supply chain partners analyze information and notify their customers of the potential effects they may have on their development and delivery.

Q: What’s the difference between data and information?

Madzy: Data becomes information when it is used to create value. Some examples of sharing information include a forwarder posting transport delays to a company’s broker, exporting transportation calendars to Outlook for unified visibility, and turning data into phone calls or text messages during possible supply chain disruptions. Throughout the supply chain, customers should ensure their providers share information rather than just data, creating built-in efficiencies.

Any supply chain involves redundancy of effort. A highly efficient supply chain that has built-in value for each of its partners shares the burden of collecting and sharing information.