Although the computer revolution is well under way, there are many companies who are not taking advantage of the opportunities available because of lack of expertise and lack of confidence in their ability to acquire the appropriate systems at reasonable prices. There is a baffling array of systems available, with choices at every level of hardware, software, networks, electronic data dissemination, and expert systems. Yet, to remain outside the arena of computerization is to risk falling behind competitively. In addition, the importexport field is particularly wellsuited for computerization because the level of information generated, and received, is very high.

There are some problems, however, specific to importexport that also make it difficult to choose the right systems. Besides the high level of information generated, there is a diversity of data in importexport that exceeds that in other fields. For example, in thinking about generating shipment labels, or other kinds of customer documentation, it is often necessary to create documents in different languages. Forms, such as bills of lading, must address each countries legal requirements to proceed expeditiously through customs. As a consequence, it is not possible just to rely on a simple system; in order to be effective, an information system in importexport must be tailormade for the industry.

It is possible, of course, simply to



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