Spreadsheets are not a Global Trade Management Solution

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Hiring expert compliance professionals and sending them to training seminars and conferences to keep them on their edge is laudable, but it’s not a solution if they return to a workplace that relies on the totally inadequate compliance tool known as the spreadsheet. Spreadsheets, designed for simple accounting calculations, might be reasonable for forecasting and budgeting, but they were never designed for applications that required advanced data management activities, including trade compliance demands, especially when the mere act of sorting can corrupt all the data in the spreadsheet.

That’s why I was very pleased to see these facts echoed in a recent Industry Week article on Global Trade Management (GTM) technology that was a call to action to importers and exporters. Good GTM, which delivers tangible ROI, enhanced revenue, and more efficient internal processes, overcomes the failings of spreadsheets and greatly reduces the risks of non-compliance (which can include massive fines and penalties).

Furthermore, GTM can allow importers to maintain more control over the process. They can verify classifications, insure filings are made on time, and track VAT that your company may be eligible to reclaim. GTM also gives importers and exporters:

  • advanced cost-estimation capabilities,
  • a complete archive of electronic filings at their fingertips,
  • automated transaction processing, and
  • true global visibility, where real-time visibility and exception monitoring allows problems to be solved before they become catastrophic.

For more information on the importance of global visibility, see the Illumination on why you need trade visibility and the white paper on why you need to close the loop with entry visibility.