Integrated Trade Compliance Strategies: Seven Best Practices of Leading Traders
Best Practice #4
Effective communication is a perennial challenge within all organizations, but it assumes an even greater degree of difficulty when the issues involved are inherently complicated and both the legal framework and supply chain implications associated with them is constantly changing.
Amongst respondents to our informal survey, regular reporting on the value of trade compliance initiatives according to core performance standards was the most common means of communication between the compliance group and senior management. Aside from companies like Toshiba Canada where some of the compliance group reports directly to the president on a day-to-day basis, communication with top management by the compliance team at most companies is generally limited to issues of critical importance (e.g., infractions, penalty assessments, adverse regulatory change, etc.) or those considered to be of strategic value, for example, setting corporate guidelines and procedures for import/export activities).
“Communication and meeting protocols are in place to track current and emerging trade compliance issues.”
With regards to information sharing about emerging trade compliance issues across horizontal lines of communications within the organization, most companies surveyed accomplish this via email notifications in addition to regular cross-functional meetings. This collaborative approach seems to align with results of a recent global survey by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in which regular cross-functional meetings were cited by respondents as the most common process for making supply chain decisions.
There is still much room for improvement in this area however. For example, more than a third of the aforementioned McKinsey study respondents said their operations teams never or rarely meet with sales and marketing to discuss supply chain tensions. Bridging these kinds of functional divides that thwart collaborative action remains a challenge for many companies in creating competitive supply chains capable of fulfilling the requirements of an integrated trade compliance strategy.
Also in this series:
• 7 Best Practices of Leading Traders
• Corporate Leadership is Essential to Effective Trade Compliance
• Trade Compliance Needs to be Owned by a “Champion” or Team Within the Organization
• Successful Trade Compliance Depends on Benchmarking
• Automating Your Trade Compliance Success
• Integrate Trade Compliance Into Plans For Growth & Expansion Into New Markets
• Team up with Professional Service Providers for Compliance Success
• Putting Best Trade Compliance Practices Into Action
• Best Practice Compliance: Benchmarking Questions