Jens Stevens, former Manager Cargo & Customs SILS:

“The opportunities that SILS offers you are amazing”

9 June 2022

SILS is growing and is steadily hiring new employees. But sometimes a valued colleague leaves our company. Like Jens Stevens, after no less than 14.5 years of loyal commitment. From his last position as Manager Cargo & Customs, Jens looks back with great satisfaction on his time at SILS: “At SILS I was given a lot of freedom to personally define my work and my ideas about the design of the department and the way in which services were performed. The company actually gets to work with the ideas that you put forward as an employee.”

Witness to enormous growth                                                                                                                                         

Jens joined SILS as Manager Customs: “My first responsibility lay with the customs department. After almost two years, the operational responsibility for Cargo and Logistics was added. My position became broader, but I always kept my focus on customs and customs projects.” In those 14.5 years, Jens saw SILS grow enormously: “When I started, SILS consisted of 17 employees, and I literally and figuratively had my feet in the sand at Surinameweg in Apeldoorn. And look where SILS is now with approximately 80 employees and a storage capacity of 35,000 pallet places.”

Solid basis for further growth                                                                                                                                                

In recent years, the focus of SILS, and therefore also that of Jens, has been on exploiting all possibilities in the field of operations: “We integrated the three departments: Cargo, Logistics and Customs. There is now a basis on which SILS can continue well.”

Always room for initiatives                                                                                                                                                 

SILS is increasingly profiling itself based on its Employer Branding. Indispensable at a time when labour is becoming scarcer and there are many employers to choose from. SILS gives its employees all the space they need to come up with ideas and develop. Has Jens always felt that way? “The opportunities that SILS offers you are amazing. I got all the freedom I wanted. From where we came from, there was still a lot to develop. And I was given every opportunity to contribute to this together with the team. A very instructive period. Also exciting, because you get the responsibility to build something the way you think it is good for the company. You must be able to handle that freedom and I am extremely grateful to SILS that I was given that opportunity. Unprecedented, because I don’t think you experience this with many employers.”

Every employee gets a platform for development                                                                                                      

SILS tries to give every employee a certain platform for their development, Jens emphasizes: “With the input you give as an employee, the company actually gets to work. I had the opportunity to work with everything: with customers, processes and projects. SILS grew and my competencies grew with it.”

Education and training                                                                                                                                                       

Jens, for example, regularly attended customs training to keep his knowledge up to date. This is important, because SILS likes to succeed at every audit to maintain its customs certification and to provide customers with the right advice: “Other relevant training courses are also negotiable. For example, I was going to do an English course and I followed a coaching trajectory.”

Balance between expertise and the right drive                                                                                                                              

In those 14.5 years, Jens saw many new colleagues join SILS: “We used to receive more young people without experience that we could shape ourselves. Now you see more that specifically trained specialists with expertise come in. Both approaches have their value, as long as you ensure that every employee, in addition to expertise, also includes the involvement, drive and motivation to get the most out of his or her work. You can’t learn drive, you either have it or you don’t.”

Getting started as a Senior Customs Consultant                                                                                                            

Jens indicates that he had an amazing time and that the decision to leave was difficult for him: “That was also apparent from the very warm goodbye I received. SILS has never felt like a clinical employer. That makes it very special for me. I said goodbye at a peak, that’s how it feels sincerely.” Jens has now taken a new career step: “I enter the world of customs consultancy and will become a Senior Customs Consultant at a large customs broker that has started a consultancy department in recent years. They are currently expanding their work from the Netherlands to countries within Europe, including outside the EU Member States. This also gives my work a foreign component.”

Recommendation for new employees                                                                                                                          

What would Jens like to tell someone who is considering applying for a job at SILS, based on his experience? “SILS offers you a great job in a dynamic logistics company. You can develop enormously and make a good contribution to your team and the company. The freedom gives you opportunities to develop, gain experience and take career steps. I have seen plenty of examples and experienced this myself. Experience in logistics is not always necessary, as long as you bring the right ambition and dynamism. Then SILS is a fantastic company to work for. With the right competencies, you complement your colleagues well, so that you can look forward to a very bright future at SILS.”