In my first blog entry I wrote about the fact that foreign trade / tax experts and SAP professionals must work together to implement the solution, categorize materials and set up license determination strategies to get the maximum results from an SAP-GTS implementation. So what benefits do you get for all your efforts?
Let me start by telling you what benefits you won’t get by leavinf foreign trade compliance up to your broker or a 3PL or by using a hosted solution such as Tradebeam:
– Knowledge transfer: if somebody else does the work for you, you will never be able to build the expertise in-house to fully understand and control your import and export shipments. As I mentioned before, though, this won’t help you if your third party provider makes a mistake classifying your materials or filing paperwork with Customs authorities because ultimately you remain responsible for the correctness of your filings.
– Ownership: if your resources are not responsible for doing the work of filing exports, imports and screening business partners, then why should they feel responsible for it?
GTS solves both problems and it also makes staying current a breeze through automatic updates to GTS content information. Because SAP is working with several data providers that furnish SPL lists, HTS codes and duty rates you ensure that you always maintain the most up-to-date information in GTS by uploading delta lists that are provided as part of these services. In GTS you simply run standard jobs on a regular basis that will then
– screen all you business partners against the most recent list of sanctioned parties (SPL)
– show you all materials that may no longer have the correct classification because new HTS codes replaced older ones.
– update duty rates so that the correct new rates will be used automatically on your next applicable import.
In addition, GTS provides standard interfaces to the customs authorities in many countries which allow you to file your exports and imports automatically and electronically, something that is quickly becoming mandatory in more and more countries.
In other words, the benefits of GTS become apparent when you look at total cost of ownership and at your business benefits in the long run. Installing GTS may take longer than outsourcing your foreign trade processes but in the long run using GTS will enhance your company’s ownership of these vitally important processes, ensure better control and compliance and increase your visibility of issues to allow you to focus on management by exception.