When orchestrating international shipments, global trade management solutions help trading partners sing the same tune.

One benefit GTM solutions offer is consistency—they force all trading and service partners to use the same term to refer to the same product. "You need a single point of truth about each commodity," Irmen says.

If the company that exports a product gives it a different identification code than the carrier that transports the product, that could cause problems when the shipper files trade documents." One product might require an import license, while the other one doesn't, for example," says Ken Peters, director of global solutions at Integration Point. "Both partners need to work off the same sheet of music, so they don't run into discrepancies." GTM solutions ensure that everyone sings in tune. In addition to helping companies execute day-to-day transactions, GTM solutions can reveal opportunities that strategists might otherwise miss. Those benefits arise thanks to the mass of data the system manages, including data from shippers and their partners, as well as information on trade regulations and agreements.

Smaller companies might not need a full GTM suite. But certain modules—such as tariff classification—can be worthwhile for shippers with simple global operations. "Even small companies want to ensure the data they're using internally is what brokers are using for their filings," Irmen says. "They want visibility into their ultimate entries, and the ability to assess compliance."

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