Meet Our People: Marloes Willems
In our series #WeAreCustomsSupport, you will meet the people behind Customs Support. We value our colleagues and the work they do. In this series, we will interview the people who are always ready to assist you with importing or exporting your goods without worries. Next up in this series is Customs Support Project Manager Marloes Willems.
Who are you?
My name is Marloes Willems. I am 33 years old and live with my partner and our American Stafford Pablo in a tiny village called Kapel Avezaath in the middle of the Netherlands. I have been working at Customs Support for two and a half years now. At the start of this year, I became Project Manager after completing the courses Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner.
What does a project manager do?
A large part of my job as a project manager is answering my customer’s questions and solving customs related issues that they encounter. In a project, I manage a combination of different aspects, like consultancy advice, operational tasks and IT solutions. Amongst other things, e.g. I set up classification and declaration processes and audit plans for i.e. AEO or preferential origin.
What does a typical working day look like?
I usually start my day by working on my emails. The urgent questions get answered first, of course. I would usually split my time between being at my customer’s location, in the office or working from home, but now most of my meetings are done by video calls from the 'home office’.
What do you like most about your job?
I like a good challenge, and my current job is just that. Simplifying processes for my client, while still adhering to all rules and regulations. Sometimes simplifying can get very complex. I also love the variation in what I do. I’m not the kind of project manager that manages from a distance. I combine my role as project management with consultancy. It is a combination of content and management.
What is one of the biggest challenges?
Many companies believe that customs processes are a burden, but I always try to convince them that the opposite is true. The European Customs Authorities protect the internal market. It is a good thing. There are many rules and regulations that companies need to comply with. Making sure they are compliant while minimising the impact on their logistics operations is a big challenge. How can we implement processes that companies are obligated to have in the most (cost-)efficient way. Oh, and convince them that these processes are useful, that’s another challenge.
And what if you are not at work?
I love sports. I work out and I love riding my bikes. I enjoy going fast on my racing bike, but I also like the challenge of steering my mountain bike over rough terrain. If I want to go less active but faster, my motorbike comes out. Recently I also picked up my old passion: baseball. When I’m not doing that you can find me walking the dog, cooking, playing the guitar, gardening or working on our house. We live in a house that previously was a farm, so there is always something that needs work.
Why Customs Support?
Customs Support offered me the opportunity to be a consultant in the field of customs. I got to soak up all this knowledge and then use it to solve issues or improve processes. And I’m still doing that, although my job has changed from consultancy to project management. Customs Support keeps growing, and I’m growing with it.