Top Five IT Tips for Small Businesses Going Global

FedEx recently hosted a virtual roundtable; ‘Information Generation’, where FedEx executives Raj Subramaniam and Michael Foster, and The Boston Consulting Group’s Ralf Dreischmeier discussed the transformative impact of IT on global commerce.

One focus of the discussion was small businesses and the role of IT in helping entrepreneurs overcome challenges and build their businesses abroad successfully.

“Information technology has been a great equalizer for businesses large and small,” said Mr Foster. Foster added, “Navigating complex customs requirements or managing global inventory is now much easier for small businesses. Information technology has greatly expanded opportunities, helping small businesses to find new markets and compete on a global scale.”

Michael Foster’s five IT tips for small businesses looking to go global:

  1. Automate to accelerate – Automate as many shipping processes as possible, especially cross border shipments so that you can ensure that they are accurately addressed and contain the right customs paperwork for easy clearance.
  2. Get clear on customs – Quickly navigate complex customs requirements and gain market entry by using automated tools which are especially designed to ensure that your customs paperwork is transmitted directly to your logistics provider for rapid processing.
  3. Small inventory, speedy delivery – Easily integrate your shipping processes with web based automated platforms and a global transportation network to help lower your inventory carrying costs.  There are simple desktop tools on the market that can help you to monitor shipments throughout their lifecycle.
  4. Go local – go mobile! – Leverage growth in mobile connectivity and m-commerce to quickly launch mobile apps that are configured to meet local market expectations as you expand your business across borders.
  5. Smart data instead of ‘big data’ – Collecting as many data points as you can to manage and monitor your supply chain is important.  But don’t just collect the data, understanding the data and using it to provide visibility of key events to business partners and customers is what’s most important.

 

About Michael Foster

Michael Foster is the Vice President of Information Technology for FedEx Express in Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa. He is responsible for developing and managing all internal and external technology for the EMEA division.