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Jim Preuninger
Chief Executive Officer
Amber Road

Supply Chain Comment

Jim Preuninger is the Chief Executive Officer of Amber Road and serves on the Board of Directors. With over 25 years of software industry experience, Jim has been a part of the evolution of the supply chain management market from a domestic focus to one that now encompasses global operations for logistics, transportation, trade compliance and trade finance.

Jim founded Amber Road (formerly Management Dynamics, Inc.). Through his visionary leadership, Amber Road has defined the Global Trade Management (GTM) market. Jim oversees corporate development and is responsible for opening new markets and expanding the company's portfolio of solutions through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

Jim began his career at IBM where he held several positions in sales and marketing. Jim holds a bachelor's degree from Drexel University.

December 15, 2016

The “-abilities” of Global Trade Management:
Bracing for Instability in 2017

Research Shows a Majority of Manufacturers and Retailers have Automated Their Supply Chains


What just happened?  The global trade landscape changed dramatically when the enervating U.S. Presidential election ended.  While the results shocked many around the world, the potential shifts in trade policies under President-Elect Trump are obvious.  Even in the first few days following his win, direct and unmistakable anti-trade sentiments have resounded from the incoming leader. The change in administration is sure to bring the dismantling of existing trade agreements, scrapping of pending agreements and a lack of focus on easing cross-border trade overall.

However, the industry is used to commotion and there are ways to brace your company for what is to come.  During the past 11 months, supply chains have been riddled with disruptions at every turn. In January 2016, analysts predicted positive trends and a big trade uptick, but fate didn’t get the memo. The forecasts fell short, not for lack of effort but mainly because global trade was hit with numerous interruptions, driving importers and exporters scrambling to stay on course. 

Preuninger Says...

As we move into 2017, global trade management executives need to brace against disrupters that have the potential to send your supply chain into a tailspin.

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We rang in the New Year looking ahead to the implementation of numerous import, export and tariff agreements; the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and IMMEX (Maquiladora) Program were expected to alter the way business was conducted.  But we soon saw repeated delays as government officials realized the Goliath effort it takes to roll-out new technology platforms across multiple agencies. By February, worldwide air and ocean cargo shipments were showing signs of decline which continued to fall all year. Spring approached with increasing military, geo-political and labor unrest, along with the continued refugee crisis in Europe.  Britain’s June vote to exit the EU started the global tide of protectionism which permeated the U.S. presidential election and is leading to what is now termed “de-globalization”.  Cargo theft figures are reaching the multimillion-dollar mark and weather has hampered shipments; leading us to the Hanjin line bankruptcy headache that stalled shipments in a quagmire of legalese, and the further consolidation of ocean carriers caused by troubling business woes. As the industry whirled to stay ahead of all this, retailers closed hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations (or closed for good) to focus on the overwhelming sales over the web instead. 

But business keeps on going and despair sometimes leads to opportunity.  The industry must address the same imperatives — speed, quality, cost, risk and agility — yet doing it alone isn’t an option.  Like when a hurricane is approaching landfall, buttressing for the hit will ensure your company makes it through this storm. The key is investing in technology and making process changes in advance. These main features are a requirement for leaders:

  • Supply chain visibility is critical to proactively manage unexpected supply chain disruptions
  • Agility to respond to the ebb and flow of consumer demands
  • Retailers, especially, need to enable cross-border e-commerce due to booming growth
  • Access to comprehensive and timely trade regulatory information and updates
  • Move beyond simple visibility to supply chain predictability
  • Manage secure trading partner collaboration
  • Enhance supply chain risk analysis and management
  • Gain deeper insight with big data and analytics
  • Manage costs to maintain margins

As we move into 2017, global trade management executives need to brace against disrupters that have the potential to send your supply chain into a tailspin.  Fewer and fewer companies are managing global trade purely by spreadsheet; research shows a majority of manufacturers and retailers have automated their supply chains, so it seems the message has been getting through.  I recommend you batten down the hatches now and get ready for a bumpy ride.

Download Aberdeen Group’s latest analyst report entitled, Supply Chain Visibility: Know Sooner, Act Now, to learn how important visibility in the supply chain is to combat disruptions.

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