SAP Global Trade Services (SAP GTS) was first introduced in 2002 and is now used by more than 250 global companies – including Applied Biosystems, Bayer and Halliburton – to help standardize and streamline end-to-end import and export processes to speed their global supply chains and ensure trade compliance. Functionalities in the new version allow companies to automate the letter of credit process and management of customs warehousing procedures to achieve enhanced trade efficiencies. This announcement was made at the American Association of Exporters and Importers annual conference, being held in New York, June 11 – 13.
A recently published report by ARC Advisory Group titled “Global Trade Management Solutions Worldwide Outlook” ranks SAP as the new market leader exhibiting strong growth since entering this space in November 2002. The report also states that global trade management is directly related to compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). “At the highest level, achieving compliance with SOX is dependent on having access to timely, accurate and complete information, as well as establishing process controls – the same success factors required to create more secure and efficient global trade operations,” said report author Adrian Gonzalez, ARC Advisory Group. “Leading companies today are looking for a comprehensive and integrated trade management solution to gain competitive advantage. SAP, with its GRC focus, growing customer base and continued innovation, is the new leader in the global trade management market.”
Leading Global Companies Turn to SAP GTS
As a leading international provider of life sciences research solutions, Applied Biosystems is committed to strict compliance with global trade regulations. The company recognized opportunities to improve its in-house compliance processes as the company expanded, and as trade regulations continued to change. After a careful analysis, Applied Biosystems chose SAP GTS, based on its reputation as an industry standard and its seamless integration with the company’s ERP software from SAP.
“After the implementation of SAP GTS we saw a significant improvement in the efficiency of our trade compliance processes,” said Leighton E. Yates, senior manager for global trade compliance, Applied Biosystems. “We were able to reduce our cycle times from five to two days, with the goal of reducing our overall inventory costs, improve upon the quality of our trade compliance program, and lower overall cost of compliance thereby increasing our shareholder value. In addition, some of the operational benefits that we identified have resulted in an internal ROI of over 300 percent.”
For the global chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer, cross-border business is key to the company’s success. To meet customers’ needs for rapid delivery, the company has to ensure goods clear customs without unnecessary delays, and ensure that all imports and exports meet the checks for regulatory compliance. Bayer Business Services, Bayer’s international competence center for IT-based services, implemented SAP GTS to establish a single, central platform for customs and trade compliance management across the group, setting up standardized processes worldwide.
“SAP Global Trade Services delivers precisely the capabilities that we require,” said Engelbert Uhrmann, head of the Global Legal Services Team, Bayer Business Services GmbH. “Due to our long-lasting and close collaboration with SAP, we were the first customer to be up and running with the new functionality to manage customs warehousing procedures. The application integrates seamlessly with our SAP applications, enabling us to make the most of our existing IT infrastructure. SAP GTS is also a sound strategic investment, since it offers the functionality needed to replace many of our legacy systems.”
Halliburton Energy Services, a service provider in the oil well drilling industry, needed to manage compliance with increasing trade regulations and improve supply chain transparency. The implementation of SAP GTS helped Halliburton with an automated internal control program for trade compliance, enabling real-time review of transactions and substantially reducing training time and costs.
“With SAP GTS, 99.9 percent of our export compliance is now automated, including denied parties screens, significantly reducing the effort to administer our internal control program,” said Terry W. Soderstrom, director of international trade compliance, Halliburton. “What SAP GTS brought to the table was the global standardization along with the transparency into our import and export processes. I can’t imagine what it would have been like in today’s SOX environment, having to validate all the transactions manually. Also, through the electronic audit capability of SAP GTS, we are well prepared for potential audits.”
New Features Extend the Value of SAP GTS
The latest version of SAP GTS helps companies mitigate the risk of cross-border trade by providing added functionality to automate the creation and maintenance of letters of credit. SAP GTS customers can now also take advantage of automated customs warehousing procedures, helping them to defer or eliminate duty payments. In addition, the upgraded application supports compliance with the upcoming mandatory Automated Export System filing requirements that will affect exporting companies in the US as well as in Europe.
The benefits of these enhancements are reduced risk of non-compliance and increased control over financial risk, as well as more efficient and accelerated cross-border transactions. Additionally, SAP GTS helps reduce costs as it allows all processes related to international trade be managed within one enterprise-wide application.
Delivering on Customer Requirements for Governance, Risk and Compliance Solutions
The latest version of SAP GTS is the first release from the newly formed SAP governance, risk and compliance (GRC) business unit that was announced in May 2006 at SAPPHIRE Orlando (see “SAP Launches Governance, Risk and Compliance Management Business Unit to Lead New, Emerging Market“). Recognizing the need for businesses to manage increasing challenges in GRC and to stay within a sustainable cost structure, this business unit’s goal is to empower customers with end-to-end enterprise-wide GRC solutions, with the aim of helping companies make GRC an integral part of their business and IT strategies.
“Across industry segments and global markets, organizations are under tremendous pressure to protect their brand and reputation while driving growth and shareholder value,” said Doug Merritt, executive vice president and general manager, Product & Technology Group, SAP AG. “SAP GTS provides leading companies with an integrated view of global trade instead of the current reactive and fragmented approach. The latest version of the application further delivers on our focus on governance, risk and compliance solutions and boosts SAP’s leading position in the GRC market. SAP GTS is a great example of how we address customer pain points by delivering innovative solutions in the area of GRC.”