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The Changing Landscape of Importing and Exporting

By: Felix Pekar, QuestaWeb
Posted: February 11, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Additional Benefits
Firms not only achieve compliance, visibility and trade control, they gain a way to better manage logistics costs because of the wealth of information coming back to them. Most studies project that logistics costs conservatively add 16% to overall product cost. Depending on the product, where it is manufactured and other factors, that add-on can translate to a lot of money—as most importers will tell you.

GTM software solutions allow companies to utilize their system during product development to determine where to source items and which countries offer preferential treatment or special programs to lower the costs of manufacturing. They can establish landed costs on several levels. The impact of such a tool on a company’s bottom line can be tremendous as companies then gain the ability to control trade from the point of product conception. What’s more, because GTM systems accurately track product movement from vendor to freight forwarder to customs brokers to distribution, firms can compare up front what they are spending on logistics and how well they are moving products. They can make pre-allocation decisions well in advance of product arrival at the distribution center.

What Lies Ahead
While the future is uncertain in most respects, importers and exporters can be sure that more change will follow. Companies need to know that technology can simplify the process and give their highly skilled personnel the tools they need to perfect their supply chain. Company size doesn’t matter when it comes to the need for technology to manage importing and exporting operations today. Neither does the vertical in which a company operates. Information that allows firms to manage trade is what counts. When a company achieves that level of control, everything else falls in place.

Back to the February issue.