The FIATA digital strategy was launched seven months ago, with significant progress made since then, mostly due to key collaboration efforts with various international organizations and software providers. FIATA Senior Vice President Turgut Erkeskin provides an update on the work being carried out to develop value for members and the approaches taken to implement it.
Turgut Erkeskin: A collaborative approach has been taken to implement FIATA’s digital strategy. As a federation, FIATA respects its duty of neutrality by involving several international organizations and software providers in the various working groups. We’re willing to avoid the unnecessary duplication of work through this collaborative approach, ensuring that all past and current initiatives are taken into account to define the final solutions for each of the projects from the strategy. A thorough review of existing solutions and similar projects was carried out to evaluate whether FIATA could adopt or adapt existing solutions that would fit with our needs, and we’re striving to use established standards as much as possible, to ensure interoperability.
What is FIATA’s strategy with various service/software providers?
TE: We’ve opened up the working groups, set up to define the technical requirements of our projects, to all software providers interested in participating. We decided to integrate the various providers from the beginning, to understand their needs and ensure the solutions we define will be easily implementable. One of the digital strategy’s main goals is to facilitate the exchange of data through everyday tools used by our members.
Regarding the unauthorized distribution of our document by certain software providers, instead of seeking confrontation, we chose to ensure that they see value in implementing FIATA’s official solution in their system, and that they can always issue the latest version of the document.
FIATA recently started a collaboration deal with PayCargo; what’s the scope of this joint effort?
TE: PayCargo has become one of the market leaders in cargo payments, aiming at facilitating transactions between payers and vendors and helping to expedite the release of cargo. FIATA wanted to take advantage of its expertise, to explore some of the ideas we had, to create value and develop new services for our member companies, allowing them to optimize their activities and costs. Such collaboration opens new horizons for FIATA and we hope that our joint efforts will be rewarded in the near future. For the time being, we appreciate our exchanges, which are very enriching for both parties.
There is strong demand for a digital version of the FIATA Bill of Lading. What is FIATA doing to address this?
TE: Digitalization per se is not where we see the real issue. The main challenge lies in controlling the distribution of the FIATA Bill of Lading (FBL) and ensuring adequate compliance control. Transversal and cross-sectoral work was needed to resolve this issue. Taking into account both the legal and digital perspectives, FIATA has defined a solution that will ensure the appropriate level of control of the distributed document, while working with software companies to ensure easy access to the digital FBL for our members. More than ever, building win-win relationships is the key to success.