Written by Jackson Wood, Director, Industry Solutions, Trade Compliance, Descartes Systems Group

Financial analysis of the factors that shape the cost and value of global trade content

Global Trade Content plays a crucial role in the complex world of international trade. It encompasses a vast array of data related to trade regulations, tariffs, duties, customs processes, and trade agreements from various countries and regions. As businesses engage in cross-border transactions and strive for compliance and operational efficiency, the availability of accurate and up-to-date trade content becomes paramount. However, understanding how much global trade content will cost is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it depends on several factors that determine the overall investment required.

Key Takeaways

  • As international trade becomes more complex and the regulatory environment more dynamic, access to accurate and up-to-date global trade content has developed into a crucial part of global trade management.
  • The pricing for global trade content varies widely, determining the final cost is a multi-faceted process shaped by key factors such as the breadth of data to be covered, the level of detail, the regional regulatory complexity, the frequency of updates, customization and integration, the geographic coverage, payment model, amongst others.
  • To derive the most value out of global trade management systems, businesses must carefully assess their specific needs and consider the trade content provider’s offerings.
  • The allocation of financial resources and ownership for funding global trade content services can be earmarked from several interrelated business budget categories such as trade and regulatory compliance, trade management, international operations, global supply chain and the IT budget.

In this article, we will explore the key variables that influence the pricing of global trade content and how businesses can make informed and cost-effective decisions for their specific needs – including which corporate budget should cover the investment – to ensure they get the right content for their trade management needs.

Data Coverage and Breadth

One of the primary factors influencing the pricing of global trade content is the breadth of data coverage. Providers often offer varying packages with different levels of data coverage, catering to diverse customer needs. Comprehensive trade content that spans numerous countries, regions, and trade agreements requires extensive resources to acquire, verify, and maintain the data. Consequently, such content often comes with a higher price tag.

Depth of Information

The level of detail provided by the global trade content is another vital aspect that impacts pricing. In-depth information may include intricate product classifications, regulatory nuances, preferential trade agreements, and specific compliance requirements for various industries. The more comprehensive the content, the more valuable it becomes to businesses navigating complex trade landscapes. However, this depth of data comes with a corresponding increase in pricing.

Regulatory Complexity

Global trade regulations and compliance requirements vary significantly from one country to another. The complexity of these regulations affects the efforts required to track, interpret, and update the content regularly. As trade compliance becomes more intricate and frequent updates are needed, the cost of global trade content is likely to rise to reflect the added investment in resources.

Frequency of Updates

In the ever-changing global trade landscape, the timeliness of information is crucial for businesses to remain compliant and make informed decisions. Trade content providers that offer real-time or frequent updates invest in continuous monitoring and rapid data updates. The higher frequency of updates can impact the pricing, ensuring that customers have access to the latest and most accurate information.

Geographic Coverage

The number of countries and regions covered by the global trade content plays a significant role in pricing. Content that encompasses a broader global reach may be more expensive than region-specific or country-specific data. Businesses must evaluate their geographic reach and trade operations to determine the scope of coverage required.

Data Quality and Accuracy

The reliability and accuracy of the trade content are paramount for businesses seeking to comply with trade regulations and avoid costly errors. Ensuring data quality involves extensive research, validation processes, and data quality controls, all of which contribute to the overall cost of providing high-quality content.

Value-Added Services

Global trade content providers often bundle value-added services with their offerings. These services may include trade compliance tools, analytics, consulting, or customer support. While these services can provide significant value to businesses, they can also influence the pricing structure.

Customization and Integration

Every business has unique trade management requirements based on their industry, trade activities, and existing systems. Content providers may offer customization options or integration services to tailor the global trade content to the specific needs of the customer. However, such customization and integration efforts can lead to variations in pricing.

Data Volume and Usage

For businesses with high data consumption or extensive trade operations, the volume of data accessed and consumed can influence pricing. Some providers offer volume-based pricing models to cater to such high-demand customers.

Subscription Model vs. One-time Purchase

Global trade content pricing may follow a subscription-based model, where customers pay recurring fees for access, or a one-time purchase model, where a fixed fee grants access for a specific period. The pricing structure can vary significantly depending on the provider’s approach.

Determining the cost of global trade content is a multi-faceted process that takes into account various factors influencing the volume and quality of the information provided. From data coverage and depth to regulatory complexity and value-added services, businesses must carefully assess their specific needs and consider the trade content provider’s offerings to make informed decisions.

Which corporate budget should support your investment in global trade content?

Funds for global trade content should ideally come from the budget allocated for trade management, compliance, and international operations. Global trade content is an essential resource for businesses engaged in cross-border trade, as it provides critical and up-to-date information on trade regulations, tariffs, duties, and compliance requirements. Allocating funds for global trade content from the appropriate budget ensures that businesses have access to accurate and up-to-date trade-related data, which is crucial for ensuring compliance and optimizing trade operations.

Here are some budget categories from which funds for global trade content can be sourced:

Trade Compliance Budget: Many businesses have a specific budget allocated for trade compliance activities. This budget covers expenses related to compliance software, consulting services, and resources to ensure adherence to trade regulations. Funds from this budget can be allocated to acquire global trade content, which is fundamental to maintaining compliance.

Trade Management Budget: Trade management involves various processes related to import/export operations, customs clearance, and logistics. This budget often includes expenditures for trade management software and services. Part of this budget can be earmarked for procuring global trade content, as it directly supports trade management functions. Read more about why global trade management software and global trade content are separate yet interconnected functions.

International Operations Budget: Companies with significant international operations may have a separate budget to manage expenses related to conducting business across borders. This budget can include expenses for trade-related services and information resources, such as global trade content.

Global Supply Chain Budget: For businesses with complex global supply chains, there is often a dedicated budget to manage supply chain activities. Allocating a portion of this budget for global trade content can be beneficial, as it contributes to enhancing supply chain visibility and compliance.

Regulatory Compliance Budget: In some organizations, there may be a specific budget allocated for regulatory compliance initiatives. Since global trade content is a vital tool for trade compliance, funding from this budget can be utilized for acquiring such content.

IT Budget: Depending on the integration and implementation requirements of global trade content, a portion of the IT budget may be allocated to support the acquisition and integration of the content with existing systems.

Ultimately, the decision regarding which budget to use for funding global trade content will depend on the organization’s internal financial structure and priorities. It is essential for businesses to recognize the value of accurate and up-to-date trade-related data and allocate appropriate funds to ensure the availability of reliable global trade content that supports trade compliance and enhances international trade operations.

Get the Most Value for Your Trade Management Activities with Accurate Global Trade Content from Descartes

With timely, accurate, and high-quality global trade content, you can more effectively minimize regulatory compliance risks, increase supply chain velocity, reduce cost, and boost operational efficiency through your Global Trade Management system.

Descartes is an industry leader in trade intelligence, and a strategic enabler for global trade compliance companies. We help ensure that customers have access to the most accurate and up-to-date global trade management content. The information is engineered in a way that produces output customers can rely on to add value to their business.

Our solutions can add value to a wide range of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems including SAP and Oracle, as well as cover integrated denied party screening including customized content such as sanctioned ownership screening, adverse media coverage and PEPs.

Request a demo by contacting our global trade content specialist today