Leading Consultant Looks to GTKonnect to Boost Businesses’ Global Supply Chains
Centrx, a BDP Knowledge Venture, switches to GTKonnect web-based system to better serve its clients in chemical, health care, oil and gas industries
February 20, 2014, Irvine, Calif. and Philadelphia, Penn. – GTKonnect, Inc., a premier provider of integrated Global Trade Management (GTM) solutions and the company powering the GTKonnect suite, has announced that Centrx, a BDP Knowledge Venture, is using its GTKonnect solutions to help enhance its clients’ global supply chains and trade compliance.
Centrx, a division of BDP International, which manages global trade and supply chain solutions for the chemical, healthcare and oil and gas industries is using GTKonnect software to automate post entry audits for its clients. Centrx uses the software platform to compare entry data against the chosen trade compliance fields, which allows the company to automatically spot potential problems through an ‘exception report’.
Centrx also uses GTKonnect’s Trade Agreements module. GTKonnect Trade Agreements module helps clients analyze, qualify and manage trade agreement certification. After about a year of integrating the GTKonnect software, Centrx has already seen a significant time savings by automating information exchange and collaboration with its clients and brokers in the auditing processes and in Trade Agreement Certifications.
“GTKonnect enables the integration of critical trade compliance elements between our clients and their logistics service providers. We are able to send out valuable parts data to these providers, and in turn, receive timely transactional data from all of the providers. This integration drives the tactical and executional levels of our clients’ trade compliance programs,” said Ryan K. Rodgers, Director of Global Consulting Services for Centrx. “GTKonnect software helps speed up the audit process and provides information quicker to our clients.”
In the past, Centrx used spreadsheets to facilitate the exchange of information, to classify and validate parts and products between its customers and their customs brokers. This proved to be a very time-consuming process, as information had to be inputted, audited and validated manually for each client, which sometimes created logistics bottlenecks. Centrx chose the GTKonnect platform because the company needed a scalable and customizable solution that would automate the information exchange process and could serve as an integration layer between its customers and their logistics service providers.
“Our goal at GTKonnect Solutions is to provide service providers and importers with flexible and modular tools to simplify managing the often otherwise complex and manual global trade process,” said Sri Ramadas, Senior Vice President, Projects, for GTKonnect. “We strive to offer Centrx a holistic approach to global trade management, enabling real-time collaboration and automation and look forward to continuing to be an integral solution to its global trade management and compliance consulting business.”
In the near future, Centrx plans to use the GTKonnect software platform to classify parts, provide exports audits and manage internal service requests workflow.
“With GTKonnect's ISF, we have not only automated but are completely managing by exception” – Ralph Garcia, Mgr. International Trade Compliance.
According to Ralph Garcia, Mitsubishi imports vehicles from Japan,service and production parts from Japan and Australia. “With our significant import volume and limited resources, the amount of work required to comply with the ISF requirement would have beenunmanageable without an efficient system. Our biggest challenge with ISF was the fact that our commercial invoices generally run into a few hundred lines on average and well over 500 lines for the larger ones, with varied items and classifications. Manually entering these items to file an ISF would have been very time consuming and error prone”. So we were looking for a solution that would automate the ISF filing process with limited oversight. We also needed a system that would alert us in case of issues and not require us to review and approve each transaction individually. With GTKonnect, we got the perfect fit for our needs.
“We took the automation to the next level at MMNA” notes Anand Raghavendran of GTKonnect. With the support of Ralph Garcia, Mgr. International Trade Compliance and MMNA IT staff, we developed integration programs to load the shipment information from Japan and other sources. With this data we automatically create the ISF file. While most systems stop here, we took it to the next step by comparing the part number from the invoices against an existing Parts Database maintained by MMNA and applying the correct classification and country of origin.
Any new parts found in the invoice will be automatically added to the parts database and the user will be notified. This helps them manage their classification process by exception as new parts are added. Once the information is entered in the Parts Database, the ISF transaction gets the updated information automatically through another batch process and does not need user intervention. Optionally the user can directly enter the HTS and Country of origin directly in the ISF system for the missing lines to speed up the ISF filing. Similarly, the system has built in validations to check for the completeness of ISF data.
