Some importers will choose to file the Entry at the same time as the 10+2 ISF, since some of the data elements are common on the two documents. This could enable companies to avoid delays they otherwise may have incurred had they waited until the last few days before vessel arrival at the US port, as is common practice today. Simultaneous filing also eliminates the potential of discrepancies in the information filed, which could lead to further delays.
Similarly, the increased role taken by importers may push them to begin to self-file their customs entry documents, thus lowering their costs by eliminating or reducing their fees to brokers. Self-filing has been available for some time, but many importers have not engaged in it because they have not had the systems or expertise in place. This initiative may be the catalyst inspiring importers to consider such potential savings opportunities.
Companies have made headway in electronically connecting buyers and their plants with a community of suppliers in domestic and regional settings. Connecting buyers with overseas suppliers has been more challenging, and there has been less successful adoption.
There are a variety of potential approaches to meeting the needs of the 10+2 initiative, but one approach involves directly connecting manufacturers or suppliers with their buyers via Web-enabled portals. Such connectivity enables timely and accurate information sharing and visibility throughout the supply chain. The benefits of establishing such a well-connected network go well beyond compliance with 10+2. Some of the additional benefits of establishing a Web-enabled community of connected buyers and suppliers are as follows:
— Global Inventory Replenishment: Improve visibility, lower inventory buffer stock and avoid expediting with lean inventory management.
— Responsive planning and control: Improve visibility, better demand signals, early detection of and responsives to potential delays, contingency management.
— Global Scorecarding: Manage vendor performance online with Supplier Report Cards tied to logistics, regulatory compliance and finance transactions.
— Supply Chain Finance: Provide suppliers with more flexible and lower cost pre- and post-shipment finance options.
— Origin Management: Prove country of origin of suppliers to prove qualification for free trade agreements.
— Strategic Sourcing: Upstream, accurate landed cost information available to sourcing personnel to improve decision-making.
— Quality Management: Maintain vendor quality and other master-level information to expedite customs processing.
There are numerous bottom-line benefits for companies that take this opportunistic approach to the 10+2 initiative. Improved visibility, collaboration, automation and upstream quality control will in the long run enable more effective planning, increase the responsiveness of the supply chain, improve asset utilization, lower costs from fines and manual labor, lower inventory levels, and potentially improve cycle times.
Ultimately, companies that choose to address 10+2 by proactively improving their supply chains in line with quality management principles will be able to deliver higher customer service, improve the overall efficiency for all supply chain partners, and gain competitive advantage. For these companies, 10+2 may be just the catalyst to enable them to reap the full benefits of global trade.