How to select the best IT solution for EUDR compliance

Five aspects that you need to consider

The recent EU Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) has brought turmoil across global supply chains, but also new business opportunities for IT providers. EUDR is a complex legislation that requires companies to install a due diligence system, which is used to collect and store large sets of data, conduct risk assessments and define and document risk mitigation measures where needed. Such complexity asks for a scalable digital solution.

The industry is booming with new companies offering EUDR compliance services popping up like mushrooms after a rain, each of them building on their technical capabilities and expertise in the affected industries. But among such variety, one can find themselves a bit lost. Let’s see together which criteria to consider when you are challenged with the task of choosing the best solution provider for EUDR compliance.

1. Compare Your Requirements Against the Offered Services

Before committing to an IT solution provider, you should thoroughly compare your specific requirements against the services they offer. In EUDR, an end-to-end solution provides you with a complete range of services such as training on the tool and the compliance regulations, suppliers’ onboarding, and data collection – which can also involve chasing the suppliers to retrieve the necessary documents and support in retrieving the geolocation data – risk assessments, reporting, recommendations for risk mitigation, creation of the due diligence statement, and communication with authority as an authorised representative.

You should identify any gaps and determine if the provider can meet your expectations effectively, also in terms of scalability, security, user support, and any unique functionalities that your operations require. A provider that aligns well with your requirements is more likely to deliver value and support your business growth, which avoids the risk of having to change your solution partner which could be very costly and time consuming.

In addition to the right fit, it is important to consider the completeness of the overall offering. The risk is to pay for a solution that does not entirely satisfy your compliance needs, which will force you to pay for a complementary provider, driving up your expenditures. For instance, if a provider offers you a platform purely for data collection, including geolocation applications and access to satellite imagery, you would still need to conduct the risk assessment and due diligence phases, which would then need to be addressed with the help of another provider or specialised internal resources.

2. System Quality

Usability and intuitiveness

The usability and intuitiveness of an IT solution play a significant role in its effectiveness and adoption within your organisation. A user-friendly design ensures that employees can quickly learn and efficiently navigate the system, reducing the need for extensive training and minimising resistance to change.

A solution that is easy to use encourages widespread adoption and ensures that your investment delivers the desired results efficiently. Intuitive interfaces, clear navigation, and accessible features help users to perform their tasks with ease, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Additionally, a well-designed tool can reduce errors and improve data accuracy, as users are less likely to make mistakes when the system is straightforward and logical.

Multi-Compliance

The ability to use a single system to comply with various regulations is an essential feature for any IT solution, particularly in complex industries like supply chain management. Regulatory requirements such as EUTR, EUDR, CS3D, and the Supply Chain Act can be intricate and frequently updated, posing a significant challenge for organisations.

A unified system that supports compliance with multiple regulatory standards simplifies this complexity by centralising and automating compliance processes. This ensures that all necessary documentation, reporting, and auditing requirements are met efficiently and consistently.

Moreover, it reduces the risk of non-compliance, which can lead to costly fines and damage to the company’s reputation. By consolidating regulatory compliance into a single system, businesses can streamline operations, reduce administrative burdens, and ensure they remain compliant with all relevant regulations, thereby protecting their interests and fostering trust with stakeholders.

High Level of Customisation

The high level of customisation offered by an IT solution is crucial because it allows the system to be tailored to the specific needs of different companies. No two businesses operate in exactly the same way; each has its unique processes, priorities, and challenges. Customisation ensures that the IT solution can adapt to these variances, providing features and functionalities that align with the company’s specific requirements.

Moreover, a highly customisable system can evolve with the company, accommodating new processes, regulatory changes, and growth initiatives without the need for significant re-investment. By prioritising customisation, businesses can ensure that their IT solutions provide maximum value and support long-term strategic objectives.

Availability of Smart Automation and Pre-Designed Templates

Incorporating advanced automation tools and pre-designed templates within an IT solution increases efficiency and ease of use by reducing manual intervention and streamlining processes. For example, automation can be used in data entry, report generation, and compliance monitoring, ensuring that these tasks are completed accurately and in a timely manner.

On the other hand, the templates provide a ready-made framework for users to accomplish their tasks without error. This feature is particularly beneficial in ensuring consistency across the organisation, as templates can enforce standard formats and workflows. Furthermore, pre-designed templates can be customised to fit specific needs, balancing the benefits of a standardised approach with the flexibility to meet unique business requirements.

3. Technology & Integration with your IT Systems

When selecting the best IT solution provider, it’s crucial to consider how well the technology integrates with your current IT system. Today, many providers offer Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud-based solutions, both of which come with significant advantages in terms of management and customisation. The real benefit, however, lies in how these solutions can be integrated with your existing IT infrastructure. Seamless integration can lead to improved efficiency, reduced operational disruption, and enhanced data flow across your systems.

EU operators have already invested heavily in their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems that caters for the way they each individually need to behave for their respective businesses and industries. This isn’t just data collection, but specific business logic, triggers and workflow processes needed to seamlessly choreograph day to day commercial activities. However, ERP solutions can be frustratingly slow to keep up with fast moving, complex, legislative business change.

For comparing the suitability of EUDR providers for ERP integration, the following aspects should be considered:

  • Interoperability: Integrate relevant industry standards for cross-access between different applications, platforms, and architectures.
  • Flexibility: Easy data exchange formats to cater for system specific requirements, such as XML and/or JSON.
  • Speed of implementation: Existing standard web methods and readily available developer knowledge and tooling simplify and accelerate real-time data synchronisation and workflows.
  • Cost efficiency: Easy to develop, easy to maintain, easy to extend capabilities, all attributes that reduce cost.