The best part is if all the information is available and complete the system automatically transmits the ISF to customs and does not need any user action for the ISF filing. We have effectively handled the large data volume through various business rules and data loads. Assuming that all information is available, it takes less than a few minutes to process and transmit large shipments and to obtain ISF clearance from US customs.
Ralph also notes “the best part of all this is when we have an issue, we can talk to someone at GTKonnect immediately irrespective of the time of the day and we get to work with knowledgeable and well qualified resources who can address our issues almost instantaneously. Excellent customer service”.
GTKonnect ISF is a great fit to our complicated and data intensive business process”.
Case Study – 5 Steps to Paperless entry processing
Alcoa Primary Metals (Reynolds Metals) is a leading manufacturer with global operations in US, Canada and other countries.
· Alcoa clears over 15,000 rail shipments from Canada every year crossing into the United Stated in 12 different US ports.
· With a small customs group ( 2 people) it was a huge challenge to manage the filing of the entries and the post entries activities following the initial filing.
· GTKonnect working in partnership with Alcoa customs group, IT and senior management implemented GTKonnect Imports with automation and integration to overcome challenge.
· GTKonnect and Alcoa collaborated in a 5 step process to manage all the entry filings automatically with little or no user intervention.
· Automation was the key component in Alcoa and GTKonnect’s strategy to deal with the large entry volume with limited resources.
Step 1 - Integration with ERP Apps
· GTKonnect developed integration programs to automatically load the shipment and invoice information from, Alcoa’s ERP system.
· The shipment and entry data are loaded to an ERP database from ERP Apps using which, the entries are automatically created in GTKonnect, through the automated processing routines.
Step 2 - Updating the Rail Manifest
· GTKonnect then receives and processes rail manifest from the rail road through the customs ABI link.
· Based on invoice number available on the manifest as a reference, GTKonnect Imports automatically locates the correct entry from the list of created entries and updates the correct Bill of Lading number to the entry file.
Step 3 - Processing Line Release
· As the train crosses the port, the shipment is released through a customs line release message.
· The line release update flows to GTKonnect through the customs ABI link.
· Using the Bill of lading number on the line release message as a reference, the GTKonnect Imports system locates the correct entry and updates the entry number from the line release message to the created entry file and queues the file for transmission.
Step 4 - Automatic Entry Summary transmission and Document Printing
· GTKonnect Imports automatically picks up all entry files in the transmission queue and transmits the same to the customs ABI system.
· Users are alerted through an e-mail on entry rejects. Since the system validates all entries through a detailed set of business rules the chances of a customs reject on entries are very minimal (fewer than 1% of entries are rejected)
· All accepted entries need no further user intervention for entry processing.
· GTKonnect Imports automatically prints the CF7501, CF3461, Commercial Invoice and other required documentation for all entries that need documentation to be submitted to customs (‘Entry Docs Required’)
Step 5 – Post Entry Processing (Reconciliation)
· Alcoa flags entries for reconciliation.
· Based on a date range provided by the users, GTKonnect Imports creates a file extract of entries to a 3rd party service provider
· The service provider creates the reconciliation entry and sends the same back to GTKonnect Imports, which is then transmitted to US customs through the ABI link.
GTKonnect Imports helps the users to manage the entry process by exception as they are not required to review each entry and can focus their attention only to entries with issues.
“The only time we know we have a system is when documents print on our printers”, says Amador Cardenas, Import Manager. “GTKonnect really understood our requirements and created an automated solution to best fit our needs. Handling our entry volume with limited resources was key to our efficiency and GTKonnect helped us achieve it.
We can get support and answers instantaneously whenever we need help and more importantly we can talk to knowledgeable resources any time we have questions. I will definitely recommend this professional group of people to anyone who needs an system”. – says Amador Cardenas, Import Manager, Alcoa Primary Metals.