LOGISTICS and imports are undergoing significant changes, amid an increasing awareness on the importance of being cost-conscious and needing to find ways to be more efficient.
The role technology plays in this environment cannot be overstated. Clients can track their parcels, provide instructions on when to ship and make the necessary documentation available to expedite custom stops, irrespective of their location.
By the time the goods arrive at the harbour, there will not be any delays due to paperwork not being filed properly or some other issues that happened during transit. This means logistics providers and importers are now evolving to become more analytical and consultant-centric.
Inbound supply chain management has many moving parts. Working with the right partner can deliver significant value-added insights.
What we must also understand is that economic instability, a weakening currency, and rising prices contribute to the increasing cost of landed goods.
And with many companies funding their imports either with an overdraft or trade finance facilities, there needs to be a more effective way of mitigating these risks.
The emergence of fintechs has contributed to a more innovative approach, when it comes to financing. Companies are no longer limited to waiting for weeks while banks approve additional credit. Instead, import supply chain partners can conduct a real-time needs analysis on the variables at play, and how they impact on the cost of the goods.
This results in additional funding being provided, so organisations can import the volumes they promised to customers, instead of being limited to their line of credit from the banks.
Traditionally, customers opted for debtors’ book factoring. But with times becoming tougher, banks are not making the entire facility available. This is resulting in a drive towards funding where the customer has a guarantee that the total amount is available to finance imports.
As technology evolves, so too are more mobile applications becoming available, to further empower customers through the importing process. Some allow for the physical tracking of goods whilst others, like traditional banking apps, take care of the financing side.
However, when these components are combined in a single offering, users will have more control over all facets of their imports.
By combining the financial and the physical supply chain in an integrated platform, customers do not have to log into multiple environments. Instead, they have an integrated offering that gives them all the information they need, in a convenient and user-friendly way.
People are becoming savvier, throughout the supply chain process. Retailers go directly to the source, see the margin, and use that to negotiate suppliers down. With margins becoming thinner, there is more awareness around cost-containment.
By embracing technology, different financing models, and working with importers as partners in 2018, Namibian companies can mitigate a lot of the risks associated with the uncertainties that exist in the market.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015