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World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Consultation, Application Development & Project Management

Consultation, Application Development & Project Management

I am available on an hourly, daily or project basis, to consult and lead during the many facets of developing, integrating and applying trade intelligence.

By the day : Contact me directly via email.  Rate: $1,000 to $2,000 per day ($125 to $250 per hour), plus expenses (billed in 1/2 day increments).

By the project (over 10 billable days):  Dependent upon the nature and scope of the project, a discount in my daily rate may apply.  I also have several handfuls of excellent technologists, writers/editors and graphic design folks at my disposal if needed for the project. Rates vary from $35 to $125 per hour for their time & expertise.  There are few things I enjoy more than directing a team of competent professionals as we work together on an innovative project toward an inspired objective.

Examples of Customized Trade Applications

Besides developing innovative trade intelligence applications that were ultimately acquired by the largest T.I. Provider on the planet, we worked with a couple of dozen organizations along the way developing custom trade applications that were designed and integrated for their specific requirements and target markets.  Included among them are the following:

Our first interface, named “Trade Made Easy”, later renamed CenTradeX 2.0., was a colorful interactive feast of statistical interplay (over 1 billion dynamically generated charts and graphs) wherein users would select a “X” axis (one of 25,000 products) and a “Y” axis (one of 200 listed countries) and thereupon an entire website would be magically created from which they could retrieve a plethora of information.  This application fared very well within academic circles.

G.E.M.S. Developed for the U.S.D.A. Foreign Agricultural Service for their 50 state marketing offices (customized for each of their four regions) to help U.S. Food exporters to find and market overseas.  GEMS integrated Statistical, Company, Tariff, Shipping costs and foreign exchange rates into one easy to use system.

S.E.E.D.S.  State Export & Economic Development System.  Developed, then customized for many state trade offices including California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and more.  The user interface was designed to work seamlessly within the look and feel of the respective states’ websites therefore “attributing” tremendous technological and information power to the state and providing valuable services to their consistency.

SEEDS was further customized for the WTCA (World Trade Centers Association) for their 300 WTC’s in 100 countries servicing 1 million members.  Each member trade center’s U.I. (user interface) was regionalized to present data pertinent to their city, state, country, industries and companies.  In addition, automatically generated reporting – incorporated into each members interface – helped generate revenue from the sales of reports and services.

Our development work went beyond simply modifying our interface to the “style sheets” of our respective customers.  We specialized in doing “innovative things with international trade data” to meet the specific requirements and needs of each client.  For MSU/Global Edge (the most visited international info. website on the planet at the time) we constructed interactive industry, country and state “channels”.

For the State of Pennsylvania (with the most “funded” state international trade office at the time) we developed an advanced interactive platform for their exporting companies throughout the state that lead them – step-by-step – through a diagnostic tool that evaluated their export readiness, directed them to the appropriate resources and gave them a 20 plus customized comprehensive global market report on their selected product.

In collaboration with E.C.R.M and Walmart we developed and integrated several “industry channels” within their Marketgate application suite, which provided trade and market intelligence to U.S. retail sourcing professionals and suppliers.  Incorporated within the system was the capability to generate ad-hoc “on the fly” reports based upon the users selected product – source country pair.

Working with Panalpina (a long time CenTradeX customer) and other logistics providers we developed a geographically oriented prospecting tool which was later named Prospects. Under the hood of this powerful application was our superior capacity to geo-code the transactional data we received from U.S. Customs – connected with huge data repository of International companies.

There were handfuls of other clients, big and small that we worked with to develop business solutions for their international trade service.  Much innovation has been done within the world of trade innovation, but there is still very very much to do.  It is a trillion-dollar industry that still operates in many ways like we still exist in the industrial age.  I’d love to help you develop and refine the technological tools you possess to better compete and succeed in the global market place.

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Research & Reporting, Publishing & Social Marketing and Sponsorship

Research & Reporting Services

Over the last decade, we have performed a plethora of research and reporting services for clients in many industries.  The scope and focus have ranged from industry and sourcing analyses conducted for Disney, Wal-Mart, ECRM and the WTCA… involving months of work and a handful of researchers, writers and analysts… to straightforward product, prospect or competitive reports usually produced within a couple of days… to simple downloads of a competitor’s shipments and suppliers or a statistical view of prospective export markets ready within hours.

