There are a few factors to consider when weighing the pros and cons of Batch Processing. Let’s outline the disadvantages of having a Global Trade Management (GTM) system fed by batch data from the ERP.
Key disadvantages of a batch processing model vs real time data integration:
- Business impact of compliance blocks (such as SPL screening blocks, license blocks, blocks for missing information) are amplified with batch processing. For example, if an order has multiple issues – SPL block, missing data, etc., each block may need to wait until the next batch was processed in order to be cleared. Each issue would put the order back into the next batch. In an integrated system, such as GTS, multiple blocks can be addressed immediately, and orders cleared quickly. Batch processing of multiple blocks could take at a minimum several hours or even days, to clear orders. This is especially important if a large order volume is processed.
- Changes to Information regarding orders is delayed by batch processing, increasing need for lead times if the user is changing quantity, mode of transport, forwarder, etc. in the ERP. This increases the risk that orders could be processed in the GTM system and sent to the broker/customs with inaccurate information.
- Batch processing makes it more likely that the business would miss transactional cutoffs. For example, sending documents, booking transportation, and filing entries. Many cutoffs happen early in the day, and delay means the transaction would wait until the next day. This is especially important with US-Canada and US-Mexico truck shipments. Even a few hours delay in data may cost an overnight stay at a border crossing for a truck shipment.
- With batch processing, users may be forced to viewing data in both systems in order to see the most current data, resulting in losing order processing efficiency.
- Depending on the order flow volume throughout the workday, batch processing may create bottlenecks when transaction levels spike. Users in the GTM system may not be able to efficiently process a large block of orders coming at once. A steadier volume of orders sent to the GTM as processed in the ERP provide more opportunities for efficient processing.
- Batch processing is more and more the exception in modern integrated systems. Investing in a system that perpetuates this increasingly outdated process may put the company at a disadvantage in relation to its competition.
- If the business is planning to use GTS interfaces (with customs, transportation service providers, brokers, Customers, Vendors) delay in data availability can have a negative effect on service levels.
- Import/export events happen in real-time, and often require proactive management of SLAs, operational productivity, and risk/compliance management. Providing late visibility of exceptions and issues introduces risk into the process.
- Batch processing gives decreased accuracy in processing metrics. Key processing KPI’s, such as time of order to export invoice will be impacted, and not show the actual time to process.
- The system may not be as trusted by users if it does not have up to date data, making change management more difficult. A system with real time data is much more likely to be used than one with stale data.