Portrait of Best-in-Class Global Trade Compliance

July 11, 2008
Trade compliance is taking on more prominence in separating the best companies from the also-rans.

In an increasingly global marketplace for manufacturers, the role of trade compliance is taking on more prominence in separating the winners and the losers. In a recent study of 340 global importers and exporters, analyst firm Aberdeen Group found that a big problem with many companies is that, outside of the trade compliance department, most decision-makers within companies do not understand the risks of non-compliance with security regulations for international trade. The difference between companies identified by Aberdeen as "best-in-class" and "average" is significant: 9.2% of international orders have trade compliance errors in average companies, while that number is halved (4.6%) for best-in-class performers.

The accompanying PACE (pressures, actions, capabilities and enablers) chart illustrates how manufacturers can progress from identifying a problem to focusing on a solution, and as a result become best-in-class themselves.


  • Growing global operations


  • Improve productivity of trade compliance department by streamlining processes
  • Launch a company-wide initiative to improve trade compliance


  • Ability to access information on trade regulation updates
  • Trade compliance management centralized at enterprise level
  • Mostly manual trade compliance practices
  • Measure trade compliance performance at least monthly
  • Online visibility into trade document status


  • Analytics tools for import/export transactions
  • Trade compliance software for import/export

Source: Aberdeen Group

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