The curious relationship between the World Cup and foreign trade
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There is apparently no link. However, it can be anticipated that there are practices in this global event that we can incorporate both in our daily work and in the management of foreign trade operations.

Being more competitive on the international stage: after all, that’s the goal of your company, right?

To begin with, each national team prepares against their opponents by carrying out espionage worthy of James Bond, whose objective is to seek privileged information about the opponents.

Data versus information: understanding the difference between the two concepts

  • Information is what is used to make decisions.
  • Data is everything that connects with the events that occurred, but it is not enough to drive decisions by itself.

Let’s see an example. The first match of the Argentine National Team will be against Saudi Arabia on November 22. If on the eve of the match, Lionel Scaloni, The technical director of the national team finds out that the best Saudi player will not play due to a physical illness, most likely, he will have to decide how to exploit the player’s foul.

Notably, the Argentine technical director received information who will support your decisions. The dataon the other hand, could be the positions that the team occupies in different rankings, for example 51st in the FIFA ranking of May this year.


But this is not relevant information for the coach at the moment, since the Saudi team could play with a different tactical formation than the one used months ago, making the data purely historical. Therefore, remember that data can become important information at a certain point in time.. In this same example, if the coach receives information that the Saudi team will play with the same tactical formation that they had during the European qualifiers, the tournament data becomes information for decision making.

Is it clear that information is a key asset for decision making? And, many times it is also decisive for a change that gives a better response to a given event. This also happens within companies that perform foreign trade.

It is essential that the management of the international trade area have constant access to the information that drives decision-making, or that they have data that can serve as support. Both will be essential to correct the course of the operation and better adapt to the new realities to come.

The value of technology in foreign trade

The Argentine national team – like all the others – have the help of technology to have access to data and information that make it possible to analyze their opponents and make the best decisions. And the same can be done within foreign trade.

Having a system that controls operations and allows for historical data to help make decisions and guarantee compliance with the operation is essential.

We cannot ignore that government agencies are gearing up with technology to facilitate and increase controls, while companies that want to be more competitive cannot be if they stay behind opponents and government agencies, managing their operations manually.

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Another topic that attracts attention in relation to national football teams is the use of recently adopted techniques to improve performance, such as psychology, information technology to measure and track the performance of athletes, physiologists, biomechanics and nutrition, among others.

It is a multifunctional support team to achieve the goal of the national team. It is also known that, for fans, science is not more important than their beliefs and superstitions.

The four pillars to win in foreign trade

In foreign trade, it is evident that their beliefs and superstitions cannot be trusted. Having a multifunctional business support network is key.

  • It is essential that your company has a system that indicates the degree of professionalism of its partners to prevent your company from being affected by attitudes from companies that are not suitable. It is essential to have solutions to assess partner sanctions and reputation, mitigating risks and protecting the company’s brand.
  • The reduction of costs with the use of special customs regimes, of what will be offered in an international market. By having specific technology, it is easier to guarantee the compliance that this regime requires before the government and the legislation.
  • Foreign trade governance systems must be integrated into your ERP, which will guarantee that the information is unique and does not allow divergences.
  • All foreign trade systems need to bring in an integrated way the legal content of the operations carried out within the company so as not to run the risk of penalties, fines or affect the name of the company itself.

It is certain that on December 18, 2022 we will know which will be the champion team of the 2022 World Cup. Without a doubt, this team is making use of cutting-edge technology to draw up its strategy. In the same way, companies need to rely on information technology and its resources to improve the chances of achieving their objectives and crowned winners in foreign trade.

Nobody prepares on the eve of the game. And here is a great advantage for us: while a team can only be champion every four years, well-prepared companies can be winners every day!

Mr. Product Manager, ONESOURCE Global Trade; and Rogério Gardenal, Sr. Product Manager, ONESOURCE Global Trade.

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