What are the main functions and works of an export manager?

Once a decision is taken to establish export business, the first and the foremost task is to plan to secure an export order. After confirming the order to the buyer, the next step is to create an organization structure for it and create the required team of personnel for its execution. Export Manager is a key person. The success or otherwise of the export order depends, to a great extent, on how efficiently he handles the order.

He is required to maintain liaison with the importer, prepare plans for its implementation and issue necessary executive instructions to the export staff. He has also to evolve an information system so that there is a regular flow of information on the progress of the order. If the various tasks are not being done as per prescribed schedules, he has to analyze the variances and take suitable corrective measures, if necessary, for the purposed and finally submit report on the progress of work to the top management. The functions performed by the export manager are as follows.

Functions of Export Manager

(a) Procurement of Export Order

The first function of export manager is to plan for securing the export order. This requires deciding the exact item for export market. A study of the profile of the target customer group and the business practices of the target export markets is of paramount importance in the process of securing an export order.

(b) Planning for Export Order Execution

Effective planning is essential for the success of execution of export order. The export planning should be viewed as planning for the successive phases of an export activity. The export manager and his team should understand the terms and conditions of the export order. The export manager should, then, proceed to develop a detailed schedule for the completion of all the tasks for the accomplishment of the overall targets. Budgets, work programs and implementation schedules are to be prepared as a part of planning for execution of the export order.

(c) Directing for Exports

The export manager should issue executive instructions to all the members of the export team. The process is referred to as directing for exports. It is also viewed as an extension of export planning as it involves issuing directions to execute the export plans. These directives should be very precise, simple and unambiguous so that implementation is done without any difficulty. It is important since the efficiency with which these directions are given would determine the success or otherwise of the execution of export be allocated to those responsible for their execution.

(d) Export Order Execution

It is implementation of the assigned tasks by the frictional manager and other members of the export team. The export tasks must be implemented within the time schedule, the budget and in accordance with the agreed design and specifications.

(e) Importer Liaison

Export Management is intended to meet the requirements of the importer to his satisfaction. For the purpose, it is important for all the members of the export team to understand his requirements as regards quality, labeling, packaging, packing and markings on the export products as well as delivery goods.

This calls for maintaining liaison with the importer, being the prime responsibility of the export manager. The primary objective of importer liaison is, thus, to keep him informed of the progress in the execution of export order. This will enable the importer to appreciate that the exporters is very serious in the execution of his order and it would prove to be very beneficial for the exporter in building sound business relations with him. In case the exporter is faced with any difficulty beyond his control, it is very likely that the importer will appreciate his problems and may give him the required support in the form of extension of the time for delivery of goods or permitting him/her to make the partial shipment and so on.

(f) Export Order Evaluation

Evaluation is a continuing process of assessing the progress of the export order in terms of its objectives. Ideally, evaluation consists in comparing existing conditions and current results with export plans and with the specifics of export direction. Any deviation represents a possible problem that should be highlighted, analyzed, and understood.

A system of appropriate controls should be established for the export order execution. The export manager must scrutinize carefully the qualitative assessment of his team and evaluation of how the export order is progressing.

(g) Reprogramming

Based on export reports, the export manger should take suitable corrective measure to improve the level of performance of various functional divisions /outside agencies. For this propose, reprogramming may have to be done. The reprogramming involves changing the plans, schedules and budgets or redefining the channels of communication or clarifying the export directions to the members of export team.

(h) Reporting on export Order Execution

Reporting on the progress of the export order is a logical consequence of export order evaluation and reprogramming. Every export manager should submit reports at regular intervals, of the progress of work to the top management. The report should reflect the targets, the actual performance and the variances, with reasons thereof. It should also highlight the problems/difficulties faced in the execution of the export order and the steps proposed to solve them.

(i) Export Cycle

The various activities/stages involved in planning and execution of an export order are performed in a sequential manner. Therefore, the activities/stages are viewed as different links in the chain of cycle called Export Cycle. The export cycle is divided into three phase. (a) Planning for exports (b) Implementation and monitoring of an export order (c) Post export follow up action.