Trade automation survey

Benchmarking global trade management

An effective global trade management program can help shape business decisions in today's evolving regulatory landscape and help to directly improve a company’s bottom line. An automated global trade management (GTM) solution is becoming an increasingly strategic opportunity to effectively leverage technology that can increase visibility into cross-border movements, move to exception management from "firefighting," and take advantage of data analytics and predictive reporting with the goal of alleviating costs and increasing supply chain opportunities.

About the survey

Deloitte's global trade automation survey report examines how companies of different sizes in eight different industries approach GTM systems deployment and functionality. The findings and conclusions presented in this report are informed by information gathered from the following sources:

  • Qualitative and quantitative data obtained via a survey of over 60 trade compliance professionals that explored specific questions pertaining to GTM systems implementation and functionality; these respondents represented various industries that engage in the day-to-day management of import and export compliance for their companies and regularly work in the various GTM systems available on the market today; and
  • The observations of Deloitte’s Global Trade Advisory group with extensive experience working with global companies across industries in the selection, design, implementation, and sustainment of their GTM systems.

Respondents outlined their path, the drivers, and the organizational impacts of implementing a GTM solution. Additionally, respondents provided detailed information on how they presented a business case for a GTM system, the functionalities deemed necessary for the effective management of their import and export compliance obligations, and how they are utilizing reporting and analytics to identify potential direct and efficiency cost savings.

Some specific takeaways from Deloitte’s Global Trade Automation Benchmarking report include:

  • 70 percent of respondents have implemented a GTM system and the remaining 30 percent are in the process of implementing a GTM system;
  • The most common system utilized by respondents was SAP Global Trade Services (“GTS”);
  • 81% of respondents were required to present a business case to deploy a GTM system;
  • Greater visibility associated with business transactions was the primary consideration for GTM deployment;
  • Generally, implementing a GTM system did not affect staffing structure; and
  • Risk identification is considered the most desired analytical capability for GTM systems.

Building a business case for GTM deployment

Given the complexity involved in global trade, GTM systems represent a significant opportunity to improve accountability and create a competitive advantage. For 81 percent of respondents, creating a business case for a GTM system was a required and strategic approach in outlining how an automated trade solution provides benefits across the end-to-end supply chain process.

GTM automation business cases tend to be a joint effort with representatives from trade compliance, other business functions (e.g., supply chain, logistics, and customer service), and information technology (IT). Identifying and aligning the value case across these cross-functional groups is critical when developing a successful GTM business case.

10 key findings from the survey

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Today companies use GTM systems to automate a range of day-to-day operational tasks and make more informed business decisions. As indicated by the entirety of respondents who either currently utilize a GTM system or are in the process of implementing a solution, GTM systems are serving as a valuable investment for companies with complex supply chain operations.

Deloitte's Global Trade Advisory team has broad-based experience supporting companies in the development, maintenance, and growth of their global trade management systems. With more than 550 Global Trade Advisory professionals located in over 100 countries worldwide, Deloitte’s global network of professionals provides our clients with local country insight and attention where they operate.

If you are interested in participating in or receiving future surveys, have questions regarding this report or would like to participate in our upcoming global trade conferences, please get in touch with one of our leaders below.

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