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Documentary Operations Manager

Location: North London
Salary: Negotiable


Responsible for:

Documentary Coordinator x 5



Our client is an established Trading House, based in North London predominately servicing the Middle East, Africa and Europe, supplying Raw Materials and Machinery to manufacturing companies.


Purpose of the role

An experienced, hands-on, Documentary Operations Manager who will oversee all aspects of the documentary function within the company. The Documentary department is responsible for ensuring that all the necessary documentation that will allow the shipment of goods and expediting of the clearance process are put together and delivered to the customer before vessel arrival. The job holder will execute efficiently all contract administration. This includes following up suppliers for shipping documents, ensuring that the documents meet customers’ requirements and the Customs/legal requirements of the country to which they are being exported. The process includes setting up the financing of the contract, drawing up letters of credit and ensuring they are accurately and timely processed through the bank.

The Job holder will be the focal point of any query or issues which need to be dealt within the Documentary department. In assessing the workload of the other members of the Documentary Team, the job Holder will also take custody of some files in order to remain directly involved in the process and to take the lead for new product and market developments initiatives of the company. 


Key deliverables (Essential duties and responsibilities)

The Documentary Operations Manager is responsible for the day to day operation of the Documentary department. The job holder will supervise a team of 5 staff, ensuring that all necessary works and tasks are completed in a timely manner.

  • Supervise documentary team to ensure they liaise closely with traders and engineers, so that all relevant documents and information relating to purchases and sales are received and processed through our SAP B1 system. That documents are filed physically or scanned within the Document Management System.
  • Ensure all stages of the supply and shipment of goods are efficiently controlled and delivered as per contract, on time, at the agreed price, in correct numbers, to specification and in good condition.
  • Ensure that clients are contacted after delivery to make sure their requirements have been met, if not, to arrange for corrective action to be taken, consulting with the Finance Manager if advice or authority is required.
  • To provide regular analysis, undertake investigations and supply reports on the activities of the department or as required by the Finance Manager.
  • Ensure any claims from customers or suppliers are dealt with and managed in conjunction with the logistic/shipping and insurance providers
  • Follow up with all queries and concern related to the shipments.
  • To Issue import Letters of Credit and Documentary Instructions to suppliers in a timely, accurate and conforming to contact
  • Review draft export Letters of Credit issued by customers, requesting amendments to make sure they confirm to contract and are negotiable instruments.
  • To Issue and present original documents to customers/banks for payment in an accurate and timely manner
  • Tracking vessels and follow up until goods are received by the customer.
  • To hold and lead regular meetings of the Documentary department to ensure problems and suggestions for improvement are regularly discussed.


Core competencies required to perform effectively in this role

  • Job knowledge: A thorough understanding of the technical responsibilities specific to the job, as well as the need to stay up to date on changes and new developments.
  • Interpersonal/Communications skills: To work effectively, productively seeking the cooperation of other Company employees. Maintaining good working relationships with all stakeholders including external.
  • Problem solving skills: The ability to use creativity, reasoning, experience, information and available resources to resolve issues.
  • Compliance: Promote and encourage a culture of compliance and ethics throughout the company.
  • Leadership and management skills: Experience of managing people, including performance assessment. Take responsibility for actions, decisions, outcomes and confidently lead the team.


Person specification

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent in transportation, logistics, business administration, economics or related degree. A minimum of 10 years hands on experience in a shipping /forwarding environment. A minimum of 5 years in a managerial position with proven successful results.
  • Able to adapt to new environment quickly.
  • Must have strong knowledge of customs clearance regulations as it relates to different countries.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with customers, vendors, and fellow employees.
  • Ability to think logically and follow procedures and instructions.
  • Strong time management and organizational skills. Must be able to prioritize and be detail oriented.
  • Ability to work with limited supervision, multitask and show initiative. Knowledge of SAP B1 Application is desirable.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and able to delegate effectively.
  • Full knowledge of Letter of Credits and inward and outward documentation presentations and payments
  • Extensive document control experience in a fast paced, time sensitive commercial environment with previous supervisory experience.
  • Have energy and self-discipline and able to take the initiative to drive the process and ‘make things happen’.
  • A fast learner with an ability to hit the ground running.
  • Previous experience in a trading environment is desirable.


Interested in this position?

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