With 55 manufacturing and 60 distribution sites worldwide, it was not easy for Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD) to consistently comply with U.S. and local trade laws and regulations. The company also found it challenging to assure supply chain security and continuity and protect the medical technology company's reputation around the world, said Vice President, Global Supply Chain Larry P. Smith.
To help it address those concerns, the company purchased global trade management (GTM) software. BD is also using the software to better integrate acquired companies into its trade-compliance program, eliminate or reduce duty payments, maximize use of free trade agreements, develop customs-clearance metrics, and more accurately calculate total landed costs.
To ensure that it gets the most out of the technology, BD has embarked on a carefully planned software implementation by region, led by Director of Supply Chain Management, Asia-Pacific Warren Cohen. Smith and Cohen outlined this implementation plan during a presentation at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' Annual Global Conference.
The first step was to conduct an audit of existing processes, followed by benchmarking against other companies. BD then formed a GTM team that prepared a value-stream map for each region and developed new trade compliance processes. After selecting a software package, the team implemented formal trade-compliance training and a reporting structure for each region. The software itself is being rolled out in phases, starting with restricted-party screening.
Thanks in large part to the step-by-step implementation plan, the worldwide rollout has been successful so far, said Cohen. There have been challenges, including constraints on the resources needed to manage the huge amounts of data collected by the global platform and the need for continuous staff training. But the ability to ensure regulatory compliance, conduct landed-cost comparisons with multi-country sourcing scenarios, and reduce duty payments almost anywhere in the world gives BD a decided competitive advantage, Cohen said.