The repetitive documentation errors, ever-changing international trade norms and the fast-growing acceptance of electronic documentation pose a serious question – are you ready to deal with the complex process of export documentation? No matter whether you are a small or big trader, your business is bound to face stiff competition that further adds to the importance of accurate documentation every single time. When you begin to look for help, you come across a number of solutions and choosing the right one may leave you baffled.
A solution is to follow a step-by-step process to select the best kind of assistance in this direction. The discussion below does the same as it elaborates on the most important steps to choose an expert in trade documentation.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Needs
Begin by assessing what you need. Do you need to get your in-house staff trained in the documentation or would you like to invest in expert documentation services that would completely address all your concerns? Another solution is to subscribe to an international trade software. These modern-day electronic tools replace the traditional paperwork and make it convenient to obtain important documents in a time and cost-saving manner.
Step 2: Know the Norms
Do you know that to obtain trade documents like heath and phytosanitary certificates, you need to apply online using the EXDOC system of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR)? You also need to know that you can get the certificates of origin stamped from the Chambers of Commerce online. There are many other similar national and international arrangements that you need to be familiar with. With good knowledge, you can review and select the right documentation expert.
Step 3: Review Your Infrastructure
In order to switch to electronic documentation, you must have the right infrastructural arrangements. For example, you must have computers with the right configurations to support a software tool. A better solution would be to use a cloud-based documentation software as it would reduce the infrastructure-based needs and also add flexibility and speed to the documentation process. Also, learn about the printers, internet connections and other needs for hassle-free document preparation.
Step 4: Allocate the Budget
Hiring an expert or investing in a documentation software may require you to plan a budget. However, the associated costs are most likely to be affordable as electronic documentation usually helps in reducing the costs that traders spend on the conventional paper-based process. It would also help you save the penalties and delays caused due to incomplete or inaccurate documents. So, budget planning should not be an issue to support this transition.
Step 5: Compare and Choose
Finally, review the options coming your way to make the right choice. For example, research whether the vendor you choose is accredited by the DAWR for using EXDOC or not. Next, you may assess whether the vendor offers customized services or a fixed package. It is obviously better to choose a customized package to use only the required services and save costs.
Electronic documentation can add to your export business’s credentials and profits. By following the steps above, you can easily acquire the right guidance, tools and support and focus on the core business activities without worrying about the documentation part.