Export controls and ERP systems: uncovering weaknesses, finding solutions

By Nye Longman
Companies that engage in international trade rely on effective export control processes throughout their supply chain. How can ERP systems be transforme...

Companies that engage in international trade rely on effective export control processes throughout their supply chain. How can ERP systems be transformed to meet the complex requirements of export controls? A new white paper by AEB, a provider of global trade and supply chain management software, provides answers.

ERP systems are strong in the areas of production, distribution, accounting, finance, and human resources – but they reach their limits when it comes to export controls. Experience shows that export control functionalities are best managed with specialised programmes connected through standardised interfaces rather than directly in a company’s ERP system.

AEB’s new white paper introduces the four fundamental pillars of export controls: sanctions list screening, embargo checks, critical goods screening, and end-use checks. It details what exactly companies are required to check and what role IT systems play in ensuring global trade compliance. It also helps businesses to determine whether their ERP system is up to the export controls challenge, based on ten practical tips and a useful check list.

Does the system automatically block deliveries once certain export control parameters are met? Is it possible to launch ad-hoc queries of sanctions lists from within the ERP system (for example when entering data for new customers) and is screening automatically taking place in the background of all transactions? These – and other – questions help companies identify whether their current solution has sufficient export control functionality and whether further optimisation measures can increase security and performance.

Claire Umney, General Manager at AEB (International) Ltd, said: “ERP systems are generalists among IT solutions. Their strength lies in data management across individual business units, which provides users quick access to relevant business transactions and analyses. The disadvantage in certain areas, however, is that specific functionality is lacking required functional depth – this applies specifically to the complex area of global trade.

“There are no ERP systems offering effective, off-the-shelf export control functionality. But for businesses that are active on an international level, it’s become ever more crucial to embed effective export controls within their own processes. Legal consequences in case of regulatory violations can hit companies severely, and additional impacts outside of penalties may include the cessation of customs simplifications, delivery delays, reputational damage, and loss of consumer confidence.

“We hope our white paper helps companies identify the best option for them to ensure export control compliance and process efficiency.”

AEB’s white paper “Transforming your ERP system into an export powerhouse”, including a check list, can be downloaded free of charge at www.aeb.com/uk/media/white-paper-export-powerhouse.php

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