Business Case for SHIPS

For companies selling into international markets, exporting is an important and growing part of the global supply chain. Unfortunately, it is also one of the more complex and time-consuming links to manage. Exporters are required to screen each shipment to ensure that is complies with U.S. regulations as written by the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA). Additionally, all exports must be accompanied by properly completed export documentation to satisfy the export requirements of U.S. Customs and the import requirements of the destination country. Failure to comply can result in delayed or returned shipments, loss of export privileges, fines and even criminal prosecution.

Most exporters have traditionally dealt with these issues by adopting in-house manual procedures or by outsourcing the process to freight forwarders for a fee (commonly $10 to $120 per shipment depending on destination and documents required). While these methods may get the job done, they do so in a way which is inefficient, expensive and completely isolated from the MFG/PRO sales order process flow. As the volume of export business grows for a company so does the cost of managing the process.

SHIPS is designed to address the shortcomings of traditional approaches to exporting by making the process of export management an integral part of the sales order processing functions within MFG/PRO. It does so without requiring modification to the MFG/PRO source code or database. Written in Progress, SHIPS seamlessly bolts onto MFG/PRO and retains its familiar look and feel.

SHIPS automates the tasks of export compliance review, export document preparation and record retention. During export compliance review all sales orders to be consolidated into a given export undergo the process of export license determination for each part shipped. Additionally, all addresses are screened against denied party lists. Possible violations during these and other checks result in the export being held pending further review. Orders which pass review may have their export documentation printed. Export document preparation ensures that the required documents are produced accurately and completely. Profiles of export customers and destinations may be setup in advance to automatically generate the correct number of export documents required. Documents are created on plain white paper eliminating the need for pre-printed forms. Some types of documents produced by SHIPS include: Customs and Proforma Invoices, Shipper's Export Declaration (SED), Certificates of Origin and Shipper's Letter of Instruction (SLI). Records of all export activity and documents are maintained online within MFG/PRO and are available for reference or audit purposes. Currently the BXA requires five years of export records be maintained.

SHIPS brings the process of exporting under the umbrella of MFG/PRO, filling a critical missing link in the global supply chain. In doing so, it simplifies and standardizes the export process for MFG/PRO customers. SHIPS saves exporters time and money and allows them to grow their global business while reducing their exposure to potential violations of U.S. Export Regulations.