Global Trade Management solutions have long been either part of a larger supply chain management (SCM) solution or set up as a standalone application. Most multi-national GTM applications are designed for generic, large-scale implementations, with few possibilities to configure on the fly or standardize across platforms.

Times are changing, however, and customers demand more specialized applications. Even many single point solutions, such as restricted party screening or landed costs calculations, come with an integration manual rather than a download. It’s hard to imagine that GTM applications won’t also evolve — but into what?

GTM to the future!

Although GTM solutions were advertised as quick plug-ins, reality demonstrated otherwise. To date, few off-the-shelf integrators exist, with certain GTM vendors discounting software prices to an absolute minimum with the knowledge that customization and integration work will easily recoup the initial giveaways.

As such, GTM solutions may lag a bit behind other business applications in the market, but movement toward a more modern model is unavoidable. Trade compliance may demand above-average security measures and more advanced accessibility restrictions than, for example, ordering a latte through the Starbucks app; however, there are few barriers to true pay-as-you-go models, mobile apps, and downloadable applications/integrations, other than the GTM industry properly investing in their solutions.

Bottom line

The GTM industry has its part to play and work cut out. Not responding to the demands of the enterprise will leave it vulnerable – not only to existing and new competition, but also to lawsuits, reduced revenues, and much higher innovation costs later as the tech debt will catch up sooner or later.

In the next installment, we will discuss the importance of integration and accessibility in GTM solutions.