Key Cargo

Leigh Garrod, Operations Director, Key Cargo International Limited discusses his relationship with ASM, migrating from GeMS to Sequoia and his experience with ASM’s Support Service.

“Key Cargo International has worked with ASM for nearly 10 years. Starting with the GeMS package, we migrated to their Sequoia customs clearance platform about 18 months ago. Before the migration, we were aware that ASM were developing a new customs clearance software package and talking with the team at ASM, I was increasingly interested to see what they were developing. GeMS did a perfectly good job and performed well, however it was an ageing package and didn’t have the modern feel of an integrated Windows competent, so I put our company on the list to migrate once Sequoia was ready for roll out.”

“The migration itself was problem-free, with no connection or communication issues. There was no ‘’going into the background’ to find something wasn’t switched on, everything we needed was at desk level. We simply installed the software, Sequoia found the server, picked up the settings for data transfer and everything was ‘go’. It’s true to say that it was nothing more than a series of ‘Next, Next, Next – Finish’.”

“We also use Boxtop, which links nicely into Sequoia and will pull through documents and entry details, so everything can be accessed from the job screen in Boxtop. That gives us the benefit of simple screen-flipping plus document retention and back-up on both systems.”

Sequoia most definitely lives up to its reputation for being intuitive. It’s quicker and easier to understand and use than GeMS. Obviously it’s a big change from GeMS but once you move away from the GeMS concept and treat Sequoia as a new entity, start working in the way that it’s supposed to operate, then job entry is progressive and seamless.”

“From our point of view, Sequoia gives us both increased productivity and competitive edge, we are doing our job faster, which gives our customers a better service. Sequoia provides greater data retention and makes it far easier to ‘grab’ data and integrate it into Customs Entry. We can pull information straight into a job and proceed with Customs Clearance from there. Also, the build-up of information that Sequoia offers means it stores the information we need with each individual entry, so when we have regular cargo coming through we don’t need to constantly look up the Tariff Heading or Product Name each time. If it’s the same as the previous shipment, simply click on your Item Favourites and Sequoia instantly pulls through all the information. Considering the complexity of the work it’s doing in the background Sequoia is a simple system to use.”

“Working with ASM offers other benefits, they consistently go beyond what’s expected, which is a testament to their service and attitude. ASM’s Help Desk operates at a level well above their competitors, whenever we call them we get their frontline team, if they can’t help they’re quick to escalate the problem and always get back to us – sometimes within minutes. Their Help Desk people understand this industry and know what they’re talking about, if it’s a critical job-down situation they’re on the case immediately.  With industry-specific software you need people that understand the industry and the impact of any delays or problems on your business. That’s exactly what you get with ASM. “

“We also call ASM with Customs queries and they are able to help us, because they know and understand the workings of Customs as much as they understand the freight business. Where they have experience from problems they’ve solved in the past they willingly share the solution with you.”

“The calibre of their support service was obvious when our ISDN went down, which is our connection to Chief hosted by Albacore through a VPN connection. BT couldn’t get on to it as a critical issue and we were 48 hours without a line, which was potentially damaging to our business as import and export clearances go on all day long. Albacore does offer a fall-back service to carry data over our Broadband connection to their server and ‘hop’ onto their connection to CHIEF, unfortunately, because of our firewall configuration we couldn’t use that connection. When I discussed this problem to ASM the response was immediate. They allowed us to use their connection to CHIEF.”

ASM are not our connection provider, they’re our software provider, the problem was nothing to do with them and they didn’t need to help us. However, they not only understood the business-damage potential but stepped up to the mark, did something about it. They spent their own time sorting our problem and got us back up and running. That’s far more than good client service, it’s industry awareness combined with understanding the problem and being prepared to find a solution.”

Quite simply our relationship with ASM a trust-based relationship. I allow them open access to our server. If I didn’t trust them implicitly there’s no way I would do that. ASM do everything that Key Cargo International requires in terms of service, support and software.“

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• support: (t) 01784 240400 (e) helpdesk@asm.org.uk
• sales: (t) 01784 242200 (e) sales@asm.org.uk