Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Global Trade Compliance Priorities - An IT Analysis - Part 2

Continuing my analysis of the Aberdeen report:
Page 8 - 'Trade Compliance departments are beginning to behave more strategically, their increased responsibility driven by growing company operations and lack of understanding from other departments'
I hope Trade Compliance departments start including IT counterparts early on in strategy planning and implementation sessions. IT team members can help define strategy that reduces the total cost of ownership of applications and also spread the word around within IT and business groups so that Trade Compliance needs aren't ignored. I really do think Trade Compliance IT needs a spot at the strategy tables, otherwise companies will end up with a hodge podge of disparate systems that increase the total cost of ownership.

Page 11 -
46% of best in class companies have automated doc exchange with forwarders/3 PL's for export and/or import
58% of best in class perform automated restricted party screening for exports and 32% for imports
37% of best in class perform automated export license determination and management
58% of best in class have automated access to trade related content
26% of best in class have access to analytics tools for export/import transactions - reports, statistics, scenario analysis etc..

Best in class companies are the the top 20% of the companies. If they themselves have a limited level of automation then there seems to be a lot of potential for automation in the future. I hope this means a lot of opportunity for fellow Trade Compliance IT professionals.

(to be continued)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Global Trade Compliance Priorities - An IT analysis - Part 1


I recently read Aberdeen's research titled Global Trade Compliance Priorities in 2008. I found the research interesting and it left me with questions in some areas.

Here's my analysis:

Page 7 - Best in class companies have 4.6% of international orders executed with Trade Compliance errors. Whoa! What errors? Since when did Trade Compliance departments admit errors publicly :). 4.6% seems way too high. I would like to know if the errors were caused due to human oversight or application/system malfunction.

Page 8 - Best in Class PACE (Pressures, Actions, Capabilities and use of technology) framework
The framework mentions that 26% of best in class companies have in house developed software for imports and 31% for exports. I'm wondering who provides the master data for these software. Is it an external vendor. What is the size of the IT team that maintains the software. I would be glad to sign up if they have a spot :0) as it sounds like a position with a lot of job security :0).
The best in class companies leverage trade compliance software from an ERP company or third party GTM solution provider. I don't quiet understand the difference between an ERP company and a thirs party GTM solution provider. I wondering if only the big guys such as Oracle and SAP are considered ERP companies? To me anyone who provides ERP software that can be implemented in house is an ERP company.

The advantages of a best in class company are quantified as:
a) annual trade compliance costs (include software, labor, fines etc..) is 0.5% less than the industry average
b) government fines are 1.8% less than industry average
Finally, we have some numbers to prove that trade compliance isn't a necessary evil and when a good trade compliance program is implemented with proper backing form IT it does lead to costs savings and lower fines. I would think the lower the fines the less likely the loss of export privileges etc..

(more to follow in my next post :))

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Global Trade IT Strategy anyone?


The article in supply chain digest titled "Global Logistics News: Technology Enablement in Global Logistics and Trade Management Remains Well Behind Growth in Global Sourcing" touched a raw nerve:


The article talks about how IT initiative in Global Trade are reactionary. I entirely agree. I would be surprised if the approach changes. Why? Here are some reasons:

a) IT is considered as a cost center and isn't considered a strategic partner. Trade Compliance/Global Trade IT gets lumped into the same bucket. Often operations/business folks want to control IT strategy. I think it needs to be a partnership.

b) There aren't enough Global Trade/Trade Compliance IT professionals around to provide the right kind of vision and direction. Global Trade IT is a relatively new area. The number of professionals with the right knowledge and skills to work on a roadmap is limited. Even if they have the vision they may be constrained by my comment in a).

Let's hope company's start taking Global Trade IT initiatives more seriously and start getting the right IT people together to work on roadmaps.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oracle Global Trade Management Product -3


A few years ago I worked with a guy who was very smart and had worked a lot with SAP's Foreign Trade module. He mentioned he had been offered a position on SAP's Global Trade Solution team in the Bay Area, California and had declined it. He mentioned that the team was 50-10o people with experience in Trade Compliance business and IT. I hear Oracle is using a team acquired from G-Log. Will they be able to give SAP and other big players such as Vastera, Management Dynamics etc.. a run for their money? I will be watching. Will you?


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oracle's Global Trade Management Product - 2


According to an article on logistismgmt.com GTM software will grow pretty fast and Oracle comnig out with it's new product will contribute to this growth.

"Some of that growth will be driven by Oracle’s move into the space, says Ian Hobkirk, former senior analyst of supply chain execution at the Aberdeen Group. Already armed with a world-class TMS, the vendor is “really putting a lot of horsepower into building a GTM solution,” adds Hobkirk. “Shippers want to go to one source for their TMS and GTM, and right now there’s no one out there offering that in an effective manner.”


I would like to see the product to believe it's capabilities :).

Oracle's Global Trade Management product


I am sure a lot of you know that Oracle is working on it's GTM product. Considering that Oracle and SAP are the two big ERP vendors, I think that Oracle is way behind in the GTM space as SAP came out with it's GTS product 4-6 years ago.

The last I read was an Aberdeen report that said Oracle was working on it's GTM product:


I can't find anymore information online.

Any idea when the first version will be out? Do you think they will be able to give SAP and other big vendors such as Vastera and Management Dynamics a run for their money. If yes, within how many years of launching? Let me know your thoughts :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Added some of my favorite links


I wanted to add something to my blog which would tickle your brain. I have added some of my favorite sites for reading up on Trade Compliance. Which ones are yours?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hello fellow Trade Compliance professionals!

Hello Friends

I am excited to start writing this blog. My goal is to share my thoughts and opinions on happenings in the Trade Compliance and Trade Compliance IT world. I am looking forward to your responses and exchange of ideas. I am confident that it will help all us of enrich ourselves.