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The continuing evolving series of dramatic financial, social and health risks is prompting almost daily evaluation and responses from government, business, and households. How many times a day are we each checking our outlet of choice for information on local alerts, travel restrictions, border closures, and even which local restaurant are still offering curb service and take out? We are all observing how quickly such events can attain a global scale and shift priorities for business in real time.

The latest series of events is evidence of how interconnected our economies and supply chains are and how single events can trigger significant disruption.

Manufacturing hubs and sourcing strategies with associated supply chains are being revisited given disruptions and the need to seek alternatives. Some of the most affected sectors include pharmaceuticals, auto makers, technology, medical devices, and others. Government actions and stimulus are and will impact sourcing strategies and resource planning. We can even see some organizations retooling to manufacture entirely new products to meet demand for health and medical devices. This will require working with new business partners, different components, and possibly new geographies.

A key element in planning and operationalizing these new strategies in such short time frames includes bringing trade compliance professionals to the decision-making process supported by a global trade solution that is responsive and comprehensive to meet the changing priorities of global businesses. Trade compliance professionals are key to effective and efficient supply chain decisions and their efforts and knowledge require technology to support those outcomes.

The areas of greatest impact for these outcomes from technology include:

  • Visibility – provide insights into current operations (tariffs, fees, and trade requirements)

  • Planning - identify opportunities to manage supply chain upheaval and seek new sources while considering implications of tariffs, duties, licensing, and other country-specific agreements

  • Flexibility – adopt regional requirements within a global framework

  • Uniformity – utilize a single, global platform to drive consistency across trade processes

  • Standard practices – share knowledge enabling standardization and quickly implemented changes

  • Compliance – help ensure compliance is part of product-planning and sourcing decisions

As technology supports business leaders in responding strategically to the rapidly evolving macro forces, having solutions that help highlight the value of a digital business with end-to-end coverage of trade operations will help ensure continuity and minimize unexpected risks and disruptions.

Join SAP and Krypt for further insights on these topics:

April 22nd Webinar: How SAP GTS Keeps Companies Compliant During Crisis Webinar Register

May 7th Webinar: Managing Extreme Demand Fluctuations During a Crisis Webinar  Register


A special thank you to Linda McKee, Solution Manager for SAP Global Trade Services, for her contributions to this blog.