When Imports Turn into Headaches
Clients often have to face complex issues in order to control the importation of their raw materials or products, because they have to analyze the products that have to be purchased in another country in advance, ship them, place them in a warehouse on a specific date and finance them according to specific variables that can affect a particular operation or transaction. Many members of the organization usually intervene in this operation: the procurement department, accounting, inventory, sales, and projects, the final link in the chain.
Our Imports module collects the practices, requirements, and problems that we’ve observed in our customers over the past 10 years, allowing us to have in-depth knowledge of their requirements and issues. Thanks to this experience, we’ve managed to create a vertical stream that contributes information that is relevant to the entire organization in terms of import activity, and this way, we can show the current status of the process, which, without a specialized product, is currently in the hands of the Foreign Trade Director through physical documents that have been filed in a folder or an outdated Excel file.
Through this diagnosis, we set out to design, build and implement a product with a control panel where the entire organization can visualize the status of each import.
In order to achieve our goal, we considered a number of different variables that take place during this process, such as:
- Management of documentation files
- Control of estimated cost
- Visualization of real costs linked to importing through suppliers
- Accounting auditing of transactions associated to an import
- Cost visualization at an item level
- Projected dates for physical or document-related actions
With all of these variables, the user in charge of finalizing the cost of merchandise can do so at the right time for these costs to be transferred to the inventory, all from a single module by using a dashboard that allows users to centralize all information, thus facilitating and becoming more assertive when it comes to final pricing.
In addition, this module has been outfitted with reporting capabilities, which allow accounting follow-up on all batches involved in an import, from the first estimation to finalization, adding on each of the item’s components to its real cost (customs, taxes, dollar value).
With the inclusion of all of these components, the product has evolved over the past two years, constantly improving and debugging issues, and incorporating more practices that enable support for consolidated shipments or multiple combinations of shipments into a single import, calculating the final cost per item from multiple purchase orders from a single supplier or different suppliers.
One of the strong benefits this module offers companies is that it directly compliments Dynamics AX. It uses the same native language and links seamlessly with other modules, such as Master Planning, Procurement, Projects, Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Accounts Payable, Accounting and the Localizations we have implemented in the countries where we provide support. Therefore, all of AX’s native functions for costing are unaffected by our product, making it a reliable, long-lasting vertical contribution that adds more functions with each update across its different platform versions.