Prices for the above have ranged from several hundred dollars to $25,000 in the case of the comprehensive analysis of the China “tainted toy” fiasco in which we utilized our data sources to analyze over 400,000 toy shipments by hundreds of China suppliers to thousands of U.S. importers.  This study was utilized by Wal-Mart, the New York Times and the U.S. Toy Association. See our article The Use and Application of Trade Intelligence Can Be a Matter of Life and Death.

We maintain the capacity, with the Prospects and Stats Plus licenses to produce smaller reports very quickly.  Please contact me at robert@worldtradedaily.com for further information.

Custom publication and marketing.  We can take the pain out of publishing for you.  Contract with us to provide all your blog design, content development, technical administration and social marketing. We can produce content designed specifically for your company and target market(s).

To design, integrate, write, edit, market and administrate the complete content, blog technologies and social networking aspects for your trade or international business related company would require you hiring and overseeing a handful of employees which is very costly. We provide a less expensive, more professional alternative.  See the cost structure below.

There is an initial one-time fee of $10,000 to cover consultation, design and complete set-up. Outsourcing is a great way to improve content without hassle or hiring several employees.

  • Articles written, published and marketed once per week (50+ articles, averaging 400 words each with visuals): $36,000 annually.
  • Twice per week (100+ articles): $60,000 annually.
  • Weekdays (five times per week): $100,000 annually.
  • Daily (seven days a week): $120,000 annually.

Sponsorship & Republishing

Sponsorship of WorldTradeDaily.com.: Your banner advertisement will appear as the header (570 X 80) on a WTD article once each week of the year: 52 placements, 52 articles.  Your header will remain permanently attached to each of the 52 respective articles for $5,000 per year which is less than $100 per article.  You can become a “global” sponsor of all 365+ articles per year along with site header attribution for $25,000 annually.

Sponsorship with (re)publishing and marketing rights:  You may integrate our articles within your website and thus promote enhanced pertinent fresh content  every week – 52 articles annually – for less than an additional $20 per article – only $1,000 per year.  Two per week (104 per year) @ $2,000 and so on.  A good way to add new weekly content to your website.

CenTradeX: Development and Overview of Available Trade Intelligence (T.I.) Applications

The following provides a cursory outline of processes employed by CenTradeX in crafting innovative trade intelligence applications. Readers are invited to (mouse over for explanation) click on the hyperlinks below to expand their understanding further through graphic illustration and related articles.  Additional information can be made available upon request.

From March 13th WTD article, “The Holy Grail of Trade Intelligence: “Connecting the Dots” to U.S. Customs Data”: CenTradeX, founded by Robert Thompson in 2000, initially focused on bringing value added features to U.S. import and export data.  Thereafter, they layered and connected this U.S. centric data with global import and export data on 200 countries. Up until then, no one had ever layered and integrated these data sets.

Atop these various statistical data collections, CenTradeX crafted a graphic, interactive interface.  After selecting an “X” vector (one of 20,000+ HS coded products) and a “Y” vector (one of 200 listed countries) users were presented with dozens of dynamically created reports on their chosen “intersection”.  Over a billion unique reports could be potentially generated by the system. Next, they identified and incorporated company data – both foreign and domestic – to uncover the actual traders behind the statistics. CenTradeX assimilated the best-known sources; Kompass, Harris Info, Hoovers, D&B, PIERS, etc.

One of the challenging aspects was that statistical data is organized under one (HTS) classification schema while company information is organized under other (unrelated) systems (SIC, NAICS, or a vender’s particular proprietary taxonomy).  Further, they successfully incorporated other disparate data sets such as tariffs (for all countries and products), estimated shipping costs (from various U.S. port regions to any /all countries), live stock market and Forex feeds as well as their clients’ proprietary data collections.

The most daunting data transformation endeavor was that of understanding, normalizing and intelligently incorporating U.S. Customs data into this dynamic mix. It took CenTradeX several years to develop an intelligent system by which to quickly and seamlessly assimilate the daily Customs feeds.

From March 12th WTD Article, “Why U.S. Customs Data is The “KING” Among All International Trade Data Sources.” U.S. Customs (waterborne manifest BOL) data is considered the most valuable data collection. Why? It’s available on a daily basis, within hours after shipments clear. It’s detailed and transactional; containing shipment by shipment accounts of suppliers, importers, products and supply chain.  It represents $1 trillion+ global trade a year.

See this MUST READ article: March 1 WTD Article – “U.S. Customs Data Primer Part 4: Enlightenment Through Graphics & Diagrams”.  Also check out March 14 WTD Article, “U.S. Customs Data: Parsing & Normalization. The First Steps in its Long, Transformational Journey” and March 15 WTD Article, “U.S. Customs Data: Resolving the Enigmatic & Challenging Problems Inherent Within the Data” and March 16 WTD Article, “Complete Transformation: Final Refinements & Enhancements Applied to U.S. Customs Data” for a deeper, more technical explanation of the processes involved in parsing and assimilating U.S. Customs data.

Transformed Customs data, integrated with other statistical, company, trade and economic data sets can be a powerful tool by which to successfully navigate within the multi-trillion dollar international trade marketplace.  A plethora of Trade Intelligence applications and services can be thus developed and marketed.  See Samples of selected developed applications and WTD Article, “PIERS, Part 3: Acquired Apps – Stats Plus, Prospects & Trade Finance.”

The collection of programs, procedures and referential databases with which CenTradeX transformed raw data into usable business intelligence is referred to as their “A.I.” (Artificial Intelligence Engine).  It, along with their huge data repositories of statistical, company and transactional data collected over the years, represent the primary assets (along with the human intelligence and experience by which to integrate, develop and deploy them) that are offered for license, sale or joint venture consideration.  Commercial Services offered through WorldTradeDaily.com.

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Artificial Intelligence Engine Connects the Dots

CenTradeX was known to be on the cutting edge of developing innovative trade applications. Over a decade we focused our resources in 3 general areas: Access, Integration and Delivery.  Access is in terms of providing user-friendly interfaces with common sense terminology and easy to understand processes.  Integration is connecting the dots, i.e. associating many types and kinds of data together.  Delivery is from the stand point of developing “Disney type” graphic displays and reporting mechanisms that help bring data to life and highlight business understanding and application.

The most challenging task, one that our team labored on for a decade and into which we invested the lion’s share of our development budget was integration.  It was rather easy to layer global, U.S. and state statistical data… although it had not been done by any company prior.

Next came connecting company information – gathered from many sources including Kompass, Hoovers, D&B, PIERS, etc. The difficulty came (and comes) from the fact that statistical information is organized under one universally accepted schema (the harmonized tariff system) while company information is arranged under a completely unrelated system (SIC, NAICS, or a special proprietary one in the case of D&B and Kompass).  To reveal the traders (importers and exporters) underneath the numbers, one has to connect those dots.  Not an easy task…

Finally, statistical information and company information are only updated on a monthly, quarterly or even annual basis. Although much can be learned from combining these disparate data sets /systems, the real value is connecting daily, transactional data with these. That’s where the U.S. Customs Waterborne Import manifest data comes in.  Although it only tracks U.S. imports and only those arriving by sea, it still represents a trillion dollars of international trade.  The U.S. market is known to be the easiest market to access by foreign exporters.  And we are a country of consumers.  And most importantly, contrary to most other trading nations, through the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) many details of the individual transactions by foreign suppliers and U.S. importers is transparent and public.

There are other ancillary data sets that offer valuable perspectives that are worth noting and integrating such as shipping costs, tariffs, foreign exchange rates, supplier ratings, etc. The point here though is that integration leads to value and competitive advantage.

Because UBM Global Trade /PIERS had already invested decades and millions of dollars into their “data engine”, the powerful CenTradeX A.I. Engine was excluded from the acquisition in 2010.  As a result, we retained THE most valuable of our assets:  our A.I. Engine and Data repositories upon which all our innovative web applications were built and into which we invested many hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 10-year span.

I believe, although several T.I. Providers have done some very neat and noteworthy things with data over the last couple years, that our A.I. engine – now dormant since May 2010 – is still the most advanced system by which to parse and normalize the daily waterborne data. It uses complex internal scripts while referencing a huge company database of millions of international trading companies and connects this transactional data to company, statistical and ancillary data.

We therefore offer this resource to consider for sale, license or joint venture.