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Lean Manufacturing, Basics, Principles, Techniques

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STRATEGIC ALLIANCES

Many companies today form a strategic alliance with other businesses that have core competencies in a given area. Many companies rely on freight forwarders to handle export requirements such as license screen­ing, shippers letter of instruction, the commercial invoice, and customs clearance documents. These companies' expertise resides in the logistics of delivering product from your factories to the customer. In many cases these companies will manage your distribution centers. They can often provide the most efficient methods of transportation to meet your cus­tomer service requirements. This allows the organization to focus on its core competencies, enhancing your market position.

Another area for alliance would be the operational support outsourc­ing. Staffing requirements to support today's technology can become a monumental management task within itself. Companies may chose to maintain minimal staffing levels in the selected outsourcing areas, turn­ing over the major support activities to a vendor whose subject-matter expertise is in the selected technology being implemented.

AUTOMATED EXPORT COMPLIANCE SYSTEMS

Companies should know the applicable U.S. export compliance rules and comply with them. Depending on the type of goods, technology, or services being exported and the countries of destination, your com­pany will almost always be subject to a wide range of U.S. rules and regulations. These may include the Export Administration Regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Foreign Assets Con­trol Regulations, the Food and Drug Administration and Environmen­tal Protection Agency export restrictions, the Anti-boycott Compliance Regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and antitrust restric­tions. Because of the complexity and subtlety of the application of these

laws, advice should be sought from experienced legal counsel with respect to a particular transaction.

Violations of export controls are punishable by serious civil and criminal penalties, including the denial of all export privileges and debarment from U.S. government contracts. The Department of Com­merce maintains, and revises on a regular basis, the Table of Denial Orders, which is a list of persons who have had their exporting privi­leges denied. It is essential that, before making an export, both the Table of Denial Orders and the list of Specially Designated Nationals be examined to make sure that you are not dealing with a prohibited person. The Department of Commerce also publishes a list of "red flags" to put exporters on notice that they may be involved in a violation of U.S export controls. It is important to keep in mind that your company may be liable if you deliberately ignore the red flags and proceed with a transaction that results in a violation. It may be advisable to contact the Department of Commerce's Office of Export Enforcement to check out a particular foreign customer in advance.

From this discussion, you may imagine the levels of complexity that could be introduced to your business attempting to ship product to the customer. Today technology is available to provide sophisticated automation tools for the international trade community. Listed below are some of the key areas for consideration when establishing your company export import policies.

  • export licensing and classification

  • export internal control program formulation and audit

  • customs tariff classification

  • customs appraisement and pricing issues

  • customs compliance audit and verification

  • duty drawback

  • HTS 9802 issues—American goods assembled abroad

  • NAFTA eligibility and certifications

  • trade preferential programs.

CONCLUSION

Technology today offers companies a vast number of application solu­tions to help your business meet its strategic objectives. The life cycle for systems to meet these solutions is decreasing. Companies are using best of breed solutions to attempt to gain that competitive advantage. E-commerce is rapidly changing the way the exchange of goods and services are transacted. We must take the core structures of the back office systems and utilize Web-enabled tools to take a holistic approach to optimize the global enterprise.

 

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