Meet Our People: Yvonne Shaw

Yvonne Shaw - Office Manager

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 Yvonne Shaw, who is the office manager in Paisley, UK.

Who are you?

I'm Yvonne Shaw, the office manager for Paisley. I've been in customs for over 20 years and started with UK Custom Solutions [acquired by Customs Support in October 2021] at the start of January 2021.

What does an office manager do?

I do a lot of different things to be honest, but the main things are ensuring that our staff are happy, we are maintaining our standards of work and keeping in contact with our customers.

What does your typical working day look like?

Every day is different really. The main thing that I do in the morning is check emails and make sure that there are no urgent queries or issues that need resolving. Following that, I run reports and check in with staff to make sure they’ve got the right workload.

What do you like most about your job?

Just the fact that it's always something different every day. It keeps you on your toes. This is the first time I've been an office manager, so it’s a bit of an eye-opener sometimes for me. But I like it and it’s been good to learn.

You've been in customs for over 20 years and two of those years now are as an office manager. Can you tell us about your experience before being an office manager?

I’ve done a bit of everything, really. I started off in air imports as a YT [apprentice] way back in the day. From there, I gradually started learning how to do CFSP [Customs Freight Simplified Procedure – now called SCDP: Simplified Customs Declaration Procedures].

After doing work in declarations, I moved into compliance auditing, helping our customers to check their guarantees, and ensure that they are holding correct authorisations. I also worked with our IT personnel to make sure that upgrades were being done on time.

What's the best thing about where your office is in Paisley?

It's close to where I live so I only have a four- or five-minute journey from home, and it’s near Glasgow Airport as well.

What excites you the most about joining the Customs Support network?

Obtaining the knowledge and contacts of how things are done in Europe. I’ve not had much contact with overseas; however, it would be interesting to learn more about what happens on the other side. It would be good to see how it gets done over in other countries so we can replicate that here or take on more than they have and reciprocate by leading them on the things that they don't normally deal with.

What is the next stage of development for Paisley?

Keep training so that we are always ready for new things. At the moment, we have specific people dealing with specific customers, so it’s important for us to cross-train for when things get busy, or people need time off.

Why is it important to have an office in Paisley?

It opens up more opportunities for local business. There are quite a few freight agents in close proximity, as well as other businesses within the premises & nearby industrial estates. Trade is growing in Scotland, and we are in a good position to support that.

What do you do when you're not at work?

My husband and I go to Glasgow quite often and venture to Edinburgh on the odd occasion, we enjoy eating out at nice places and going to gigs. At home, I like to bake and go walking.

What's the most important thing a client should look for in a customs broker?

Compliance and trust. Making sure that they have good communication is essential.

You now work with a Europe-wide network. If you were to visit an office location of custom support, which city would you want to go and see first and why?

I think Germany. There're quite a few different offices there and I’ve seen lots of photos; they have such nice architecture over there as well. I really like looking at buildings and architecture as well. So yeah, I think it'd be a good place. I've heard so many people talk about Germany and it’s a place I've always wanted to go.