Over the past several years, GHY International has published a number of white papers dealing with the issue of international trade compliance. In these reports we have highlighted the growing need for companies to adopt an integrated approach to dealing with compliance, described the best practices used by industry leaders, looked at the importance of corporate leadership to advancing the process, and most recently examined how many leading organizations use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and monitor critical metrics that have a direct or indirect compliance consequence.
In the fourth white paper of this series, we examined in more depth what our research had identified as being the second “best practice” of successful international traders; namely, the appointment of a “trade champion” or team to oversee compliance priorities across business functions, and throughout the business cycle, from strategic planning through to business plan execution, and ongoing vigilance.
The board of directors and senior leadership are ultimately responsible for enterprise success, and those at the forefront of adapting to global trade have identified trade compliance as a priority that links to the organization’s strategic plans, risk management framework, and protection of the brand’s integrity. However, because of the complexity and diversity of the trade compliance agenda, beyond high-level oversight, it is simply not realistic or practical for senior leadership to take a hands-on role when it comes to ensuring all of the compliance components are identified and managed on day-to-day basis.
The appointment of a champion to be individually responsible, or as the leader of a dedicated compliance team, therefore becomes the vehicle by which the organization can connect the intention of being compliance with the reality of actually living it out across all of the organization’s business units and functional areas.
In a new series of posts, each week over the next couple of months, we will be focusing in more detail on the concept of a “trade champion” in the realm of compliance, looking at how companies of various sizes have chosen to address trade compliance as a corporate priority and posing some critical questions that can be used to benchmark your company's relative position to that of best practices in the field.