What You Should Know About Selecting a GTM Vendor

What You Should Know About Selecting a GTM Vendor

“What You Should Know About Selecting a GTM Vendor”

Hosted by American Shipper on Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Responses from the Q&A Portion of the Broadcast

This information has been provided by the webinar presenters: Ty Bordner (Amber Road), Mike Dupaix (Tricon Energy), and Beth Peterson (BPE Global).

  1. The first step is getting the project funded…can you address that telling your CFO that you ‘may be fined’ is not typically going to cut it and that a more traditional hard dollar business case is required?

Beth Peterson: We rarely build an argument that an investment should be made to keep the CEO out of jail. A much more common argument is that a GTM investment will increase compliance scalability and will mitigate risk. We can also prove cost reductions when justifying GTM solutions.

  1. When it comes to restricted party screening, why would I buy vendor provided software when I can use the Government’s free Consolidated Screening List?

Ty Bordner: The government's free Consolidated Screening List does not provide any sort of "fuzzy logic" matching algorithm. So, unless the name you are looking for is typed in exactly as it is on the list, you may not get a match. In addition, screening against the consolidated set of lists may provide a false sense of security for the user/company as there are more potential lists available from the software vendors covering a much broader range. And finally, using the Consolidated Screening List is an inherently manual process, by integrating a software solution in an automated way, not only do you get better list coverage and the benefit of a "fuzzy logic" algorithm, you get an automated solution.

  1. Beth, I know you’re full of anecdotes – and a lot of them are people doing things badly or thinking incorrectly about how important GTM is to their business. Let me focus on the positive for a sec – can you recall a situation where you thought “wow, they have really nailed this vendor selection?”

Beth Peterson: One of the best examples was a company that was having a real challenge selecting a vendor. They sat back and thought “what’s the most important thing for us to accomplish?” and then decided that the user experience was critical. They realized that the differentiator was having the users feel comfortable with the UI, the onscreen resources and the workflow. Once they set that priority, then the decision was easy for the entire team to make.

  1. Is there something we should consider with regards to vendors’ financial structure?

Beth Peterson: For public companies, it's important to monitor stock price. If it's dropping, the company may lose focus on trade compliance solutions and may purchase complimentary solutions providers to increase shareholder value. For private companies, you want to look at succession planning as well as a depth in the management team.

  1. Ty, give me some things you look for in an RFP that give you a clue that it’s going to be a good fit for the solutions you provide?

Ty Bordner: Good RFPs reflect the company specific requirements. The more detail in an RFP the better. Categorizing the RFP requirements into priorities also helps the GTM vendor determine the solution fit. Transaction volumes, specific commodity classifications (both HS and ECN), and countries (both for Export and Import) are all very helpful RFP attributes.

  1. Beth, in the report we talk about internal buy-in at the outset. Can you explain how crucial this is, and how companies ought to go about ensuring that buy-in is retained through the selection process?

Beth Peterson: The process of getting buy-in for a GTM project can be challenging but once you've got it, you have to work equally hard to retain the support. All too often we've seen GTM purchases side lined because the original supporters have moved on to different projects. It's critical to keep all of your stakeholders up-to-date and continue to communicate the importance of their support and the overall value of the project.

  1. Mike, what would you have done differently if you were able to redo the selection process?

Mike Dupaix: For the selection process, we would have required our executive sponsor to continuously confirm budgetary dollars were available for the project. The caused us a 5 month delay in starting the process once the decision was made.

  1. To everyone, how big a problem is it for companies to section off some funding for a GTM tool, when everyone knows there are competing interests for IT dollars?

Mike Dupaix: The allocation of funds prior to that was not a problem. We had submitted projects with proposed budgets in early 2014 that were recognized and vetted. When oil prices started crashing in November and December, budgets became tighter and some projects were deferred. GTM was not impacted as there is a greater potential for severe noncompliance penalties.

Beth Peterson: There will always be competing interests for IT dollars. One of the best ways to maintain funding is to tie it to bigger projects such as supply chain or finance projects.

Ty Bordner: It all comes down to ROI, any business decision these days must be justified with an ROI. Of course the reduced compliance risk can be part of an ROI, but that is always a betting man’s game. The crisper ROI comes from the things like 3PL fee reductions or increasing the speed of the supply chain. GTM systems can do both. Amber Road has a deep ROI model we use to help customers justify their returns.

To learn more about Amber Road’s GTM capabilities, please visit our website. For more information on how to select a GTM vendor, please download American Shipper’s Global Trade Management Landscape Report: What You Should Know About Selecting a GTM Vendor.

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