Merchandisers and exporters operate in an extremely dynamic environment today; constant vigilance is required on competitive pricing that borders on tit for tat tariffs, an increase in number of export players etc. and certainly the economics of trade. The brighter side of such international trade developments? Entry of innovative technologies can transform trade by making processes more inclusive and efficient as well as extending knowledge. Business intelligence and trade technology will also help sustain competition by leveling out the field for all players.
The role of technology, AI overall and its impact on the EXIM business particularly-
Early and mid-eighties, is when there was a realization of the potential of other countries outside of the United States and Europe in the export segment. This combined with the steady growth of a facilitator called the internet has transformed how the world does business. Websites, blogs and presence in social media has shrunk distances and points of contact can be easily established globally. Let us look this with a small example-
Jane Brown travels to Indonesia on work, and manages to take a little break to go around the city; she discovers an exquisite piece of pottery and immediately buys it. She also nurses the idea of importing them in bulk and selling it to local stores back home in Australia. The outer box of the item has all details including the name of the manufacturer and his contact information. A few months and more parties later, Jane reflects on the popularity of that piece of art – displayed near her fire place. She gets back to the idea that had struck her when she was buying that piece of pottery. Luckily the packaging is saved and in no time she has their contact information and their website too! A few conversations later- Jane has a quote, some samples and a trial order on the way. Jane has gone global. And this is just one instance.
For that matter, today, technological disruption isn’t new for the global trade system or for that matter any industry. With Artificial Intelligence -Uber has disrupted the private transportation industry, Amazon has flipped the retail landscape and AirBnb has transformed the traveling and accommodation industry. Specifically in the trading landscape, technological developments such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that is used read container numbers, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and QR codes to identify and trace shipments, and basic digitization of trade documents have now successfully established reliability and efficiencies of this domain.
While we say that trade agreements were mostly written before digital commerce, transactions that go accompanied with large amount of paper work, to trade financing that are still by and large stuck to traditional banking methods, trade intelligence tools that aid exporters and importers still seems a far cry. Global trade system has just about begun to take complete advantage of cutting edge technologies that could make trade a lot more efficient, inclusive, and far less risky. Different technologies in the various parts of adoption process, when combined, could fundamentally change the way resources are allocated and international trade operates. Access to current trends and studies on trade can thus be accurately ascertained by governments and businesses thereby allowing them to stay ahead of the curve.
Trade technologies that are already creating a buzz-
Block chain- A development that is not only is making movement of goods more efficient and reliable, but is also actively helping the world of trade financing- such as say obtaining a Letter of Credit (LoC) has been simplified to a large extent.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies- can be used to optimize trade shipping routes, manage vessel and truck traffic at ports, and as well as in translation of e-commerce search queries across languages. Over and above gains in terms of efficiency and customer service, tech can also be used to monitor the overall trade business.
Trade using digital platforms- For small businesses in particular, these digital platforms have thrown open a huge arena of unprecedented opportunity to go global.AI-developed translation services are further enabling digital platforms as drivers of international trade as well.
Trade “intelligence” technology undisputedly takes the center stage-
Big data is being mined and handled by advanced algorithms that yield accurate and reliable reports and analytics across the vast spectrum of global trade. Technological intervention is only expected to grow as startups and established businesses alike gradually scout for and implement cutting edge applications to enhance their global presence. Today AI continuously, learns evolves and adapts itself from the patterns observed thereby success rates of such algorithms especially in trade technology are climbing. While most options and ideas are kept proprietary, it’s safe to say that the return on investment for traders can be beneficial here, since AI can handle and manage all kinds of data in its own way.
Why do exporters necessarily need to embrace this technological advancement? Think on the following lines-
- Let us remember that the global market place is exponentially growing – How do you enhance your knowledge on global public goods? Given that these function as the foundation for trade and market intelligence.
- Strengthening skills of partners in effectively using trade and market intelligence to make business decisions is key. How do you work in that direction?
- How can you as an exporter access new and innovative approaches to intelligence especially that of competitive intelligence.
- How about your contribution to an evidence-based policy reform that conforms to specific obstacles in trade such as tariffs etc.?
- Is it not needed to understand and connect to international value chains as an exporter?
Investment in the right trade and BI tool is therefore inevitable for exporters today, for measured confident strides into the ever expanding world trade environment.
EXIMAPS – your trade technology partner.
In concurrence with the above detailed discussion on the role of trade intelligence and the degree to which it has the capability to permeate into all depths of foreign trade, EXIMAPS was conceptualized. The product is fuelled by a unique algorithm, that efficiently breaks down relevant data and analytics available to serve various interests of exporters and importers or those are on the lookout for such opportunities.
The product helps sellers pinpoint exact potential across feasible geographies as well as revealing the prevalent state of affairs with respect to the particular product, buyer or the market as such. The product overrides the shortcomings and misgivings of data and analytics provided by regular B2B portals as well as generic researches conducted online with limited knowledge.
More than anything, be it a merchandizer or a manufacturer strategic trade decisions made determine the fate and future of the business, and this is best accomplished with EXIMAPS as your trusted aide! Jane Brown did invest in EXIMAPS to find her footing higher up in the export business, wise wasn’t she?