Prospective BSM clients sometimes ask us a variety of questions such as – “Why do you need to conduct a complete Business Review? Can’t we just replicate an existing site from one of your other clients in our same vertical Market? Don’t you have a product we can purchase straight off the shelf? Isn’t this whole review thing just a waste of time – we need to get going right away with an electronic solution
While these might seem like valid and logical questions, they are somewhat misguided and perhaps even a little naïve. The complexities involved in managing international trade are many and varied. No two companies, even if they are operating in the same vertical market, have identical operating systems, identical skill sets and experience within the their trade execution teams, identical volumes moving to the same buyers in each overseas market and identical usage of 3rd party service providers such as forwarders, transport companies and shipping lines to name just a few.
The reality is that every importer and exporter is different. Whether it be the products that they move, the international markets that they do business with, the ways in which they go about meeting compliance needs or simply the current systems and tools that they use to help manage their trading and operational requirements.
Quite often, prospects may not actually understand the full scope of the problems they are looking to solve, they just know that there has to be a better way than their outdated, spreadsheet driven methods currently in use. One thing is clear however, if a prospect is engaging in collaboration with BSM they’ve typically reached a point in their growth and development where they’re looking for answers to the problems that they are unable to solve internally in how they manage the complexities of their international trade. This is why at BSM, we are insistent on the Business Review as the starting point for our engagement with every prospective client.
The first step in the process involves a short initial online meeting involving all stakeholders. The nominated BSM consultant will conduct this meeting to determine exactly which client departments, people and information will be required to ensure a successful review. They will also determine at which client premises will the review be conducted, which proposed days suit all or the majority of client staff and roughly how much time each of them must be prepared to devote to the initial fact finding and Q & A sessions. Based on the information provided, a preparation guide will then be prepared and forwarded to the key client contacts well in advance of the agreed review date/s.
Then, when BSM conducts the onsite business review our specialist consultants will spend time speaking with internal and external stakeholders across a client’s various departments. This will enable them to identify key information and develop a comprehensive understanding of the client’s existing business processes as they relate to international trade.
Using the information obtained, the consultant/s will then prepare and deliver a detailed report and a high-level presentation of the review findings that includes current challenges identified in the “as is” environment, solution opportunities aligned to client’s objectives, proposed strategies, ROI estimates, implementation scope, delivery time frames and cost estimates.
At this time it is also usual for the consultant to take the client’s key stakeholders through a tailored system demonstration of the BSM Global GTM trade management application. The systems demonstration will take clients through some end to end transaction scenarios highlighting functionally rich solutions that will greatly enhance the management of their export or import requirements.
When a client agrees to move forward with BSM, the consultant/s will then prepare an implementation scope document that will detail the full project scope, costs and timelines. This document will include items such as project management, site set up & configuration, specific functionality development, further customisation aligned to the client’s business processes, customer reporting requirements, end to end transaction testing, staff user training and a suite of supporting documentation.
The implementation will be broken down into four main stages:
- Stage 1: Kick Off
- Stage 2: Implementation
- Stage 3: Training and Testing
- Stage 4: Go Live
This is why we insist on the Business Review. It is a professional and proven way of clearly identifying where improvement opportunities lie and then providing a structured and logical series of steps to deliver a tailored solution that provides the desired outcomes as stated and expected by the client at the point of engagement.
So, in a nutshell, if you are looking to future-proof your supply chain via digitization, streamline your trade data and automate visibility of your order status at any stage in the shipment cycle, a Business Review is the necessary first step before we embark with you on that journey.
If you’re interested in discovering new ways to improve your organisation’s own supply chain or have additional questions on the application of cloud-based technologies, contact us today.