Trade compliance is part of doing business across borders. Different jurisdictions have different ways of handling everything from duties and taxes to how goods and services are reported. The more borders a company crosses, the more complicated trade compliance becomes. This suggests that a company’s trade compliance processes are critical to staying on the right side of the law.
Vigilant Global Trade Services is an Ohio company that offers a full menu of outsourced services to companies involved in cross-border trade. Among them is trade compliance process optimization. Set aside the fancy term and you are talking about services designed to improve compliance processes in every way possible.
There are four principles companies like Vigilant rely on to ensure that trade compliance process optimization accomplishes what it’s designed to accomplish. Each one is discussed below in detail.
1. Improved Accuracy
One of the top concerns relating to all trade compliance issues is accuracy. Companies must accurately classify goods and services being imported or exported. They must accurately report quantities, destinations, origins, etc. Not furnishing accurate records only slows down delivery. That is not good for business. As such, process optimization places a heavy focus on improving accuracy.
Sometimes, improving accuracy is a matter of implementing global trade technology. Other times, it is a matter of changing the actual processes a company uses to manage import and export classification.
2. Greater Efficiency
Improving accuracy is the starting point for optimizing trade compliance processes. The second step, increasing efficiency, is equally important. Greater accuracy only goes so far if a company continues to do things inefficiently.
It is understood that greater efficiency streamlines trade compliance. It saves time and money. It boosts the bottom line by reducing the resources a company has to devote to trade compliance. Through process optimization, efficiency can be improved dramatically.
3. Appropriate Processes
During the optimization process, it is highly likely that inappropriate or ineffective processes will be identified. Understand that there is a process for everything. The question for engineers is whether each individual process is appropriate to the task at hand. If not, something has to be done.
When global trade technology is part of the equation, some manual processes can be replaced by automation. The result should be greater efficiency and improved accuracy. Just by implementing the right processes, efficiency and accuracy can be optimized.
4. Honest Assessments
The fourth and final principle is that which ties everything together: honest assessments. Unfortunately, this is where so many organizations go wrong. They are unwilling to take a step back and honestly identify strengths and weaknesses. Why? Because people inherently dislike change. Identifying weaknesses leads to change, and that is unpleasant.
Continuing with trade compliance processes that are not optimized doesn’t do anything to improve accuracy or increase efficiency. It only serves to maintain the status quo. If that is what a company wants to do, there is no point in even attempting trade compliance process optimization at all.
For compliance processes to be truly optimized, there can be no room for sticking with the status quo for its own sake. Optimization requires a willingness to change. It requires a willingness to do things differently and look at things from a different perspective. If the willingness is there, good things can happen.
Companies like Vigilant offer trade compliance process optimization because it is so desperately needed in the modern age. Changing regulations, tax regimes, logistics issues, and evolving technology all contribute to an environment that is becoming increasingly more difficult to navigate. If a company’s compliance processes are not optimized, keeping up is that much harder.