We’re extremely proud to celebrate Chris Springer’s recent recognition as a 2018 Pro to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine. We thought it was only fitting to put Chris in the spotlight and let our customers truly get to know him.
With over 20 years of supply chain experience, primarily focusing on global trade compliance, it is safe to say Chris understands how to address complex issues such as how best to automate business processes and how to make existing supply chain processes more efficient. Chris daily applies his triad of experience – regulatory knowledge, programming ability and integration expertise – to elevate the advice he gives to QuestaWeb customers. He takes pride in not only delivering the best solutions possible but also in assuring that the ultimate users can extract maximum value from them.
Chris also is very involved in the compliance community, offering his insights, most recently on the ACE implementation effort. He works with ABI reps, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, attorneys and individuals at the various ports, as well as clients, to assure that QuestaWeb software is as efficient and as transparent as possible.
So, Chris, what is the best part about working for QuestaWeb?
The best part about working for QuestaWeb is the flexibility that it offers in allowing me to try different things. I’ve done a lot of traveling and talked to people in all different walks of life. I have the unique ability to work with and understand challenges of Fortune 500 companies all the way to individuals who are starting a customs brokerage.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that at the end of the day, all of these companies are a culmination of people and ideas. I am inspired by the different approaches each company takes to overcome challenges with technology and am truly humbled to help support their initiatives.
In late 2017/early 2018, some of the final transactions transitioned to ACE (those related to foreign trade zones and revenue collection), leaving just revenue collection and a few others to complete the implementation effort. How do you see this affecting the trade community and their supply chains?
In 2018, the trade community will have to accept the normalization of the new electronic environment. In addition, there will be related programmatic and operational changes affecting both the import and export worlds. There will be a period of tweaking the system to extract even more capabilities out of the ACE system.
In particular, one focus will be identifying ways to share data, especially among the numerous federal agencies involved. Another will be the issue of being more transparent across the supply chain as a whole, offering as much information in as simple a package as possible. Then, of course, there will be the task of overhauling the regulatory environment.
A likely outcome may well involve the development of key regulatory changes responsive to the needs of larger companies. Relative to revenue collection, for example, larger importers that are already concerned about their cash flow may well look for ways to hold onto their money longer through regulatory relief. There may be a move to more simplified reporting and filing summaries on a monthly basis, rather than a weekly one, which could have a ripple effect across the supply chain.
Effective March 23, 2018, President Trump issued Proclamations 9704 and 9705 on Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States, providing for additional import duties for steel mill and aluminum articles. What does this mean and how do you see this affecting U.S. consumers?
Steel made in another country and shipped to the United States will be subject to a 25 percent tax. And imported aluminum will be hit with a 10 percent tax at the U.S. border. This decision has been made to incentivize U.S. companies to buy steel and aluminum from U.S. producers so the domestic metal industry gets stronger. However, many U.S. industry leaders agree that consumers will most likely face higher costs for cars and trucks, beer and soft drinks, canned goods and more steel/aluminum products because of these tariffs.
On top that, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a proposed list of Chinese goods targeted for assessment of an additional 25 percent duty upon importation into the United States. The USTR Notice explains that the proposed list was designed to minimize impact on U.S. consumers and largely excludes several types of consumer goods such as apparel, footwear and cell phones. Further, many of the items identified for the tariff are also exported to the U.S. from other countries, providing alternative sourcing options to importers.
How can a supply chain better align with a company’s broader strategy?
Being able to communicate accurate data across the supply chain is uppermost. From an importer’s perspective, it’s about assuring brokers and freight forwarders have correct information about their commodities so they can provide optimal information to governments, whether the United States or foreign governments. For exporters, it’s about getting denied party screening, licensing and other matters right the first time. Finally, it is about limiting overhead expenses as much as possible.
Automation, especially for QuestaWeb customers, gives companies the ability to manage their global trade with minimal resources. Our solutions make it possible to intervene only when exceptions arise, allowing staff to focus on those broader corporate strategies.
Let’s get to know you a little bit more. What do you like to do outside of work?
I have recently gotten myself involved in the sport of Curling. Participating in team and individual sports has taught me so much about working with others to accomplish goals. How to win or lose gracefully, build up my teammates and how to work others.
It may look like four adults yelling at each other but in reality we are communicating information about the stone or instructing what to do. From when the stone begins moving to when it comes to a rest, the movement and communication of a good team is constant.
It is like international trade in a way, though the point of moving goods is not to run into other goods and knock them out, getting to the destination as planned is a job well done. Every day that passes, technology we create brings us closer to the day that information about the current status of all goods are conveyed just as quickly as it is on the ice.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know our Pro to Know. If you would like to request more information, you may do so here: https://questaweb.com/contact-us/