Striking A Balance Between Compliance And Agility

Amandine Cazeaux

Part 4 of the five-part series, “Designing Resilient Distribution Networks

Once strategies are defined and best practices are selected, it’s key that packaged ERP (enterprise resource planning), SCM (supply chain management), and GTS (global trade services) applications are carefully chosen to enable execution of operations. From a finance, tax, or customs point of view, these applications bring great comfort as they can be conveniently embedded in existing processes, creating approval notifications that can be routed to competent authorities to block high-risk transactions altogether. Moreover, you can gain a generic view of your weaknesses in all areas that are affected by compliance.

Operations has another point of view. Purchase orders requiring a GTS check are blocked until the appropriate authority releases them. Similarly, sales orders will not be sent to your transportation module for shipment tendering until your export team has obtained the license. And finally, your billing might not happen until the correct tax configuration has been finalized by your tax department.

So how do you get the best of your integrated controls without hampering your ability to deliver?

While designing flexible processes seem like the most obvious method to address that issue, in most cases it does little to help business users. Flexible processes generally translate as additional variations of the same scenario, creating various challenges, such as access issues, training issues, etc.

End users who are used to operating with very few restrictions and with the sole purpose of executing the order for the client will be highly resistant to a new way of doing those activities. Moreover, the whole project can quickly fail if the blocks designed in the system are not removed on time. If a product that must be shipped to another is blocked by the system that cannot find a price to put on the commercial invoice, the end-user, who might not be familiar with the commercial invoice requirement, will be at loss to get his order processed, and the product might cross international borders without proper documentation.

This five-part series, “Designing Resilient Distribution Networks,” focuses on five key aspects that new-age distribution networks should essentially incorporate. Bookmark the series page and watch for the last installment next week and catch up on any blogs you may have missed.

Amandine Cazeaux

About Amandine Cazeaux

Amandine Cazeaux is senior finance executive for a leading oil field services company and has past experience in auditing and controlling. When her company chose to implement SAP software, Amandine became the product owner in charge of intercompany transactions, which included the management of the design, testing, and deployment of transactions ranging from the procurement of goods to settling receivables and payables. She was involved in one of the largest and most successful SAP implementations.