5 Aspects of Global Trade Compliance in Supply Chain Management

In a world that seems to get smaller every day, global supply chain compliance is becoming evermore essential. Without it, no international company can truly achieve operational excellence. Besides being inefficient, companies that don’t have a solid international trade compliance program in place subject themselves to fines and penalties that can cause lost revenue, sometimes in such a manner that entire businesses must close their doors. In short, international companies that are compliant with global supply chain trade elements must ensure their products:

  • Have proper documentation
  • Clear customs without roadblocks
  • Are transported with minimal delays
  • Are delivered by way of a secure supply chain

As an organization, foreign trade compliance should be at the top of your priority list. The following are five necessary aspects of global trade compliance in supply management:

  1. Consistent Monitoring

Data is everywhere, and when it’s used correctly, it can help identify bottlenecks and potential deficiencies within an organization. As technology and international relations are constantly evolving, the proper storage and analysis of big data becomes even more critical. Taking the steps to begin analyzing data related to global trade processes can seem overwhelming, particularly if it’s something that’s never been done correctly at your organization. However, the effort will be well worth it if you discover ways to make your company more efficient and less susceptible to penalties.

  1. Integration of Platforms

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of supply chain management (SCM) systems all working toward the same goal — to get goods from one place to the next. However, if these systems aren’t able to talk to one another, logistics slow to a halt and the businesses involved lose money.

SCM providers must have a vast network of B2B partnerships to assure proper communication and conversion of data without the systems encountering corrupt information or inefficient processes.

  1. Supply Chain Visibility

Visibility enables the rapid identification of problems or deviations within the global supply chain. To be compliant, organizations must report deviations and issues to their respective governing bodies; otherwise, companies can be subject to stiff penalties from the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as other regulating agencies. Not to mention, an organization’s reputation is on the line if a cover-up is discovered.

By imparting rules of visibility and accountability into your foreign trade compliance program, you’re more likely to fight off unexpected penalties and preserve your reputation for being a high-quality business in the event something goes wrong down the line.

  1. Disaster Preparedness

Disasters happen, whether they come in the form of Mother Nature or political unrest. It’s crucial to have contingency plans in place, should something unexpected arise that could delay, or possibly deny, your shipments from making it to their final destinations.

  1. Implementation of Automation

Automation is great for increasing efficiency and helping companies hit and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs). It can also help identify places where more robot power would be optimal for the goals of a business.

SCM providers often employ features such as dashboards, automated notification systems and the electronic transmission of data to reduce the amount of time humans are needed for certain key tasks. In this way, human error is largely eliminated, and computers can report errors and problems in real time, lending to a decrease in compliance violations.


Vigilant offers support solutions for global supply chain trade compliance. If you need help navigating the global trade waters, we’re here. Learn more about Vigilant’s international trade compliance services today.

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