Meet Our People: Customs Support Managing Director Finland Niko Plith
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 that are always ready to assist you and help you import or export your goods without worries. Next up in this series is Managing Director Finland Niko Plith.
Who are you?
My name is Niko Plith. I’m 50 years old, and I live near Helsinki in Vantaa with my wife and two children. My daughter is 17, and my son is 15. I have worked in logistics for the last 30 years in different positions, and I still think it is the best industry. I’ve done sales, operations management, and some finance, and for the last 20 years, I have been the Managing Director of SA-TU Logistics. The company has a logistics division and the customs brokerage division. The customs brokerage division recently joined Customs Support.
What does a Managing Director do?
The most important part of my job, if you ask me, is supporting the operations. I ensure they can do their job to the best of their ability. Another important part is related to our customers. They need to be as happy as our employees. I’m also partly doing sales and marketing, and I handle some account management for our biggest clients and sub-contractors. I also work closely with our finance department. I try to spend as much time as possible acting pro-actively, but there’s always a part of the day where I have to respond to whatever happens and be reactive.
What does a typical day look like?
Every day is different, but there are some recurring activities. In the morning, I usually check the numbers of the day before, ensuring that we performed well and that nothing was out of the ordinary. The next stop is usually my inbox. I check my e-mails and make sure to respond to anything urgent. My days are typically filled with many internal meetings with the team and external meetings with clients and subcontractors.
What do you like most about your job?
I like the challenge of working in logistics. Every day is different, and you never know what the day will bring. The challenges can be small or large, like the impact of a ship blocking the Suez Canal or the war in Ukraine. It’s a fast-paced business in which you have to respond fast. You can’t wait a week or even a day. I have worked in logistics all my life, so I know the business, our clients, and our competitors well. Having a good relationship with everybody is important to me.
What is your biggest challenge?
One of the biggest challenges currently is forecasting. It’s hard to predict what is going to happen next month. This has become harder in the last two years, with all the disruptions and the geopolitical environment we now live inri. The speed at which the world changes is increasing, and we need to keep up with that speed. You must react immediately and not wait days, weeks, or months.
What do you do when you are not in the office?
I like supporting my children’s sporting activities. I’m the ice hockey coach for my son’s team, and my daughter rides horses. She specialises in dressage. We have two horses and a big truck to transport them, and I’m the only one with a license to drive it, so I go with her to most of her practice camps and competitions. I love seeing them compete and enjoy themselves.
I also spend a lot of time with my lovely wife. We have a summer cottage in Padasjoki (Joki), about 200 kilometres north of where we live. Nature is beautiful there, and I love taking a walk with my wife. I like fishing there even more, but don’t tell her I said that, haha! If the fishes I catch are large enough, we eat them—nothing like the taste of fresh fish.
Why Customs Support?
We can now offer our clients international coverage we couldn’t before. It’s great to have so many colleagues in so many countries. I love exchanging knowledge with them and discussing the future of customs declaration processing. The world of customs is constantly changing and developing, so it’s great to learn from colleagues across Europe. They have different approaches and views, inspiring me to approach our challenges in new ways. I am also very happy for my team. Working for an international company like Customs Support allows them to work internationally.
I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.