For every initiative, and at every state from initial exploration to full implementation, the trade champion must benchmark international compliance implications to the company's corporate risk appetite, profitability targets, service and quality standards, how the brand promise to clients is impacted, and ultimately, whether the brand's integrity is being advanced for diminished globally.
Examples about in the news in recent years of companies that forged ahead without this level of oversight, only to discover after the fact that improper business practices had been engaged in which became public, severely compromising that company's stock price, costing senior executives their jobs, and throwing doubt on the board of directors framework for due diligence.
Less publically humiliating but equally as damaging are the stories that aren't told about private companies purchasing offshore entities, or setting up strategic partnerships with foreign firms that did not perform well, and ended up being wound up or sold off. Increasingly, the complexity posed by such arrangements is a result of encountering unanticipated costs, or missed “red flags” that involved some type of compliance-related issue.
It is been our observation that companies who take the long view and maintain a strong macro perspective on their global trade priorities are striking, not because they lack the potential for problems or setbacks, but because there is a noted absence of drama despite that potential.
In a nutshell, risks that are anticipated can be mitigated, opportunities that are planned for can be harvested, and targets can be achieved, with the appropriate level of oversight and diligence at the highest levels, at every stage of the business cycle.
Other posts in this series:
- Responsibilities of the Trade Champion: Strategic Perspective (Part I)
- Why is a Trade Champion Necessary?
- The Role of a Trade Compliance Champion
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