How do we move forward?
Looking to the future, trusted data will only become more important. We believe that the way organizations create value is changing. Whatever industry or sector you are in, your ability to succeed will be shaped by your ability to play in collaborative ecosystems that generate value for all their participants. Trusted data isn't just the price of admission; it's the glue that holds these ecosystems together and enables them to flourish.
So, what now? There are immediate actions that any organization can take now to help them respond better to the crisis we face today, and position them for the future.
1. Build an integrated perspective on trade
Trade issues typically fall into organizational silos, so there is rarely an individual or team setting strategic direction or taking overall responsibility. The result is increased cost and risk. This has to change.
If you bring together the key people with a stake in trade – from compliance and supply chain to finance and tax – and give them data insights they trust, they can start to form a comprehensive view on the way dynamic regulations and other market changes are impacting their business. The creation of a virtual trade team breaks down siloes to facilitate the sharing of information and empowers people to make decisions based on a data-informed view of what will create or protect value.
2. Shape a coherent response
With a comprehensive and data-informed overview of what’s going on, this group can move away from tactical, reactive actions and begin shaping a proactive trade strategy including a more coherent response to a dynamic global regulatory environment. The team will be able to identify the potential impact of changing conditions and requirements, and respond faster.
An active approach to changing global tariffs and trading relationships could provide savings opportunities through strategic sourcing, shifting manufacturing locations and implementing duty planning strategies like Free Trade Agreement utilization, while retaining trade compliance.
3. Drive efficiencies in your trade network
With an integrated perspective, organizations can anticipate supply chain problems, identify their causes and drive ongoing efficiencies across their trade network. That means they can quickly respond to change, eliminate costs, accelerate their speed to market, become more competitive and develop more agile business models – without jeopardizing regulatory compliance.
Gain greater visibility means organizations can optimize trade flows as products move along the supply chain to assess performance and identify opportunities. For example, this could include improving stock level management to increase compliance through better monitoring, reducing carrying costs by optimising stock levels and customs clearances, and better customer service fulfilment.
4. Drive smarter use of better data
As better data starts to drive smarter decisions, there’s value in organizations building robust data management systems. These need to extend beyond functional silos and allow full participation in wider, data-driven trade networks.
Such systems will enable organizations to gather, cleanse and consolidate all the trade data they need. They will have access to data analytics that provide key trade insights. And they will convert those insights into comprehensive, up-to-date business intelligence that will allow leaders to make informed decisions that improve the business today and position it for success tomorrow. This could include using data analytics to identify duty savings opportunities through the end-to-end supply chain, improve visibility to identify potential compliance gaps and use trusted trader programs to validate compliance.
5. Commit to disruptive technology with confidence
A more comprehensive perspective on trade provides a much clearer view of which disruptive technologies will help organizations achieve their long-term strategic goals. Benchmarking against what competitors are doing, what technology is available and understanding the legacy system impact and integration can create a disruptive technology roadmap. This allows organizations to then invest in the technology innovations that will drive competitive advantage, integrated into their wider plan for digital transformation.
Everyone benefits when trade works better. The shift from the slow and inefficient trade networks we see today to the collaborative, data-informed ecosystems of tomorrow built on trusted intelligence is an opportunity for innovation. Leaders who work to shape that future can secure their place in the new era of global trade.