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June 20, 2019

Tariff Impact: An Unintended Catalyst for Supply Chain Optimization

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Following weeks of tariff announcements, businesses are beginning to feel the impact. As a result, they will likely drive efforts to uncover new ways to optimize operations – including within the supply chain – to offset squeezed margins.

Emerging digital technologies are creating new opportunities for supply chain visibility and agility. The analytics found in a digital platform can be invaluable for revealing how to shift the balance of supply and demand. When you’re better able to forecast, you have more power to take control and look for those other areas to invest in.

For example, Flexport’s cloud-based, digital freight forwarding platform helps those focused on supply chain and finance better assess overall costs and other business-related economics. Even more importantly for financial chiefs, it lets supply chain, operations, or procurement and finance leads see a line-by-line breakdown of charges on both quotes and invoices, so they can feel confident they know exactly what they’re paying for. Plus, a landed cost calculator helps break down purchase price per unit, freight cost per unit, and customs duties – for more strategic ongoing forecasting and projections.

Technology and Finance: A Powerful Combination

At the end of the day, business decisions are driven by profit and growth. While many CFOs might look to sales and marketing as their catalyst for expansion, the overlooked supply chain is worth examining. By doing so, leaders can turn their importing operations into a true value-driver for the business.

Start by taking a close look at the freight forwarding process to identify where capital – financial and human – is getting trapped.

  • Think about how technology can knock down walls to enable stakeholders throughout the global trade experience to work together more effectively.
  • Explore how data resulting from that activity can reveal broader insights that can guide ongoing business planning.
  • Consider if business growth is being held back by lack of investment in strategic areas. If so, financing the supply chain and freight forwarding process could be a smart alternative strategy.

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