“Embrace the digital change,” says Tove Gustafsson, Chief Technical Officer at KGH Customs Services and the person responsible for the company’s growing digital business. “Companies cannot opt out of the digitalisation that is happening within customs, but they can choose how to tackle it.”
Digitalisation is not new. In our ambitions to gain better insight, increase efficiency, improve monitoring, be more agile to change and so on, the digital transformation impacts most of what we do, what we want to do and what we can do. Including customs.
Digitalisation in customs primarily focuses on simplifying customs procedures and increased monitoring (enforcement) opportunities. The ongoing implementation of the Union Customs Code (UCC) includes several aspects that will force the trade community to review their digital agenda and take actions. New system-based solutions for example will increase integration needs with customs authorities, providing them with better possibilities to validate data received, while speeding up customs processes.
But digital technologies can also create new opportunities with obvious business advantages. In process management, digitalisation of customs processes and information can reduce trade costs and facilitate the implementation of free trade agreements. Furthermore, access and utilisation of more data allow for new planning and follow-up possibilities that improve governance and control. In turn, this contributes to improved performance, better utilisation of resources and more predictive and efficient goods flows.
“And here is the key,” says Ms Gustafsson. “Certainly, companies need to plan and adjust to the UCC, but while doing so it may be worth spending some time thinking bigger. A small effort can show the way to large gains. Take business intelligence for example. A very interesting area also within trade and customs, with several advantages that contribute to improved risk management as well as operational savings and efficiency.”
“Working with real-time data is another interesting area. This can help companies to further mitigate risk and improve efficiency by utilising this sort of data. Track and trace is of course a part of it, but with access to real-time data you can also, among other things, set up rules and processes that work preventively, thereby reducing risks and costs for unplanned disturbances also in the goods flows.”
Ms Gustafsson continues regarding KGH’s digital efforts:
“As a leading actor in trade and customs management, KGH is in a good position of developing digital solutions that can help companies in all areas of trade to take advantage of the digital transformation. We have a strong belief in the possibilities that come with it and are investing significant resources in the field, including strategic acquisitions. Our new, growing suite of software services, CTDS, will facilitate several aspects of trade and customs management, including planning, monitoring, risk management and follow-up of performance. Real-time data is a natural part of this. Furthermore, in the area of working predictively with customs, specific modules in the solution will help companies to manage their certificates, ensure correct classification and validation, and handle their archiving needs in new ways.”
When asked what is currently going on, Ms Gustafsson responds:
“The first two services are released as we speak. One is called CTDS Customs Process Governance and the other CTDS Customs Warehouse. CTDS Customs Process Governance is a service that enables monitoring of logistical flows and supply chain processes in immediate contact with customs procedures. CTDS Customs Warehouse is a SaaS service initially released in Sweden, for bonded warehouse solutions ready to meet the new legislative requirements that will be in place next year.”
She wraps up with the following advice:
“Digitalisation is a huge area, and not everything with regard to new legislation is clear yet. But what you can do is start taking control of your data and data quality. What data do we currently have? What do we want to have? Is all the data of use? Then start exploring your needs on the basis of what you want to achieve, not what you need to comply with. The earlier you start, the better a position you will be in compared to competitors.”
If you have any questions regarding KGH’s digital agenda, CTDS Customs Process Governance or CTDS Customs Warehouse, please contact:
Roger Andersson, Sales Director Digital firstname.lastname@example.org