OCR Employee Spotlight

Simon Heath

Position at OCR:

Director of Sales, UK & EU


Number of Years at OCR and in the Sector:

I joined OCR last year in November of 2022, having worked in SaaS software for 12 years and in GTM solutions for 5 years. I started in cloud solutions in the construction industry, and achieved sales into major construction companies and the NHS, or National Health Service, which is one of the biggest employers in Europe. From there I worked on retail solutions helping them to manage their supply chains for private brands with major retailers like Marks & Spencers, Walgreens, Tescos, Boots & the Co-op, and more. Prior to joining OCR I implemented solutions for improving efficiency and compliance in Logistics, Customs and GTM for a range of large enterprises including Unilever, Fedex, XPO, Pilkington and Ocado.


Simon Heath HQ

What are some common compliance concerns that customers raise during the sales process, and how do you address them?

It always surprises me how many major businesses are still doing things manually, using spreadsheets for their watch list screening, product classification and license management. With so many global events and conflicts happening around the world, there is a lot of complexity because rules and sanctions are changing daily. For anyone doing this manually, it’s very difficult to cope with all of that changing data, and risks human error and mistakes, making it almost impossible for a large organization to manage efficiently.


Customers know that compliance is very important, as failure can mean heavy fines and even imprisonment for individuals in extreme cases. The compliance process can also be very difficult and time consuming. What they are missing is that modern SaaS solutions like OCR’s products can be fully automated, running overnight, to screen all your suppliers and customers against current and up-to-date sanctions lists. With integration tools, ERP or CRM records are updated daily, ensuring you not only stay on the right side of the law with full compliance but save time, money and achieve a fantastic ROI.


What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the trade compliance industry?

I would tell someone just starting out in trade compliance that I find this industry fascinating because it is based around world events. As conflicts, pandemics, laws and sanction changes happen around the world, trade compliance solutions address them. You will get to work on solutions that really make a big difference to protect companies and their employees.


It’s complex and ever-changing as global events shape new sanctions daily, and this makes it a perfect environment for advanced software solutions. It is very dynamic and therefore enjoyable. Hence it is important to keep up-to-date with news and world affairs – after all, who would have thought huge companies like Microsoft can fall foul of export regulations and find themselves on the wrong side of the law, having to make a settlement of $3.3M in April this year?


What’s a piece of trade compliance advice that’s stuck with you?

With most software, a clear ROI is an imperative for your customers to make the investment. However, with trade compliance, you are not merely setting ‘compliance’ as an end goal, but creating a business strategy where using the right tools are the foundations for the ongoing achievement of legal & profitable trading.