Editors Note: After the untimely passing of regular contributor William Augello in late
The new year is a fresh start, so why not take a look at your business operations as well? The following best practices quiz is designed to help you gain greater insight into some of the strengths and potential weaknesses of your current supply chain operations. If you find that you have responded with more no than yes answers,
Design of your Global Supply Chain Network should align with your customers requirements and expectations. The customer needs to drive the design of the supply chain as any misalignment with customer expectations can result in lost sales, unhappy customers and product delivery failures. A well designed and successfully implemented supply chain is a competitive weapon that can result in increased sales, reduced time to market and increased cash flow.
1.) Does your supply chain management team regularly review customer expectations (service levels) for all sales channels?
2.) Are customer service levels understood, and is the supply chain designed to meet them?
3.) Are corrective and preventive actions timely when customer service level failures occur?
Supply Chain exception management processes should drive action. Effective processes should enable you to take action on issues/hiccups, thus preserving inventory value, avoiding fines and maintaining positive customer relationships. Having information without the ability to act is useless.
1.) Is information about the goods in the major trade lanes made available to supply chain operations?
2.) Are processes in place that allow alternative actions to be undertaken based upon the information provided?
3.) Have key supply chain information and data collection points been identified?
Sourcing decisions should consider the impact on customer service and profit not just unit cost or landed cost. Global sourcing carries a high degree of risk and reward. If executed poorly, material risks, such as political risk in the sourcing country, the risk of physical damage and loss, intellectual property protection, inflation, currency exchange, etc., can outweigh the benefits. Sourcing decisions must look at both quantitative costs and qualitative risks in dealing with vendors and their local governments, economies and physical infrastructure.
1.) Are global sourcing and landed cost tools used to assist in sourcing decisions?
2.) Are these tools or models comprehensive, and do they include all the cost and risk elements?
3.) Do you model a range of possible costs through the life cycle of the product? Or do you just calculate based on the perfect order in an assumed steady state?
A single function should be responsible for establishing the value of imported goods and must reconcile financial input from all sources of supply. Failure to properly reconcile and declare the value of goods declared at the port vs. A/P payments can result in fines and penalties. Supplier invoices need to be audited to ensure complete accuracy and declaration of all elements pertaining to the valuation method of appraisement to avoid fines.
1.) Are the processes and procedures for valuation determination and declaration documented and integrated into company operations?
2.) Is there a process in place for ensuring that required additions to transaction value are captured and reported (assists, proceeds of subsequent sales, royalties, license fees, selling commissions)?
3.) Are packaging and transportation values considered and correctly included or withheld from transaction value?
4.) Is product valuation regularly audited?
HTS classification process for imports should include an audit trail of information used in determining the HTS and metrics to monitor accuracy. Classification is the heart of any import compliance program. Incorrect classification cascades through the business, creating multiple compliance failures and high compliance risks of fines and penalties. Having a clearly defined process to avoid erroneous classification that results in the underpayment or overpayment of duty is critical.
1.) Are the processes and procedures for the companys product classification documented and integrated into company operations?
2.) Is the classification information and rationales maintained in a database or matrix and provided to the broker?
3.) Are classifications tested and audited on a regular basis?
4.) Have you addressed the new HTS reclassification requirements?
C-Level executives must actively support trade compliance and empower their supply chain executives. One of the primary reasons for trade compliance failure is lack of management focus on such issues. As global sales (exporting) and global procurement (importing) are critical to the business, C-level executives must be aware that lack of compliance can result in significant supply chain interruptions not to mention serious fines and penalties.
1.) Is there a documented company trade policy from the CEO?
2.) Are there documented compliance programs processes and procedures?
3.) Is there employee compliance awareness training that includes executives?
4.) Are there defect metrics on key compliance and trade processes?
Trade compliance processes must be integrated with supply chain processes. Trade processes touch nearly all enterprise processes, including R&D, procurement, logistics, manufacturing, sales and finance.
1.) Are there documented processes and procedures that define each organizations responsibilities in trade?
2.) Are trade metrics part of operational performance reviews?
3.) Is there employee compliance awareness training and defined roles and responsibilities?
4.) Are regular internal audits conducted?
Unique data that facilitates trade should be accurately created once, stored in a central location and used over and over again. This includes import and export classification, Country of Origin, valuation, licenses, certificates of origin and special authorizations.
1.) Is trade data created and stored in a centralized location?
2.) Is trade data easy to access? (Classification, Country of Origin, certificates of origin, historical transactions, government inquiries and responses)
3.) Are NAFTA certificates of origin easy to locate?
Export determination, the process of determining the appropriate government authorization for your transaction, must be performed on all export shipments. Export determination tells us if you need a license to export an item. Each and every export must be authorized, whether by formal written export license, use of a license exception or exemption or other permissive authority. Exporting is a privilege in the
1.) Do you make proper export determinations at the individual transaction level?
2.) Do you screen all of your customers, suppliers, distributors, forwarders, brokers, bankers, etc., against the various bad guy export lists at time an order is placed and again prior to shipment?
3.) Do you perform export determination for each hand-carry, temporary export, release of technology, etc. that is outside the normal revenue shipment stream?
The bottom line: if you are significantly weak in any of the areas described above, take the time in 2007 to resolve these issues and benefit from continued improvement.
Bernie Hart, Global Product Executive for JPMorgan Chase, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.