Securing the Global Supply Chain: Assessment Manager & C-TPAT
Securing the global supply chain is vital both to companies involved in international commerce and the governments of the nations in which these firms do business. Global supply chain security assessment refers to efforts taken to identify weaknesses in a firm’s supply chain and enhance security in all the transport and logistics systems it uses to move goods across international borders. Global supply chain security assessment, or GSCSA, combines a review of traditional practices of supply chain management with special security requirements driven by threats such as terrorism, piracy and theft.
The World Customs Organization’s (WCO) “Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE)” is the basis for many of today’s security initiatives. Key efforts comprise programs to increase partnership between worldwide customs authorities and companies, rules development for advanced communication of data concerning international shipments, standardized security management procedures and enhanced cooperation.
Other programs, such as C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism), AEO (Authorized Economic Operator), SES (Secure Exports Scheme), PIP (Partner in Protection), STP-Plus (Secure Trade Partnership-Plus) and BASC (Business Alliance for Secure Commerce), also promote enhanced security as a fundamental element. These efforts contribute to global trade facilitation, international customs modernization, improved cooperation within the import-export community and greater competitiveness in international trade.
Why Do Global Supply Chain Security Assessment?
Companies must successfully complete some form of a Global Supply Chain Security Assessment to gain admission to the security-driven programs detailed above. Depending on the initiative, one or more of the following five areas will be involved:
- Facility Management: securing premises where goods are handled and stored
- Cargo Management: protecting the goods during all stages of transportation
- Human Resources Management: assessing the background of all personnel
- Information Management: protecting important data and tracing illegal activities
- Business Management: enforcing security in the organization’s structure and systems
These broad categories encompass myriad persons, organizations and processes that must be systematically reviewed and evaluated on a recurring basis. However, undergoing the process yields tremendous short- and long-term benefits. A company not only identifies areas that need enhanced security but also discovers outdated and inefficient internal procedures. Correcting them leads to streamlined core operations and better asset management.
Even more important, program membership confers special privileges, which can translate to faster goods movement and greater speed to market, such as
- C-TPAT members are assigned an account manager, gain access to the C-TPAT membership list, are eligible for account-based processes, can self-police rather than be subjected to CBP verifications, have priority access to participate in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and have expedited border clearance with the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.
- AEO status confers worldwide recognition as a safe and secure business partner in global trade, gives the firm a lower risk score in risk analysis systems, affords reduced levels of risk controls, offers priority treatment in terms of physical controls and consignment examinations, translates to reduced data requirements for entry and exit summary declarations, offers simplified procedures and allows faster movement of goods through third-country borders.
- PIP members benefit from quicker shipment processing, improved security levels and procedures, access to FAST lanes to cross the border and an enhanced international corporate reputation.
- SES is designed to give New Zealand exporters greater certainty at international borders by minimizing the risk of delays from Customs intervention by giving them priority in global trade recovery situations.
- STP-Plus membership demonstrates Singapore companies’ commitment to adopting and implementing appropriate security measures and a willingness to assume responsibility for keeping their global supply chains secure.
- BASC membership helps improve a company’s competitiveness and image, expands international business opportunities and increases control and traceability throughout its supply chain, among other benefits.
The sheer amount of information and complexity involved in GSCSA performance makes the process an ideal candidate for automation. QuestaWeb’s GSCSA Manager is a specialized software module that can fully accommodate the unique security aspects of every supply chain member. It facilitates supply chain partner risk management through intelligent security assessments:
- Issue and distribute variable, role-based conformity surveys
- Monitor electronic collection of information
- Maintain secure access to a centralized data warehouse
- Automatically evaluate presented credentials
- Calculate integrated compliance risks of all stakeholders
- Maintain a comprehensive audit trail
- Provide management and analytical reports
QuestaWeb’s integrated, profile-driven technology allows simultaneous management of a company’s C-TPAT, AEO, SES, PIP, STP-Plus and BASC participation, as well as Consumer Product Safety Commission and Social & Environmental Responsibility initiatives, in one solution.
QuestaWeb’s Global Supply Chain Security Assessment Manager also offers built-in, multi-national denied and restricted parties screening functionality to further automate risk evaluation of import and export operations.