What if you already have a due diligence system?

On top of this, an often-overlooked aspect of selecting an IT solution provider is how well their systems promote synergies with your existing due diligence processes. Effective due diligence involves thorough evaluation and risk assessment, and your IT provider should enhance rather than complicate this process.

Ensure that the provider’s solutions integrate smoothly with your current compliance, monitoring, and reporting tools, to avoid double activities that boost inefficiencies and confusion among stakeholders.

This alignment will not only streamline your due diligence activities but also ensure that you maintain high standards of regulatory compliance and risk management. An IT provider that supports and strengthens your due diligence systems can contribute significantly to your overall business integrity and operational efficiency.

4. Price

Price is a critical factor when selecting an IT solution provider. It’s important to favour providers that offer simple and flexible pricing plans tailored to your specific needs. Transparent pricing structures help you understand what you are paying for and avoid unexpected costs.

Additionally, consider any potential extra costs for additional services, such as maintenance, support, upgrades or customisations. A cost-effective provider should offer clear pricing that aligns with your budget constraints while providing the flexibility to scale services as your business grows.

You should steer away from providers that bundle unnecessary services together or offer rigid, long-term contracts that allow limited room for scalability or adjustments. Understanding the real value of what an IT solution provider offers is crucial. For example, if the provider is also offering an application for geolocation data, it’s important to evaluate why you would choose a paid service over free options available in the market. Consider what additional benefits or features the paid service brings you, such as enhanced accuracy, better user support, advanced analytics, or integration capabilities that free options might lack.

Completeness of the offering is also relevant in this context. It is important to note that the EUDR establishes legal requirements that must be met without exception. If the selected provider cannot fully address all these requirements, you will inevitably face additional costs to achieve full compliance, whether by sourcing the necessary services externally or handling them internally.

5. Culture Fit

The cultural fit between your organisation and the IT solution provider is another important factor to consider. A provider whose values, communication style, and customer service philosophy align with your company culture is more likely to foster a productive and collaborative relationship.

This cultural alignment can enhance mutual understanding, streamline project management, and lead to more effective problem-solving. Evaluate the provider’s approach to customer service, responsiveness, and commitment to understanding your business challenges. A strong cultural fit can lead to a smoother implementation process and a more satisfying long-term partnership.

Do you have questions?

We are here for you!

If you need help to understand the EU Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) and implementing a compliance solution, drop us a message and we will offer you a free demo where we can answer your questions and resolve your doubts.

info@global-traceability.com

6. GTS Compliance Solution: RADIX Tree

GTS Global Traceability Solutions helps companies comply with the EUDR through its digital platform, RADIX Tree. This platform has been upgraded to the latest SAP HANA technology. In addition, it has been continuously improved with new features and built-in automation, making it easier for companies to comply with latest supply chain regulations such as the EUDR.

Technology

RADIX Tree is not designed to replace the past investment in ERP systems or replicate the functions available in your ERP but has been purpose-built to complement it. RADIX Tree’s goal is to bridge the gap between ERP and the very specialised EUDR cycles of data collection, evaluation, and risk assessment requirements that the new legislation begins to demand from organisations in order to import, export and trade within Europe.

It is by encompassing RADIX Tree, where the lifecycle of risk assessments can be adapted and seamlessly integrated with ERP through REST (Representational State Transfer) APIs, made available as part of the GTS product offering. Availability and access to the APIs are purposely configurable within RADIX Tree for each account. This includes access security even for different integration partners, methods and triggers that already operate within your specific ERP systems.

In summary, using REST APIs to integrate ERP systems with EUDR web applications such as RADIX Tree offers a standard, scalable, secure, and cost-effective approach that enhances interoperability, performance, and innovation.

Price-to-Quality Ratio

RADIX Tree has been developed with the aim to offer a comprehensive set of services to support you from start to finish, providing an excellent price-to-quality ratio. The product boasts a usable, easy-to-use, intuitive interface, ensuring that users can quickly adapt and efficiently navigate the system without extensive training.

Its multi-compliance capability allows businesses to adhere to various regulatory standards with a single solution, simplifying compliance management and reducing the need for multiple systems. The high level of customisation ensures that RADIX Tree can be tailored to meet the unique needs of different organisations, enhancing its relevance and effectiveness.

Additionally, the availability of smart automation tools and pre-designed templates streamlines operations, minimizes manual tasks and maintains consistency across the board. By integrating these features, RADIX Tree delivers exceptional value, balancing cost with a high-quality, versatile, and user-friendly solution.

Philosophy

At GTS, our philosophy is centred around providing comprehensive support to our customers throughout all stages of compliance. We understand the complexities involved in regulatory adherence and ensure that our clients are never left to navigate these challenges alone.

Our approach is not limited to offering a robust tool, but we also provide expert advice to help you use the solution to its fullest potential and accomplish EUDR compliance in the smartest way. From the initial planning stages to full implementation, we prioritize meeting customer needs at every step of the way.

We offer thorough training and onboarding to kick off projects smoothly, ensuring that users are well-equipped to use our solutions effectively. At GTS, exceptional customer service is our top priority, and we are committed to delivering continuous support and assistance to ensure your success.

dashboard of radix tree eudr solution, with two more windows as example