by Davin Wilfrid, insiderRESEARCH
Despite massive efforts by international organizations to reverse the trend, the process of managing international trade has only gotten more complex. A typical cross-border shipment includes 25 parties signing off on 35 documents governed by 600 laws and 500 trade agreements.
The next release of SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services (version 10.0 despite following 8.0) includes several major enhancements that should make it very attractive to any company that ships or receives overseas.
The three primary enhancements, according to SAP, are in three areas:
1. Better UI
The new SAP BOBJ GTS is designed to be more web-like and streamlined. SAP has removed many of the extraneous buttons and design clutter, but has also re-engineered the workflow of standard GTS jobs. SAP says the click stream for a typical job will be reduced by 40-50%.
2. Enhanced import/export management
When it hits the market (the solution is currently in ramp-up), SAP's GTS solution will be the only solution certified by the US government to work directly with US Customs office systems. This should go a long way to expediting the documentation requirements -- which now must include security filings -- on both the import and export sides.
3. Better customs and tax duty management
The ability to optimize customs payments and excise tax postings gives supply chain professionals a strategic advantage over the competition. The ability to automate the proof of a shipment's final destination allows companies to avoid unnecessary tax payments.
Other key features in the new product include:
- A new Customs Bill of Lading which allows companies to consolidate all shipping-related information in one place
- Display Tax Statement screens to streamline auditing
- Trade Event Management that integrates with SAP Event Management
- Deeper integration with SAP Transportation Management
In total, the new GTS looks to be a big step forward for companies looking for greater visibility and flexibility in managing their international trade opportunities.