Sergio Retamal, Founder & CEO
The global logistics landscape is undergoing a drastic transformation today, fueled largely by the “Amazon effect,” where customers demand services and products to be delivered to them in the shortest possible time. This demand opens up a treasure trove of possibilities as well as challenges for manufacturers. Traditionally, a manufacturer had one to three global legal entities that allowed them to conduct business in countries of their interest. Many of them were dependent on value added resellers (VARs) who managed their operations in other countries by acting as a liaison between end customers and manufacturers.
This time-tested sales channel model is no longer effective, especially with the emergence of cloud computing. For example, consider a Fortune 1000 company that purchases a security appliance for global use. They expect to interface with one entity, which is the appliance manufacturer, and not many of the different VARs that are region dependent. The security appliance company must then be able to fulfill this order around the globe, often shipping not to an OEM’s facility, but to a colocation data center. These shifts in customer practices are creating a perfect storm that requires an economical way to deliver product globally without channel support. International trade is ripe with opportunities for those who can nail down the logistics of moving a product from an overseas location to a destination in a predictable, compliant, and cost-effective way.
Enter Global4PL, a company that has mastered the art of perfecting global supply chain and logistics demands through its services around importer/exporter of record (IOR/ EOR) and supply chains. “We enable our clients’ top-line growth strategy as they enter new markets, region by region, country by country,” says Sergio Retamal, founder and CEO of Global4PL. Having spent over two decades working with large corporations that have manufacturing in Asia and global distribution, Retamal has extensive expertise in the supply chain and procurement landscape. “I realized the scarcity of solutions to support global IOR as the regulations of imported goods continue to be regulated by most countries. This encouraged me to develop software that could support this operation, which eventually led to the creation of Global4PL and our proprietary POHorizon supply chain software,” says Retamal.
Headquartered in Milpitas, CA, Global4PL’s IOR-EOR services help clients operate in as many as 75 countries worldwide, without the need to create legal entities, customs brokerage, transportation management services, or trade law services.
We enable our clients’ top-line growth strategy as they enter new markets, region by region, country by country
The company has legal entities to act as the importer for customs purposes at the time of import/export in every international market, without the burden and exposure of establishing new legal entities. Global4PL deploys on-site experts in import and export compliance and trade law, multi-mode transportation, and 3PL negotiations, and global supply chain operations management to help companies target international markets and maintain a high level of compliance. “Also, we design and deliver holistic, end-to-end supply chain solutions—including differentiated supply chain delivery models tailored to our clients’ true needs—and a fully transparent and sales and operations aligned planning process,” says Retamal.
Redefining the Global Supply Chain
Per Retamal, a typical Global4PL client is either a customer that requires equipment for data centers in multiple countries or a fast-growing, high-tech company that seeks to set up international operations. In case these companies want to expand in global markets, they are imposed with a 110 percent duty and tax on imports. “Our dedicated team of experts is well accustomed to the source/destination country rules and acts as an agent to administrate import/export activities,” states Retamal. These experts also guide clients in duties associated with the temporary import license, which is subjected to specific conditions stipulated in the customs legislation.
As a client’s in-country legal entity, Global4PL can support sales and customer service departments with pre-sale marketing material and demo product shipments. They also assist clients to have an auxiliary inventory at its end customer sites to support quick turn repairs. “We always initiate our service by completely assessing the client’s inbound and outbound distribution, warehousing, and reverse logistics functions, both domestically and internationally,” says Retamal.
While helping clients establish their business beyond geographical boundaries, Global4PL also addresses the requisites of global supply chain visibility, traceability, document creation, and records retention. This service innovation is POHorizon, Global4PL’s proprietary online/ cloud shipment and document visibility tool. POHorizon is plug and play, providing an immediate functional means of comprehensive global Import/Export document management, including document creation, on-demand revision updates, immediate global sharing and finally, a viable means of satisfying compliance records retention throughout the organization. POHorizon further empowers clients to monitor supply chain processes that encompass their movement of goods and services—from storage of raw materials to quantity and location of inventory and finished goods from point of origin to consumption—ensuring that they exceed customer expectations.
A Customer-Driven Workforce
Retamal has developed a customer-driven workforce within Global4PL, a key factor that is powering their success. They go the extra mile to keep their customers happy by being part of their logistics journey and helping them grow and become more competitive. “We bring our hands-on experience to care for every need of our clients. Our customized approach is the one that makes the difference,” asserts Retamal. “One of my proudest moments was when we were invited to participate in a company’s ‘top vendors’ award event. A few people asked what I was doing there since it was for vendors and not employees. We had been there for four years in-house, and I had to explain that we were contractors.”
This approach has helped Global4PL establish itself as a highly dependable and trusted partner for Fortune 5000 manufacturers, importers, and retailers. The company works with several IT hardware manufacturers to deliver their products globally in an economical way, coordinating all activities in alignment with specific compliance regulations. In one instance, the firm engaged with a large telecommunication manufacturer, helping them overcome their operational deficiencies. By leveraging POHorizon, the client was able to monitor shipments and costs across the supply chain, while optimizing collaboration across the key players—both inside and outside the supply chain network. “Global4PL was pivotal in modifying their supply chain footprint and strategies to improve their global efficiency. Meeting with local government officials and their contract manufacturers—and conducting packaging redesign, among other initiatives—resulted in as much as 53 percent overall costs savings while expanding their product offering from 5 countries to over 75 countries directly,” adds Retamal.
“Our dedicated team of experts is well accustomed to the source/destination country rules and act as an agent to administrate import/export activities”
The Road Ahead
A person who has achieved several professional awards over the course of his career and entrepreneurship, Retamal believes that to be a successful 4PL, both strategic and tactical know-how is necessary, but efficiency is paramount. “At Global4PL, we give best-in-class logistics experience to our global customers, underpinned by supply chain efficiencies,” affirms Retamal. “We don’t just recommend solutions; we implement practical solutions. We are providing cost savings and optimization solutions that save money and give companies a competitive advantage.”
In the next five years, Global4PL plans to take the number of countries they serve from 75 to 120. “Our mission has always been to optimize a customer’s supply chain and bring a positive effect on their bottom line,” says Retamal. With a growing number of clients for their IOR services, including large corporations that see the risk of importing into other countries, Global4PL is keeping up with the latest regulations worldwide. “We solve these issues by being more efficient and proactive, which means that we provide them surprising growth in an unfriendly business environment,” states Retamal.