The acquisition of goods from abroad is a complex and bureaucratic process that requires a focused team, suppliers that have excellence in their products and great partnerships. This article will address 5 strategies to optimize operations in the import sector.
Logistics operations in the foreign trade area require a lot of attention to deadlines, there must be a lot of discipline and total time management.
Besides the calculated and expected leadtime, other deadlines must be met during the logistics operation, at the beginning of the shipment, we already have the deadline for documentation and cargo, in addition there are deadlines for issuing import license, electronic certificate in the merchant navy and import declaration.
If these deadlines are not met, losses to the company may occur as a notice of default by the IRS, or fines to adjust some information after the stipulated date.
Another situation where time management must be considered is the urgency in which this shipment must arrive in Brazil. For this reason, ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) analysis and transit time must be controlled at the time of the freight quotation. Always analyze as a tripod, Transit Time, ETA and freight value. And after shipment, tracking must be performed daily.
To optimize time management, it is important that the team has a sense of urgency, and that they use this together with the company's tools to organize deadlines and dates of arrival.
Even with the maximum organization, there are external adversities that cannot be predicted and/or controlled, such as the extension of the lunar new year's holiday because of the new coronavirus, the rise of the dollar and new external agreements. These factors can lead to delayed shipment, changes in financial planning and even production line downtime.
The team must always keep up to date with what is happening on the international scene in order to develop a timeliness and build a strategy to deal with this unforeseen event.
The speed and amount of information received daily is enormous, control is essential for decision making. The import department of the company must have the ability to receive the information at the right time, interpret it correctly and make an assertive decision.
The performance of the import operation must be measured according to quality, agility, reliability and costs in order to satisfy the next stage of the production chain, which may be the final consumer of the product or the completion of production.
Checking and analyzing key figures of each process and supplier is essential to identify possible problems and create better models and strategies. Below are some indicators that can be analyzed:
These indicators can be analyzed through performance indicators (KPIs), for the analysis of the efficiency of all those involved from the origin of the merchandise to its destination.
In the foreign trade environment, there is a complexity of information, decisions and each shipment, however similar to another, has unique characteristics. At all times the professionals and the team must renew their projects in order to make improvements in the operation.
The Agile method, or Agile, are effective practices to enable a goal with quality and in the shortest time possible. This method is able to bring many advantages in import operations, especially in urgent cases.
First of all, the integration between all sectors of the company is fundamental. The import department must communicate with the other departments so that there is communication, trust and no gap in the process.
The use of a framework, such as SCRUM, to enable new import and new business development projects is considerable, as it allows the visualization of the logistics chain as a whole, the identification of the central objective (sprint), and the constant search for evolution and improvement.
All the stages of a new import project can be made possible through the agile methodology, such as product classification, necessary documentation, partners, suppliers, routes and deadlines, origin and destination. Companies that have speed in the operation stand out over others.
The international negotiation is an essential step for the import department, through the negotiations it is possible to find better values, conditions, qualify products and suppliers.
All stages of the process must be defined in the negotiation between exporter and importer, as it is a complex matter, respect and adaptation between cultures, legal and tax knowledge of the country to be negotiated and clear definition of the objectives of both sides of the negotiation is necessary.
Before cargo is shipped it is important that all documentation is correct, in urgent cases and with shorter routes, the documentation before the arrival of the shipment can be a great challenge.
The issuance of documentation should not be delegated only to the exporter, all those involved should take care of the reliability of data, because this can generate great losses such as fines for the rectification of bills of lading and risks in customs clearance if the DI is parameterized in yellow, red or gray channel. In case of blue line (express dispatch), the documents must be correct in the same way.
For this reason, the main risk factors of each documentation should be recognized. All fields of bill of lading, invoice and packing list have a function, but there are fields that should have double the attention in the documentary conference, because they can generate greater problems to the shipment. The most critical fields are the total net value of the invoice, Common Nomenclature of Mercosur, CNPJ of the consignee, quantity of items, port of destination and in case of wood in the packing, if it was treated and certified.
Does your company's import sector follow the strategies listed above? Leave us your comments.
This article was written by Kauana Pacheco
Graduated in International Business and post graduated in Big Data and Market Intelligence, has six years of experience in international trade operations.