Meet Our People: Customs Support Implementation Specialist Frans van der Voort
In our series #WeAreCustomsSupport, you will meet the people behind Customs Support. We value our colleagues and the work they do for our customers. In this series, we interview the people that are always ready to assist you and help you import and export your goods without worries. The next colleague in the series is Implementation Specialist Frans van der Voort.
Who Are You?
“My name is Frans van der Voort. I live in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and I have worked here since 1990. The past thirty years I have worked in various positions. I have always been involved with software and IT, but foremost I’ve been a declarant. Currently, I am an Implementation Specialist and first-line help desk for the software that we use.”
What Does a Typical Working Day Look Like for You?
“Custom Support does acquisitions regularly. We welcome these companies into our Customs Support family. We recently did this in Germany and Poland. These companies work on different systems and with different software, and it is my job to streamline that. First, my colleagues Carlo, Martin and myself analyse how they work, and then we start to integrate systems. I also train people on how we operate within Customs Support.”
I am trying to visit all our locations to answer questions. Of course, we can email or text on WhatsApp, but in my opinion, it is better to meet colleagues personally. It is then that they ask more questions. Working face-to-face makes it easier for us. You get to know people faster and on a different level.
The variety in your job, is that the reason you’ve worked at Customs Support for so long?
Yes. When I started I loved to do work as a declarant. The job changed with appeals and classifying goods. I started with a software programming course. I never really did any actual programming. I focussed more on support and advice in software projects. The combination of software and processes and how to make sure my colleagues can work more efficiently.
I like the variety and learning new things. In the nineties, I also did a course on social work and social service. That covered subjects like psychology, philosophy, law. I also did a course in accounting, but that wasn’t my thing. I am happy with what I do now.
And at the end of the nineties, I followed a course to become a certified declarant. I passed the test with just one answer wrong! I almost scored 100%. But to be honest, I was already working as a declarant for nine years.
And How Is the Team You Are a Part of
My team is small and close-knit and that is good. We can act fast and that is necessary when something is up with our software or hardware. It is what I do when needed. I’m always available to anybody. Sometimes you have to take fifteen or twenty minutes to help somebody, but then it is solved. They know that if they ask, I solve it for them.
What is the biggest challenge?
My job is always about change. People are used to how they work and for some, it is hard when processes change. They think that after changes in their process they can not do their work anymore. I always take these worries into account. The same goes for any questions or issues they may have. Some things I can solve easily, other issues take longer. I always always make sure their needs are met as much as possible. Sometimes it isn’t possible, because our way of working is different. In those cases, I explain the situation. That can be challenging, but every time it works is great for all of us.
And what if you’re not at work?
My favourite period has just ended. I have a passion for Oeteldonk. ‘s-Hertogenbosch is called Oeteldonk during the carnival period. I love the cosiness of street carnivals. You go from bar to bar and meet a lot of different people and there is music everywhere.
Music. I really love music as well. Especially prog-rock. Bands like Camel, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, those bands don’t tour much anymore, but there are still festivals with good cover bands that I also love to visit
Why Customs Support?
For sure I have the most diverse and interesting job at our company. Every day is different, and every day brings something new. My job takes me to all our locations in Europe and I have the best colleagues. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun.
For almost thirty years now I have been working for Customs Support and its predecessors. With all the acquisitions or even thanks to all the acquisitions, Customs Support has become the company it is nowadays. It’s all about the people that work here. I have great colleagues and a great job!
Earlier editions of Meet Our People: