We can all agree: Knowledge is power. Whether it’s in life, business or even trade and customs management. But what if that knowledge is stored in one person’s head and one day it decides to follow its dream and open a scuba diving school in the Maldives? It may have a negative effect on your day-to-day customs management and, if the competence is used for business planning, its disappearance may damage the prospects for your business as a whole.
If you and your colleagues can get to grips with customs legislation and requirements, including how it affects your business, you’ll be in a powerful position. But how many people in your organization have that competence? And what happens if they leave and take their knowledge with them? Having good routines in place – that are often based on good knowledge and insight – can cover a temporary shortfall in customs and trade competence. Certainly when it comes to doing declarations or obtaining permits.
From administration to strategic planning
But there’s a lot more to having the right customs competence than handling documentation. You need to make sure there is customs knowledge at a more strategic level in areas such as purchasing, sales, business development and financial planning – and be covered if those individuals leave. Because without this knowledge there’s the chance that opportunities will be missed and mistakes made. For example, you want to optimize production but end up with the “wrong” origin for your customers. Or you enter into a business deal without understanding the cost and complexity of customs, and the deal becomes much less of an opportunity than you initially thought.
Are you in good shape?
To make sure you have the necessary trade and customs knowledge in your company – now and in the future – you need to:
- Ask yourself if there is sufficient competence within the company
- Ask yourself if the competence is where it is needed
- Document your routines now to ensure you’re covered if someone leaves or changes roles, and you want a smooth knowledge transfer
With the right customs competence, you can ensure smoother day-to-day operations. With the right knowledge in different areas of the organization, you will also be aware of the impact customs issues can have, helping you avoid costly mistakes and ensure better decisions for your business. Don’t hesitate to talk to us at KGH if you want any advice or support.