Consider this. International aspects of security technology deals are on the rise in a climate of international uncertainty. Such a scenario means it is essential to understand the ins and outs of export and import controls the world over. After all, business success is not just measured by sales; it’s about the smooth and successful delivery of complex projects where the right goods arrive in the right place at the right time and with no added costs. Paul Kaye leads Exclusive Networks’ project delivery team and is well versed in the legalities and peculiarities, of international trade.
The project delivery team at Exclusive Networks, along with the vendor and account management teams, partners with partners to ensure that international aspects of won business are fully considered at the outset and present no surprises when the project roll-out phase commences. “Obviously if something is going overseas then it’s not just a case of handing off to shippers. If everything is to run like clockwork you have to retain control of the process” explains Paul. The team need to work with and understand all the necessary export controls and as Paul points out if something is being exported then it is being imported somewhere, so an intimate understanding of all relevant import controls is a must too. “When you are dealing with vendor and government export controls the last thing you want is an element of surprise. You eliminate it at the first hurdle and that is not when business is won, it is right up front, working with partners to establish any international requirements, setting expectations and facilitating this within the constraints of the legal and cultural environment of the destinations concerned.” One example given was with a bank that was undertaking a major security upgrade globally needing firewalls delivered to destinations, including West Africa, over Christmas to be on-site early January. “The tight timescales on this meant that unless you knew what the various import licences were needed in places like Gabon, Burkino Faso, Ivory Coast and Mali at the outset then the project would likely fall down during roll-out. Overlay the anticipated cultural difficulties in many places, in other words avoiding the lottery of customs clearance and all that may entail and the impact on global switch-on and ultimately security could have been serious. It is this knowledge and working with trusted partners that ensured all was plugged in and tested in time and in the right place.”
STAY IN CONTROL
The element of trust is at the heart of international trade and distribution. The complex lattice of controls, licences and regulations means that maintaining control is the only way to eliminate ‘the lottery’. “Anyone can hand goods over to a shipper on a promised schedule, however, do that and all you can then do is cross your fingers. You won’t know who is dealing with your shipments, it’s likely many ‘anonymous’ people share responsibility down the chain as goods proceed across borders, and most will have no first-hand experience of likely difficulties that a destination will present. The ability to ask the right questions in advance, pre-empt the element of surprise, is invaluable to customers. After all, if the customs officer is in bed in, say India, who knows how and where to escalate this to so smooth passage is ensured? To keep on top of projects means you need to keep control of all aspects.” Helping partners keep control of their customers business, means the project delivery team’s services range from standard worldwide distribution right up to full IOR (Importer of Record). “Part of the reason why the team is so heavily involved is because many organisations have only a satellite presence in overseas territories, with no local import understanding or expertise. This is increasingly the case with shipments to datacentres for example.”
FIGHTER JETS TO FIREWALLS
This expertise adds real value to partners who are bidding for business with an international element and expertise comes largely from experience, something Paul has, literally, by the truckload. “Funny thing is I got into global logistics and operations largely by chance. At school I said I wanted to travel so they sent me to the ferry port at Portsmouth” he chuckled, “however, one thing led to another and I spent many, many years travelling the globe accompanied by a crazy assortment of goods and materials thanks to my role in exhibition logistics. I’ve literally crossed hundreds of borders in the company of everything from craft fair materials to guns to military jets.” Military jets? “We worked with BAE and one of my projects was to take a fully mocked up, crated, Eurofighter, with working electronics, to Langkawi in Malaysia and then onto a fair in the US, all aboard a chartered Russian Antonov freightlifter. That was, let’s say ‘interesting’, although it wasn’t as tricky as it could have been as the mock missiles went under separate cover.” All in a day’s work it seems. Since such heady days Paul has spent considerable time in global operations with microchips and consumer goods businesses.
Such personal experience and expertise is the essence of the value Paul and the project team bring to partners. As Paul puts it “knowing the red flags is one thing, knowing how to overcome them is the value we bring to partners as they look to secure international business with their customers. If it’s legal to export to a destination then my motto is “if in doubt ask” as I’ve never not had anything delivered, anywhere, outside of expectation”. For partners with international distribution needs then it is plain to see that shipments of cyber security solutions are in safe hands with the Exclusive Networks project delivery team. Any questions about international shipments? Call Paul, as it pays to ask.