Import & Export Software – What to Look For

Mark Canes

This post outlines functionality one should expect from Import and Export Software.

There are so many software packages out there these days that it can feel like you’re drowning when searching for information.  So we try to break things down by identifying specific functionality that is important for your type of business, to help you narrow down your search. Today we’re focusing on functionality important for wholesalers and distributors, where importing or exporting make up a significant part of the business.

Landed Cost Tracking

Landed cost tracking is extremely important for importers to allow for accurate inventory costing. Proper landed cost tracking will allow you to accrue costs associated with bringing items into inventory, such as brokerage, duty and freight. Without taking landed costs into consideration you may be selling items at what appears to be a profit, only to later discover that they were sold at a loss (or a significantly smaller margin). Software with robust landed cost tracking is vital for importers.

Landed Costs Formula Explained









To learn more download our Landed Cost White Paper.

Automated Customs Processes

ERP software vendors with experience dealing with importers and exporters can usually offer the advantage of automated systems to streamline the process of dealing with customs documents. For example, the system should be able to generate a Customs Declaration Form upon entering a purchase order automatically. If your organization spends significant time creating and dealing with customs documents, consider including this as an important part of your evaluation.


When dealing with customers and vendors in countries all over the world, multi-currency capabilities are important, for properly incorporating exchange differences into your product costs and prices. A multi-currency system will allow you to specify different prices for each item depending on the customer’s currency, and automatically account for differences in exchange rates between transaction and settlement dates. It’s important to always know how much your customers owe you in the currency in which they’re going to pay (and vice versa for suppliers).

This list is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to serve as a starting point for some of the most important features that importers and exporters should be looking to get from their software system.