Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Export Compliance Business Models and related IT solutions -2


I got some interesting comments based on my post titled 'Export Compliance Business Models and related IT solutions'. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of the comments and my responses so I am posting it a new post. Enjoy!

Hi Greg, Ashok and AnonymousThanks for your comments. My contention is that when a company has huge transaction volumes for export compliance screening it makes sense to have more than one platform. When I say huge I mean millions of transactions a year. If a company has a huge corporate/enterprise business and a small consumer business they can attempt to use one platform. To be able to do this will need to come up with hardware and software that fits both worlds. It's kind of like finding a cross between a classic car and a new sports car. To be able to achieve this the hardware will have to scale to the model that has more performance needs. Saying it differently this hybrid will need the sports car's engine. Also, the software should be configurable/modifiable enough to enable the two business models to coexist. Easy on paper but much harder to implement.As far as master data is concerned, the IT world is migrating towards product data hubs. I think this would be a logical place to store classification data associated with a product/sku. The product data hub would be responsible for real time communication of changes in classification to all the platforms. I will try and put out a slide presentation on this model in one of my future posts.As far as RPL master data is concerned, yes this will have to be maintained in each platform. Some software support automated updates with no human touch and in this case it wouldn't be a biggie. In the case where human touch is required it would be small price to pay compared to creating a hybrid between a sports car and a classic.The reexport sounds very similar to the enterprise/corporate type of business and the deemed export similar to the consumer business so we could put them on those platforms.If you would like to connect please send me an invite on linkedin.Let me know your thoughts.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Oracle's introduces Landed Cost Management Module

Oracle has come up with a module for Landed Cost Management. Landed Cost Management is one are of Global Trade that is considered on the cutting edge as it can help reduce costs and has a better value proposition to management than the standard pitch of risk minimization.

Here' the link I found online for the product's datasheet:

It remains to be seen how this product will integrate with Oracle GTM. I hope all Global Trade related modules are managed under the same umbrella to maximize synergies and to enable modules to work well together.

Let me know if you end up implementing this module about how well it is serving your needs.


Oracle's Global Trade Management Product -5

Here's an update on Oracle's Global Trade Management product. The product will be released in the second half of the year. The date is still to be decided.

I will keep you posted if I hear more info on the date or the functionality that will be made available in this product.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Export compliance business models and related it solutions

I'd like to discuss business models in Export Compliance.
I have come across three models.
Model 1: Physical exports: This model involves an order life cycle that is typically between 1 day to up to a few months. The shipment of product needs to be accompanied with documents such as the commercial invoice that need to have export licensing data on it. If the customers are repeat customers it would make sense to retain the latest restricted party list (RPL) screening results and also history. Since the order life cycle is a few days there is some breathing room for manual intervention to resolve RPL and export licensing issues.

Model 2: Online downloads: The second model is for products that don't need to be physically shipped. Example, online downloads. This model involves an order life cycle which ranges from a few seconds to a few minutes. Since the product doesn't need to be shipped there generally isn't a need for shipping documents. The customers aren't generally repeat customers and therefore their RPL results may not need to be reused and a history for the customer may not need to be retained. Since the order life cycle is a few minutes there is very little time for manual intervention to resolve RPL and export licensing issues. This model may have higher volumes that the first model.

Model 3: Site access: Export compliance screening may be required when customers, vendors and other persons access a company's facility. The life cycle of the transaction is a matter of seconds as the person is waiting to enter the building/facility. The person may not be a repeat visitor so the RPL screening results may not need to be retained. The history may also not need to be retained. Since the life cycle of the transaction is very short there may be little room for manual intervention to resolve issues. The volume of transactions in this model will vary based on the number of visitors.

Please add a comment if you are aware of another model.

Now moving to the applications that support these models. Let's say your company uses more than one model and your volumes/projected volumes are large.It makes absolutely good sense to have two applications/instances of an application support the two models. The only exception being the needs for model Model 2 and Model 3 may potentially be combined into one. I think having one application that satisfies the needs for Model 1 and Model 2 isn't the best course of action.

Let me know your thoughts/comments.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oracle's Global Trade Management Product -4

I am hearing the Oracle GTM product will be released in August 2009. I am still trying to get my hands on the presentation made in Open World 2008. I will keep you posted.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Please subscribe and comment!

My Dear Readers

Thanks for reading my blog! Thanks to analytics tools, I can see you are spread around the world. I also notice a lot of you come to the blog looking for updates. You can get updates if you subscribe to the blog. You can do this by subscribing to one of the feeds. If you use the 'Add to Google' feed you can use Google reader to read updates on my and other blogs from the reader.

I know you are all busy. To help me write about the things you care please take a moment and send me your comments . Each post has a pencil icon under it for you to add your comments. You many need a blogger id to add comments. Your comments are important to me. If you don't like leaving me comments on my blog you can send them to my e-mail address.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cool Tools 1 - Export Compliance Dashboard

I am starting a new category in my blog called cool tools. Whenever I find a tool or product that I find interesting and useful I will share.
I was on the export compliance training institute website and found the export compliance dashboard: http://learnexportcompliance.com/dashboard/index.php.
It's a cool tool you can download for free be providing some personal information.
The dashboard lets a trade compliance specialist look up EAR, ITAR, OFAC regulations, denied party lists etc.. from one single spot.
The tool can be periodically updated using the check for updates button on the dashboard. The result of this action tells you if you have the latest regs or you need to download a new version.

I thought this was a cool tool. Did you?


Sunday, January 25, 2009

SAAS/ASP vs In House implementation

Every company that wants to implement a Trade Compliance application is trying to decide if it wants to implement an standalone version behind it's own firewall or use a software as a service
vendor or Application Service Provider vendor to host a solution outside it's firewall. I am sure this is even more relevant today with companies trying to be as cost conscious as possible. There is potentially a trade off between cost and risk. Here are some major areas to consider while making this decision:

1) How large are your volumes? If you are a medium/large company that has many millions of transactions a year it may make sense to look more closely at the in house solution. This is
because your fixed costs of hardware, software and support personnel will diminish as volumes
increase. I believe the sliding scale pricing model that ASP/SAAS vendors provide can prove to be more expensive than an in house implementation.

2) How many applications does your company run in house? If your company runs many applications then the support personnel you hire can be leveraged for your in house TC application. They will have experience in the physical architecture that your company prefers and assuming your TC application has a similar architecture they will be able to easily support it and keep it up to corporate standards.

3) How specialized are your requirements? If your TC requirements are very specialized it is possible the vendor will need to write a lot of custom code to support it. In this case it may make sense to take a closer look at an in house implementation. This will enable better control of the code and may also help in easy modification of it as there will be less reliance on vendor resources. Also if you are in a rapidly changing compliance requirement that requires you to change custom code it may make sense to have your implementation in house and have
a few dedicated in house resources rather than trying to bank on vendor resources.

4) How protective are you about your data? TC transaction data can have sensitive customer and pricing information. Regardless of the physical and electronic security your ASP/SAAS vendor may provide I think a corporate firewall and corporate physical security can be better monitored and remedied. Better safe than sorry!

5) Will my old data be readily available? Once the volume of transaction data becomes high some of the data may be archived to help improve with performance of the application. While working with an ASP/SAAS provider you must be comfortable that the data which will be archived will be readily available for viewing and reporting be it for an internal or external audit.

I hope this post gives you a good framework to make a decision between SAAS and in house implementations.