As companies expand their supply chains into new markets, it’s natural for them to lean on their logistics provider to help them navigate the unfamiliar territory. But what happens when that provider proves to be less “global” than it previously made out?
This is not an uncommon occurrence. Some companies learn the hard way that their “global” logistics provider only truly has ownership of its U.S. offices. As for its worldwide locations? They’re owned by contracted third-parties, often acting largely independently. And since the provider has minimal oversight, when the client raises an issue with them, they may be at a loss for words, let alone solutions.
The complexities of a global supply chain demand nuanced and experienced local support. Here’s why it’s so important to understand the global positioning of a logistics provider before putting too many eggs in its basket.
Compliant in every country and currency
Whether it’s dealing with local customs and regulations issues or staying VAT and tax compliant, the complexities of doing business across borders grow more challenging by the year. For companies breaking into a new market or sourcing raw materials from a different supplier, staying on top of these complexities can be a full-time job.
If a company’s logistics provider does not possess a deep understanding of regional tax rules, compliance issues, and other requirements, companies may unwittingly make serious missteps. This can result in major fines and lost money. It may also force the company’s own staff to try and deal with these complexities themselves—a major time commitment that shouldn’t be expected when partnering with a logistics provider to handle such issues.
Nuanced and knowledgeable
Business norms differ from country to country. In France, for example, most business can be conducted in English, but it’s considered impolite not to apologize for one’s lack of fluency in the native language. In Japan, exchanging business cards is expected. These cards should be given and received with both hands, and writing on them is a sign of disrespect.
After becoming established in a particular market, such nuances will become second nature. But for newcomers, cultural slipups, however harmless they may seem to the outsider, could permanently sour a business relationship—or kill it stone dead.
The right logistics partner can help its clients smoothly navigate different business climates, avoiding embarrassing faux pas—and protecting their stake in the local market.
At the right time, in the right place
When something goes wrong, companies want to know their logistics provider will be there for them to provide fast support. But if the provider’s offices are based solely in the U.S., even a small time difference can throw a wrench in the works, leaving the company unable to get an answer when they need it most.
And if the provider’s “local” offices are really operated by a third-party, the staff may lack a deep understanding of the client’s operations. This can leave them struggling to provide the support the client desperately needs—and which they’re paying for.
If the provider is truly global, on the other hand, it will have people on the ground in its local facilities. Employees will possess expert knowledge of the client’s business, meaning they can quickly address any issues before they can grow into serious problems.
Global footprint, local support
The clue is in the name. At CTSI-Global, we pride ourselves on providing global visibility for the companies that partner with us, backed by experienced, on-the-ground local support.
In addition to our U.S. offices in Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas, we have worldwide locations in Ireland, Singapore, and India. These facilities are company-owned and company-operated, so our clients always know they’re dealing with CTSI-Global staff who know their business through and through.
Not all logistics providers are there for you. Partner with a truly global firm today.