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New Ventures: PwC Global Innovation Challenge 2020 Finalist

Trade Activator

 

Crossing borders: reducing complexity and cost in international trade 

 

PwC’s Trade Activator solution enables companies to gain greater visibility into, and control over, more aspects of international trade. Widening traders’ typical focus from minimising lead time and logistics costs, Trade Activator enables them to optimise customs impacts. The result? Companies keep their goods flowing – while reaping the full value they deserve. That’s why the PwC Switzerland team behind Trade Activator are a Global Innovation Challenge finalist

 


Setting the scene


Companies trading internationally must address multiple challenges. Externally, they’re facing widespread change, uncertainty and disruption from national, regional and geopolitical developments, trade wars, Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. And within the trade ecosystem, their dependence on third-party logistic providers adds more complexity and cost. Together, these factors can cause supply chain inefficiencies and business interruptions, in turn, resulting in higher duties and non-compliant declaration filings. To tackle these problems, PwC Switzerland’s Customs and International Trade team developed Trade Activator – a solution that empowers companies to maximise efficiency in international trade by using data analytics to detect non-compliance, realise savings and optimise their customs operations.

Global innovation challenges

How we helped


The inefficiencies and lack of visibility around customs and logistics mean many businesses lose substantial value when their goods cross borders. PwC Switzerland’s Customs and International Trade team's past experience showed an average of 10 percent of the money spent on customs duties is lost on overpayments, fines and reputational damage.

We understood what companies needed to overcome these issues and create an efficient, optimised supply chain. What they required was accurate and detailed insight into all the costs incurred in transporting their goods across borders – including customs duties, import value added tax (VAT) and brokers’ fees – supplemented by an accurate view of the status of their trade flows. A multiskilled PwC team of specialists in customs and trade, data analytics and supply chain, working in close collaboration with their PwC Advisory colleagues, set about developing a way to deliver all this.

They came up with Trade Activator – a solution that enables companies trading globally to reduce their spending on duties and recover overspending retrospectively in selected geographies, limit their risks and gain a window into movement of their goods. Trade Activator achieves this by using advanced analytics to evaluate transactional trade data from different sources – including customs authorities, brokers and corporate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This supports informed global decision-making and provides transparency, security and cost savings.

Impact and potential


Given the benefits of Trade Activator, it’s hardly surprising that companies around the world are signing up. The solution and team behind it have already helped clients in industries like pharmaceuticals, retail and manufacturing, identify overpayments and partially or fully recover them, realising millions in annual savings. Put simply, it’s a game-changer in managing international trade – bringing unprecedented transparency to the supply chain and taking the guesswork out of international trade. 

A senior executive from one client using Trade Activator – a major pharmaceutical client – comments that the benefits for his company are only just beginning: ‘The duty and procedural optimisation are just the tip of the iceberg. Trade Activator has much more potential. Many more savings are still out there to be realised.’

Simeon Probst, Partner, Customs & International Trade, PwC Switzerland, adds: ‘These days, data holds the key to sustained success in any area of business, and global trade is no exception. We have the analytics, technology and consulting expertise to help take clients’ operations to the next level.’

You can find out more here.

‘These days, data holds the key to sustained success in any area of business, and global trade is no exception. We have the analytics, technology and consulting expertise to help take clients’ operations to the next level.’

Simeon ProbstPartner, Customs & International Trade, PwC Switzerland
Vicki Huff Eckert

Vicki Huff Eckert

Global New Ventures & Innovation,
TMT Vice Chair, PwC United States

Tel: +1 408 817 4136

Simeon Probst

Simeon Probst

Customs & International Trade, Partner, PwC Switzerland

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Vicki Huff Eckert

Vicki Huff Eckert

Global New Ventures & Innovation, TMT Vice Chair, PwC United States

Tel: +1 408 817 4136

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