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Transform routine global trade processes with automation

03:02

For this global trade manager, ONESOURCE provides certainty in uncertain times

J.M. Huber Corp. (Huber) is a portfolio management company (PMC) with a suite of global businesses that provide vital technologies and materials to companies in a vast array of industries, from construction, manufacturing, and electronics to food, personal care, and nutrition.

Thomas Behr is the director of global trade development for Huber, and Sigrun Boatwright is the company’s senior global trade development manager. Together, they are responsible for managing trade compliance and development for dozens of business entities in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

The advantages of automation

In order to track and manage the myriad trade implications for all these different business entities, Huber uses a broad suite of ONESOURCE global trade management (GTM) products, including Global Trade Content, Denied Party Screening, Trade Lane Analyzer, and Supply Chain Compliance. According to Behr, ONESOURCE is Huber’s chosen GTM solution primarily because of its integration capabilities, flexibility, and global reach. 

“Prior to bringing ONESOURCE on, we had various solutions,” says Boatwright. “We had three different suppliers that we were using for three different things. We also had Excel spreadsheets like everyone has. ONESOURCE has given us the ability to put our data together in one location.”

For example, when the company’s entire global classification database was just a huge Excel spreadsheet, “we never knew who had the most current version of it, or if new products had been added, or if that information had been communicated to our customs brokers,” says Behr. “With the new automated environment, now we have feeds and data interfaces that take care of that.”

Automation has also made some things possible that, before ONESOURCE, were either very time-consuming or out of reach for Huber.

“There are some things you can't do at all without an automation solution,” says Behr. “For example, denied party screening. There is no way a company can do that manually anymore—at least, not companies that have high volumes of international trade flows and customers globally.”

ONESOURCE Denied Party Screening solves that problem by automatically screening customers and suppliers for legitimacy using a database of more than 350 global lists for restricted persons, business entities, and countries. An automated solution that flags bad actors allows “our sales folks to invest their time chasing down leads and prospects that are going to yield a tangible benefit to the company,” says Behr.

Better risk management

Another top priority in the business of global trade development—risk management—has also been improved using ONESOURCE.

“Before we started with ONESOURCE, we had a patchwork of different systems, which created a lot of risk in the environment,” says Behr. “Without an automated solution, we didn't have easy to access reports, which made compliance and covering all the risks more difficult.” Now, he says, ONESOURCE gives the company automatic access to import/export data from the international trade agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, other government agencies, and their own brokers, which eliminates a great deal of time-consuming research and guesswork.

Going forward, Huber plans to use ONESOURCE to centralize and expand the data available through its entire GTM system. That way, the company can respond immediately to changes in regulations, tariffs, duties, or anything else that might impact Huber’s business. 

“What ONESOURCE has really allowed us to do is redesign our business processes to put the right work in the right place,” says Behr.

Which sounds about right to us.