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Adding staff to a trade compliance department

cubiclesLooking for additional headcount in your trade compliance group but are afraid to ask?  Don’t be.  Matt Beck, author of the Ask The Trade Compliance Manager Blog, opines that even though adding new employees is a tricky subject in many companies, it’s better to make a thoughtful case than to never ask at all.

Among other things, Beck suggests:

“In making the case, above all you need to show the decision-makers that you have done all of the necessary analysis and that you are extremely certain that you absolutely need a new person. Show how the current situation is inadequate, particularly through increased risk or hemorrhaging money. Back up your assertion with hard numbers (duty savings, export license application times, etc.) if you can. Paint a picture of what your department would look like with a new person on-board including what their job responsibilities will be, how current employees’ job responsibilities will change and what will happen once this person is on-board to justify cost of having them.”

As for increasing import staff in particular, in a previous blog post, CustomsNow™ outlined additional considerations, such as:

  • Import volume
  • Complexity of entries
  • Involvement of PGAs
  • Whether an LCB license is required
  • Whether an importer is direct filing its own entries and ISFs

As to the latter point, and critical to the headcount discussion, direct filers often do not require additional staff to roll out a self-filing program.  We have found that most average sized importers have sufficient resources on staff to implement the initial direct filing process.  Additional staffing may be necessary, however, as savings are generated and the direct filing programs expands further.

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