Compliance and procurement must work together, says Michiko Lloyd

Globalization is everywhere, and with that comes increased complexity within the supply chain. Companies that have gone "global" are finding different challenges facing their supply chain each day - trade barriers, supplier inventory, production, sourcing and regulations.

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Understanding & Completing the C-TPAT 5-Step Risk Assessment Process

The US C-TPAT program continues to evolve since its inception in late 2001. As a requirement of the program, members must complete an international supply chain security risk assessment and are expected to have a documented process for determining and addressing security risks throughout their international supply chain to meet minimum criteria.

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To mitigate these types of risks and keep the supply chain functioning, logistics professionals should keep an eye on trade compliance.

In recent years, companies have been forced to review their business models from every aspect and look for ways to improve cost structures and increase effi ciencies. Global supply chains off er many opportunities for reducing cost, whether through obtaining price reductions from service providers, considering lowcost country outsourcing, or trimming personnel that manage supply chain components such as logistics and/or compliance – everything is fair game. The economic climate continues to push even highly efficient organizations to look for continuous improvement. Even as economic conditions recover, companies will continue to maintain the low-cost structures they have put in place. Of course, reducing cost must be done in a manner that will not result in increased risk, which is a challenge, to be sure.

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Globally operating businesses must overcome processing hurdles for added supply chain efficiency in free trade agreement management

While the provided benefits that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) present—such as increased trade, economic growth, additional services, lower product cost—help spur market expansion and opportunities for countries operating under FTAs across the world, it is vital to consider the continuing technological mandates that will affect business processes for companies in those countries.

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Now that retailers are becoming truly international through their sourcing, knowing what is being shipped and complying with government regulations becomes paramount.

With retailers sourcing more of their product from a growing number of countries, it becomes increasingly important to be able to know what is being shipped, when, from where, and when it clears customs. I recently spoke with Integration Point's Melissa Irmen and Kevin Shoemaker to discuss the importance of retailers knowing where their shipments are coming from and complying with customs regulations.

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