On this new edition of A Cup of Coffee With…, we sat down for a chat with Estefanía Chaile, Team Leader of International Operations.
Estefanía Sisatzky: Hi, Estefanía! How are you? I am glad to have you here with us! To break the ice, I would like you to tell us a bit about your hobbies, when you became interested in international trade, where you studied…
Estefanía Chaile: Well, I have been interested in international trade since I was a little girl, even though I went to a high school where I was certified in Chemistry. I began my bachelor’s degree in International Trade in 2017 and graduated in 2021. In my spare time I like to read the news, books about economics, and all kinds of novels! I like playing tennis (but I am not very good at it), listening to music, going to festivals, and spending time with my loved ones (they keep me grounded). I am a very sociable person!
E.S.: Do you have a personal motto or a movie you relate to?
E.C.: Yes, I do. Something I try to live by every day is: Self-trust is the first secret of success. I love Pride and Prejudice.
E.S.: Are you still studying and training?
E.C.: Yes, I am. I am doing an MBA degree thanks to a scholarship I earned for my academic performance in my alma mater! I dream of sharing knowledge or new ideas through academic development in International Trade and Economics.
E.S.: When did you join Aerodoc and what is your role in the company?
E.C.: I am the Team Leader of International Operations, but when I joined Aerodoc in 2020 I started out developing special projects. Then I was sent to Operations, and I have been working there for over a year. I joined the company in September 2020 and have witnessed it grow exponentially.
Aerodoc is always actively listening to customer requirements and needs. We use that to restructure every area so we can stay on top of things.
E.S.: What are the three main responsibilities of Operations?
E.C.: We have three main responsibilities: cost savings, time savings, and staying up to date about the reality in every country we serve. I think that our biggest value for customers is our comprehensive knowledge of import/export processes where we offer services specialized in IT equipment.
E.S.: What do you see as Operations’ biggest challenges regarding customers?
E.C.: The biggest challenge regarding customers for Operations is staying ahead of regulatory changes in customs, especially protectionist measures with an impact on imports.
E.S.: Do you see that happening somewhere?
E.C.: Well, we have seen this mainly in Latin America; it is happening in Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador, among other countries. We at Operations carefully assess regulation changes and stay up to date about them to avoid any complications.
Furthermore, we must meet specific requirements in each country where we operate, particularly regarding import permits (required by over 80% of the countries where we operate) and valuations. The latter is essential for customs, especially in Latin America, but also in countries such as Uzbekistan and Egypt.
E.S.: Tell us a bit more about valuations.
E.C.: Some customs review the values stated on invoices to ensure their alignment with internal market prices. That is called customs valuations. The biggest problem for us is that our customers often get wholesale discounts, which may complicate import processes as customs may not accept discounted values and proceed to revaluate the products. In that case, our team will send customers our suggested value beforehand, to stay ahead of potential changes in duty and tax payments caused by customs valuations.
E.S.: To wrap things up, I would like to know which trends you are watching in logistics and Operations.
E.C.: Currently, logistics trends have to do with automation, which reduces transaction times and increases transparency and traceability. Most industries will converge into that, and logistics will need to ensure that customers get automatic updates on shipment status by the minute. Courier companies such as DHL and FEDEX are already offering this.
On the other hand, events like the COVID-19 pandemic have strongly disrupted the supply chain. Customers expect us to navigate any uncertainties and risks to provide logistics 24/7.
As for Operations, I believe our strong suit is our source of knowledge. This comes from our know-how and the way each team member learns to operate in every country, understanding and keeping up with everything related to customs and governments in the countries we cover.