If you’re looking for the most secure, efficient, and compliant ABI solution on the market, contact ACELYNK today.

 

ACE has been the backbone to CBP’s trade initiatives and the single portal of communication for quite some time. If you haven’t solidified your ABI vendor, its time to start making those decisions. ACELYNK has provided some helpful information regarding what to look for to help ensure you choose the right ABI Software.

 

Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself are as follows:

 

  1. How often will our organization need access to our ABI platform?
  2. Which kinds of features will our organization need access to?
  3. Are we simply filing customs entries and transactions or will we need access to additional modules such as warehouse management tools?
  4. How many transactions/shipments do we clear and how many users do we have?
  5. What kind of support will we need?

 

1. Lets start off with, “How often will our organization need access to our ABI platform?”

 

If you own and operate a smaller customs brokerage firm, you may not need to access your ABI solution from any device, at anytime. Installing your ABI Vendor’s software on a single machine located in your office might be an option. However, if you prefer no software/hardware installation then Web Based technology would be the route you want to take. A Cloud based solution that enables users to access their customs filing dashboard from any device at anytime will eliminate the hassle of software/hardware installations, and give you more freedom and control over your entries.

 

2. “Which kinds of features will our organization need access to?”

 

If your company plans on clearing shipments that bring in a lot of produce, emission producing machinery, wood, cosmetics, plants, etc., then you’ll want to make sure your ABI provider is certified with all PGA submission types. If your company needs Drawback, Reconciliation, AES, eManifest, InBond, Entry/Release, or an ISF solution, then make sure the ABI vendor can accommodate with all required filing types. Always confirm your ABI Software provider is certified to submit PGA data for all current and potential governmental agencies on board with ACE.

 

3. “Are we simply filing customs entries and transactions or will we need access to additional modules such as warehouse management tools?”

 

Many software providers provide several kinds of solutions for customs brokers, self-filing importers, and freight forwarders alike. Make sure you understand which kind of solution you need. If you plan on filing e214 (FTZ) transactions, make sure you look at an ABI vendor that provides warehouse management for your inventory. If you need visualized tracking of your shipments, make sure the ABI vendor can accommodate accordingly. If you need a billing module or the ability to pay statements, don’t choose an ABI vendor that can’t accommodate or you’ll end up spending more money on multiple vendors.

 

4. “How many transactions/shipments do we clear and how many users do we have?”
 
If your organization is clearing under 500 shipments per month, you may want to consider selecting an ABI vendor with a transactional based pricing structure. Some ABI software vendors also charge per user so if you have more than 3-10 users, it might be a good idea to ask if it will cost more for additional users. If your organization clears more than 500 shipments per month, it might be a good idea to ask for a tiered pricing structure to help reduce cost. Pricing is a major concern for most organizations so make sure you understand your operations and make an informed decision accordingly.

 

5. “What kind of support will we need?”

 

There are several ABI vendors available that provide all different levels of support. Be sure to look at your company internally to determine what kind of support works best for you. Are you going to need consulting for entry filing or would the type of support you need be more related to, “I know the information, just tell me where to enter it into your software.” Every ABI Software is different, so you want to make sure your ABI vendor provides hands on training and an easy to access User Manual to help you learn the ins and outs of the platform. Be sure to ask about the support provided before choosing an ABI vendor and confirm that it aligns with your business needs.

 

In summary, be sure to ask yourself the right questions. If you need help identifying which questions to ask, don’t hesitate to reach out to an ACELYNK representative. We would be happy to share our knowledge to help you make the right decision. This is a decision that you hopefully only have to make once, so an informed decision is crucial to making that happen.