ByDoug Bartholomew Manufacturers looking to cut costs may want to take a look at a new trade-related software package from Xporta Inc. The 3-year-old Santa Clara, Calif., software firm's just-released Global Strategic Sourcing system promises to help manufacturers make more intelligent purchasing decisions worldwide. The software takes into account a variety of factors, including import and export taxes, duties, tariffs and permit fees, and licensing fees. "There are innumerable ways to reduce the duty on things that really don't affect the quality of the product," says Ian Williams, vice president of marketing at Xporta. Some manufacturers, lured by low prices for a particular commodity or part, may mistakenly shift all their business to a producer in China, for instance, only to find that it costs them more to ship those parts to its plants around the globe, adds Williams. "Many companies are looking for the single best supplier on a global basis, but there is no such animal," Williams says. "What is best for your Brazil plant may not be the best supplier for your North American plants."