Just a few months ago, Britain was facing a pivotal moment: the official exit from the European Union.
It is hard to imagine now that our focus would shift to a global mindset, rather than on one continent alone. As the whole world struggles to adjust to economic downfall, why is this not the time to forgo the very foundations of international trade?
Michel Vachon is CEO at OCR International. The company, which offers trade compliance solutions for importers and exporters around the world, has noted a considerable shift in attitude and behaviours over the last four years.
“Now we’re going to see an even faster shift in thinking,” warns Michel.
“Indeed, there are parallels between Brexit and the current crisis, with a shift from multilateralism towards bilateralism,” Michel notes.
“First we had Brexit favouring protectionism in terms of trade. Now we’re seeing increased tensions with China, as well as the additional stress of safely distributing crucial PPE”Michel Vachon, OCR International
OCR now wants to use this as an opportunity to reinforce the importance of compliance, particularly as more countries reach out for help from international suppliers.
“In today’s world of complex trade regulations, not to mention a labyrinth of processes unique to each country, exporting can be a headache.”
“We need to ensure we’re all using the right trade management tools to avoid logistical failures, severe penalties and heavy fines.”
OCR’s suite of compliance management tools helps companies stick to the rules using automation software.
Should People Fear Automation?
“While automation may conjure up images of futuristic, machine-led worlds to some, the reality is very different,” Michel continues.
“People aren’t threatened so much by technology as they are its effects on employment. However, smart employers will promote technology transfer through training and education.”
Technology’s Role in Compliance
As we move towards a more global outlook on trade, Michel notes the effectiveness of good compliance software.
“Compliance is not only important, it is mandatory.”
OCR’s solutions are categorised into five key business areas:
- Licence and permit
- ID and resource centres
Among their key products is their integrated Watch List system, which flags any offenders from lists provided by Interpol, Scotland Yard, CIA, FBI and OFAC.
“Our solutions help people to remain in full compliance with the law, sticking to the KYC business principle – know your customers.”
The Future of Exporting?
With more changes on the horizon, Michel now looks forward to launching a number of online products including the EASE global trade module, as well as ORACLE and SAP integrated cloud applications and platform services.
“As trade becomes trickier than ever with cross-border regulations, we firmly believe that tech is the best way forward to getting through this crisis,” Michel concludes.