The smart companies are looking to niche savings

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In the highly competitive FMCG market, companies are looking at every possible way to drive down cost, maximise efficiency and ultimately profit. Whereas most look in the usual places such as costs of freight, labour, plant, raw materialsonly the really smart ones go a bit more "left-field".

At first glance, customs warehousing may seem a remote and unattractive way of delivering valuable profit but companies who look beyond the seemingly endless procedures involved can find that the road less travelled can often lead to the buried treasure. On a daily basis I am talking to sceptical key personnel at FMCG companies who see the words "bond" or "customs" as more or less the exclusive preserve of the beers, wines and spirits industry. This is simply not true. At RedPrairie, we have seen a considerable upturn in enquiries from companies that deal in anything but. For FMCG companies the rewards are just as significant.

The basis behind opening a Customs Warehouse means that you can maximise the time between importing your goods from outside the EU into the UK and actually paying the Duty and VAT on the goods. This can be anything from six weeks upwardsespecially if a company of importing large consignments of goods to satisfy orders for the next few months. The simple fact is that until the goods leave the warehouse the Duty and VAT is not payable to HM Customs & Excise and even thennot until the 15th of the following month. You have the added advantages of lower third-party costs as you manage your own goods, and faster clearance at the port, as well electronically clearing the goods from your own premises. At RedPrairie, we specialise in helping companies assess the economic viability of such a venture and providing systems to control the Customs Warehouse and manage all the HM Customs procedures. Why don't you look to work smarter!

Nick Love is RedPrairie's Business Development Manager for the Duty Management division of the company. Previously with Online Duty Management before it became part of RedPrairie, Nick has 7 years experience selling within the Logistics and Duty Management market.

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