Commentary

An Industry Full of Thanks

When I started in this service industry 17 years ago without a clue as to what a “Customs Broker” did, I was told by the owner that, “what you do on the first day you start and the day you retire will be the same.”  We are a service industry with an important job like a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant.  For the most part, he was spot on.  We help to facilitate trade by using our expertise to make sure our clients pay the lowest legal duty rates.  We move cargo to and from all points around the world on ships, planes, trains, and trucks.  I’ve even picked up cargo from an airport and hand delivered it to a client in need. 

Sometimes when we think of service industries we think of a thankless career, meaning that for the thousands of transactions that we execute we rarely get told thank you.  This is something that I just don’t agree with.  I feel this is an industry full of thanks when it matters.

I started off in this industry reporting to one of the most respected men in our industry, Mr. Don Keller.  I remember asking U.S. Customs about an issue and being asked back, “What does Don think?”  From that moment forward I have strived to be the person that Don was.  Someone always trying to keep up on the latest programs, regulations, and how to execute my job to the benefit of my clients and CBP.  I have had my moments where I have been able to go to bat and help support our local CBP Branch or help a client win an Antidumping Scope Ruling so they didn’t have to pay 136% duty to CBP.  Those actions were very rewarding.

In our industry we often have things happen that aren’t so rewarding. For example, a client acquisition that results in the loss of business.  Many years ago a client of mine had been purchased by one of the most recognizable companies in the world.  Once they were acquired I began to work with a new contact at the acquiring company.  I did this for three years while they worked to fully transition my client into their system.  My new contact was intelligent, experienced and really understood the U.S. Customs requirements which made my job very easy.  We often discussed changes and the impact of those changes on their business if applicable.  Then the day finally came… when all their imports would start being cleared by their longstanding legacy broker.  That brings me to the purpose of my article.

A couple weeks ago my new contact from that client who I have had no correspondence with for more than 5 years, found me and reached out to me to say, “Hello.”  She had seen an article I had written and took the time out of her very busy schedule to reach out to me.   She said, “Although we never met in person, you were one of the most knowledgeable brokers I have worked with, and it was a pleasure working with you.”

While her words meant so much, knowing that she gets to work with some of the top brokers in the country, it was her thoughtfulness to reach out and say hello that has impacted me the most.  I’d like to thank her for her thoughtfulness with hopes that she reads this article.

At Scarbrough our employees are often sent praise for their actions which go above and beyond what others would do.  We log these onto our Wiki platform IntraNet to share the inspiring words.  I’d like to share some of those comments below and remind everyone to reach out to those that service you or have serviced you, both present and past, in appreciation for an extraordinary effort.

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True Words of Gratitude

Dear Tia: “Thank you. We have a longstanding relationship with Scarbrough and wanted to and will work with you as a trusted partner. Thank you for your support.”  

Dear Valerie: “You are the best!  I am very appreciative of everything you do for us. We are very happy and we will try to keep you even busier this year.”

Dear Tricia: “That is why we employ you guys.  You know what is going on.”   

Dana: “Thank you so much for your effort and expeditious work ethic!”

Justin: “I changed all of our business to you because of your service and that’s because of you.  I really appreciate all you do for us!!!”  

Trish and Deb: “You guys rock. Thank you so much for always taking care of me and keeping me updated.  Appreciate your attentiveness to our account.”

Adam: “It is wonderful working with you.  You do a great job.  Thanks so much.  Enjoy your day.”

Patrick: “I want to express the extreme gratitude and satisfaction for your team’s expertise, knowledge and service. Thank you.”

Mika, “You are always extremely responsive and available and lightning quick at getting information for us!  Love you for that!”

Pam: “I think you are wonderful!  Once I forward the information to you I can just forget about it.  I really appreciate how you follow-up until you have created the ITN number; you really have taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.  I enjoy working with you!”

 Dear Mark:  “You have done a great job coordinating with us and I wanted you to know about it.” 

Customer received an internal email stating: “Please let Mark’s bosses know he has really been doing a good job of taking care of us lately.  It is greatly appreciated.”

 Doug,  “This is VERY helpful. I simply cannot thank you enough.”

“THANKS, Brad…glad you and your crew are on OUR team!”