“I helped to create an entirely new process to comprise operational practices, workflows, quality, customs, and selecting the suppliers and freight forwarding partners with whom we wanted to work. In 2015, we were awarded Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status, the only AkzoNobel site to have this customs label.”
Achieving AEO status puts the AkzoNobel team at Pamiers in the vanguard of global manufacturers: “Having this label gives us and our customers a real competitive advantage,” she explains. “It means our products are prioritized through customs, ensuring our products are delivered on time and in the right place, wherever they are required. It is important not only in supporting our existing customers, but also in securing new contracts, for some of the world’s biggest manufacturers – including Airbus – require AEO status as part of their tender process.”
Julie recalls a number of occasions when her skills have been pushed to the limit. On one occasion, she had to deliver five liters of paint to a customer in the remote north of Alaska which was inaccessible by road, and required the services of a helicopter to cover the last few kilometers. On another, a specialist interior coating was needed in Arizona within 24-hours of the instruction being received: “It was for a potential new contract and the customer was trialing our product against a competitor.