“Integrated Trade Compliance Strategy, What is it?” by Nigel Fortlage, GHY International

Nov 3, 2010 | Corporate Member News

If the negative consequences of a silo-based approach, as outlined in a silo based approach, are risks at virtually every stage of the business cycle from cradle to grave, the benefits of an integrated strategy and cohesive approach are just the opposite

Reynold Martens, Executive VP, GHY International

According to Reynold Martens, Executive VP, GHY International, “There is a horizontal channel of accountability between the Business Operation, Finance and Administration, and Business Development areas; and a vertical link to the service providers, Executive Team, CEO, and Board of Directors.”

Mr. Martens further explains, “that the fundamental structure of the company remains intact. There is no major rework of the reporting structure, or the core functional role of each of the primary components of the enterprise.”


Rick Miller from Tyler Search Consultants shares in the Journal of Commerce the  10 Reasons Trade Compliance Programs Are Unnecessary. While this is a humorous tongue & cheek view, it covers many of the same reasons why we feel it is necessary to have an Integrated Trade Compliance Strategy in today’s global business environment. They include:

  • “Manufacturing not what it used to be”
  • Global forces intensifying competition
  • Supply chain/markets diversifying beyond US
  • Complex new mix
  • Origins, manufacturing locations, destinations
  • Importers and exporters under surveillance 24/7
  • Compliance = price of admission to global trade
  • Non compliance increasingly costly
  • Lost opportunities, margins, penalties, reputation

Benefits of an Integrated Trade Compliance Strategy

If the negative consequences of a silo-based approach, as outlined in a silo based approach, are risks at virtually every stage of the business cycle from cradle to grave, the benefits of an integrated strategy and cohesive approach are just the opposite; that is:

  • Visibility to board of directors and executives to risks and opportunities;
  • Shared ownership and accountability that aligns with roles and responsibilities;
  • A compliant profile that reduces and eliminates negative consequences of a regulatory intervention;
  • A sustainable framework to ensure future viability and succession planning, should individuals within the enterprise move on, or service providers be replaced

Summary: The purpose of an “integrated trade compliance strategy is increased predictability and visibility of regulatory consequences and opportunities” Reynold Martens, GHY International.

The outcomes ultimately will address and support these issues:

  • Intensifying trade complexity –supply chains & markets
  • Increasing regulatory surveillance and intervention
  • Compliance is a competitive weapon
  • Integrated approach addresses gaps presented by silos
  • Increased visibility and shared ownership reduces risk
  • Maximize commercial opportunity and profitability
  • Minimize downside risk that erodes margins
  • Grow your business!

Is this your organization today? Can you use an integrated trade compliance strategy?

About Nigel Fortlage: 

Nigel is the Vice President of Information Technology at GHY International. Nigel has been with GHY International since 1988; formerly he was an in house customs broker for a large western Canadian manufacture/wholesaler. He can be found on Twitter at @infortlage.

About GHY International:

One Border – One Broker 

Founded in Winnipeg in 1901 by George Henry Young, GHY International is one of Canada’s oldest brokerage companies, and is family owned and managed by the fourth-generation great grandson of Mr. Young, Richard Riess. 

Over the years, the company has grown to become national and international in scope, with more than 100 employees providing Canadian importers and exporters with a full range of superior international trade services leveraged around our core competency of transborder customs brokerage.

In addition to Canadian and U.S. customs brokerage, GHY International provides clients with services and expertise in:

  • Canadian and U.S. Trade Consulting
  • Web-based Services & Software for Trade Documentation 
  • Small Package Logistics Services between Canada and the USA
  • Regular Trade Updates — Online and through our TradeLines Newsletter
  • Warehouse Consolidation and Deconsolidation 

We’ve Got You Covered

Our Head Office is in Winnipeg, Manitoba where all key business functions are located, including the executive, consulting, management, operations, finance and accounting, information services, human resources and training areas.

Other key regional locations include Toronto and Vancouver with branch release offices and a network of affiliates providing coast-to-coast coverage across Canada.

Our wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, GHY USA, Inc. is based in Pembina, North Dakota, with satellite offices in Fargo, North Dakota.

We are proud of our reputation as one of the country’s leading providers of trade services, which we view as a tribute to the confidence that our clients continue to place in us, to the quality service provided by our outstanding staff, and to the quality and attention to detail in the way we carry our our role as trade facilitator for our clients.  

To find our more about GHY International visit its website here.

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