Import-Export Workflow for Companies Trading Internationally

Import-Export Workflow for Companies Trading Internationally

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ProcessMate is a cloud business process management tool that and below we will be reviewing how its capabilities can be used to implement a solution to manage Import-Export workflows for companies trading internationally.

Import-Export Process Definition

Processing orders or requests for import (export) is a multi-task process in ProcessMate. It is easily configurable, so what we offer is a template, extendable to your particular business process and organizational specifics. The process covers steps from Signing the Contract to Delivery and Payment, however it can be extended with additional steps, such as pre-contract quotation, submission of declarations, etc. The process is mostly manual, performed by different teams or people.

Workflow Management – Key Features

The key features of ProcessMate for Import/Export processes:

  • Create multi-task process of Export/Import trading and manage processes. This streamlines work for your organization, increases visibility for managers and removes operational complexity of you team while reducing waiting time. Everybody knows what they need to do next.
  • Generate out of the box reports based on the ongoing operational status, as well as the past statistics: this would help managers understand the status and deep-dive into useful statistics showing where bottlenecks are
  • Optionally, keep track of your Suppliers and/or Customers and their parameters: name, contact details, type, etc (any extra parameters can be added). The configured processes may be related to those records of suppliers (or customers), so that for each customer (supplier) there’s a history of processes attached. For example, the system will track which exports took place in the past for an individual vessel.
  • Receive timely notifications and email-reports, follow events happening during in processes. The system will keep track of your SLAs (standard predefined completion time) and will notify you of potential and actual delays.
  • Exemplary Import/Export Process

    Diagram of the Import/Export process for trading companies from Order to Delivery and Payment

    Import or export process for trading companies

    The above process is a simpler, high-level representation of the actual process. Although ProcessMate can handle much more complex flows, which includes parallel tasks, approvals, etc, we find that it’s a simple implementation that helps managers and employees most, and have high rate of adoption.

    Managing Export (or Import) workflow

    In ProcessMate, the export/import process (and any other) is a number of steps implemented sequentially or in parallel in order to complete the process. The process also keeps contains parameters, such as information about customer, ETA dates, or any other parameters that can easily be configured in the system.

    List of individual import processes in ProcessMate

    List of individual import processes in ProcessMate

    Each process can be viewed in details, together with its attached documents, data fields and most importantly, tasks. The below view shows just a part of this functionality. Additionally, users may attach documents to a particular Shipment process, receive notifications and many more.

    Screenshot of individual export/import processes. At the top - parameters of the process. Bottom - list of tasks with statuses, responsible users, etc.

    Individual export/import processes. At the top – parameters of the process. Bottom – list of tasks with statuses, responsible users, etc.

    Optional Feature: Keeping track record of customers and/or suppliers

    One of the new features of ProcessMate is ability to track information about your customers and/or suppliers independently of processes. This is optional functionality, which might or might not be used together with process management. It’s similar to a spreadsheet used to keep track of data placed into cloud, accessible from anywhere in the world, with fine-grained authorization (only certain users can be configured to view/edit certain data), email notifications on change.

    The below exemplary database of vessels shows all the required parameters (additional parameters can easily be configured). In addition, the “Vessel” records can be tied to other records, such as “Ports”, if you would like to keep track of ports as well. The main advantage though comes from associating processes to Vessels. Hence you would always know what processes (for example export processes) are currently related to what suppliers, or the history of such processes tied to individual customer/supplier record.

    View of records of Individual Customers with information of related Export processes

    Records of Individual Customers with information of related Export processes

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