SAP seeks to cut global trading risks with updated app

SAP is looking to help customers who do business globally and need to navigate through the tangle of international trading laws and procedures with an update of its Global Trade Services (GTS) software.

The company on Monday announced GTS 7.0, which is aimed at automating the processes involved with cross-border transactions. Initially released in 2002, the application is already used by some 250 companies, SAP said. The latest version is built on top of SAP's NetWeaver middleware application stack, said Neetin Datar, director of solutions marketing at SAP's global risk compliance unit.

Among the new features in GTS 7.0 is the ability to automatically create letters of credit, which are commonly used in Europe and Asia, Datar said. He said that about 70 percent of all transactions based on letters of credit are rejected because of errors. "It's a huge area of pain for our customers, especially those with outsourced manufacturing who are dealing with customers on a global basis."

Proper standardization of the processes will both boost efficiency and cut costs, he said.

The trade services software also automates customs warehousing processes that can allow companies to defer or eliminate duties payments, SAP said. GTS 7.0 also will support adherence to mandatory Automated Export System filing requirements.

One current customer, California-based life sciences firm Applied Biosystems, is already interested in upgrading to the new application. The new version of GTS has support for multiple languages, such as Chinese, and will deliver greater operational visibility, said Leighton Yates, senior manager for global trade compliance at Applied Biosystems.

The latest version of GTS also will have a trade preferences module that will automate the process of complying with applicable regional trade agreements, he said. That could help the company eliminate redundant processes and save as much as US$1 million.

The latest version of GTS is available now. Pricing varies depending on different process scenarios and takes into account transactional volumes.

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