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August 4, 2021

Selling the C-Suite: How Trade Compliance Communicates its Value to the Broader Company

Hannah Van Pay | Marketing and Communications Student Assistant

Slide from July 13 event. Selling the C-Suite. How to communicate trade compliance value to the broader companyLearning how to communicate the strategic value of your trade compliance group with executives at your organization is a unique and complicated task to undertake. In the July 13th Trade Compliance Special Interest Group Web Meeting, we discussed ways to ease this task using leadership sponsors, clear communication, and quantifiable metrics, all to emphasize the importance of trade compliance.

Focusing on the most important elements for success, Mike Heindselman (Senior Director of Global Logistics, ORBIS Corporation) brought innovative approaches to discuss C-Suite communication. Betsy Guzior (Manager of Trade Compliance, Greenheck) shared a current case study for an upcoming funding request, seeking input from other members prior to her leadership presentation. In response, a member feedback panel consisting of Julie Pojar (Kohler Co.), Mark Stiffler (Sub-Zero Group, Inc.), Shannon Bryant (Harley-Davidson, Inc.), and Mike Heindselman, shared their insights and advice from years of having worked on similar trade compliance efforts.

One of the biggest takeaways from this session is that there is no compliance without one simple thing: teamwork. According to Heindselman, the most important elements to team success are selecting the right person to lead change, maintaining open lines of communication, ongoing education, and the 3 P’s (policies, procedures and process). But the bottom line is that none of these are possible without the right team of employees.

Guzior shared their approach to C-Suite communication, as well as the request for funding of free trade agreement software. “When it comes to a funding request, we often use the 3-prong strategy” Guzior went on to explain each prong: risk avoidance (the risk of non-compliance), automation benefits (to reduce labor hours and increase accuracy) and the return on investment (ROI).

Between the two presentations and the panel discussion, a diverse set of tactics were discussed. Through it all, major parallels were found between each speaker and panel member. When it comes to making compliance relevant to the decision-makers, consensus was that it’s a huge part of corporate and community responsibility, simplicity of message is key, and good partnerships with sales and procurement teams can speed up the supply chain and lead to happy customers.

Trade compliance helps companies save money and maintain ethical standards; learning to communicate its never-ending value will only help your organization.

View the full meeting video and presentations here (member sign-on is required).

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