In this three-part series, we will be taking a closer look at how companies should manage a freight shipping network that spans the globe and the issues that arise with that complicated transportation lifecycle, and most importantly, what steps companies can take to see success in global freight management. Click here for part 1 and part 2.
What benefits come from global freight process management?
The real benefits of global freight process management come from efficiencies, cost reduction, and clear communication. Efficiencies are the result of having comprehensive, accurate data. The clarity and quality of information gleaned from outsourced freight audit and payment platforms is so much better than what can be done in-house generally. This is not just on a domestic basis but globally as well. Having concise information is paramount in competing more effectively in the global marketplace. Year after year, surveys are completed and show that the cost of outsourcing audit and payment is less expensive than doing it internally. You must also make sure the processes and systems are in place so that you have the ability to pay your contract rates every time, on time, and to the right company. In addition to process improvements, you have the added benefits of compliance performance – making sure taxes are properly adhered to and paid as well as regulatory requirements that come with global commerce. The ability to not just pay your carrier’s invoice, but to take your commercial invoice, tax documents and customs documents to build them into a single data warehouse for making sure that compliance is adhered to time after time, country by country, through each individual transportation mode.
Gain insight into strategic vs. tactical sourcing and how placing transportation procurement into these categories can reduce the complexity.
Three Keys to Global Freight Process Management
In order to achieve global freight process management success, businesses need to understand the people, processes and system integrations necessary to compete in today’s global marketplace by:
- Gaining visibility into normalized/refined data across the entire transportation network. Businesses have two options to gain visibility across their global transportation network. A business can either (1) integrate all of the disparate systems used by the company and its vendors/partners, which usually comes along with a large price tag and a long timeline for completion or (2) invest in a solution that delivers widespread supply chain visibility, such as a trading partner management (TPM) platform.
- Understanding and acting on compliance and regulatory rules country by country.
Each country has its own unique set of rules for importing and exporting. These compliance and regulatory parameters change regularly, depending on the country. As more pressure to bring revenue to their countries continues, new and revised requirements are being put in place. So not only do companies need to follow all of the rules, but they also must have the proper documentation and keep that documentation for a required period of time.
- Being able to communicate both electronically and via paper-based documents.
Businesses looking to communicate within multiple countries and with multiple vendors need to be able to quickly communicate and adapt. Software that allows the quick transfer of both electronic and paper-based documents enables these business goals. The best software can refine and normalize data from disparate systems to gain efficiency within global supply chain audit and payment.