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Interview with Beata
15-03-2012

 

Hello Beata. As an employee with sixteen years of experience in arvato you can serve as an example to many of us. I asked for the interview with you for many reasons. First, I wanted to learn about your career path, second, as your experience is very broad, I wanted to get several pieces of valuable information concerning your many direct duties. Let me, however, start with a question: what additionally influences your great achievements that you can pride yourself on?
I value good atmosphere at work, respect in the superior – inferior relation and vice versa, companionship and loyalty. The support of your associates and superior, especially when implementing new project, is also very important. I have learnt that each failure brings you closer to success because your are ever closer to the right plan for the future.
 
These are very valuable guidelines and indispensable basic information and, unfortunately, very often we forget that they have a great impact on our common achievements. You have worked in arvato almost from the very beginning.
I started working here in September 1994 under a contract of mandate. As soon as in December I got thrown in at the deep end and I was offered the job of Forewoman in the B2C Dispatch Department. At that time I did not have any experience in managing people and I did not know the processes, but I accepted the challenge. Starting to work in Bertelsmann Distribution I did not think that I would stay here so long, as I believed that this job is temporary … 
 
… everything depends on the perspective that you want to take on these sixteen years – for the powerful Universe it would be only a fraction of a second (laugh). With such a rich career path, which we will learn about in a moment, and with such high professional activeness, you must feel that this time passed in a blink of an eye. Tell us what happened next, please.
In December 1994 I took on the job of a Forewoman in the Dispatch Department. My basic duties were to manage the subordinate employees, among others, schedule their working hours, report to the Account Manager, organize, coordinate and control the work of the team.
 
How many Employees you had to manage then?
I do not remember the exact number, but I think that it was approximately 30 people. We had only one Customer then – Świat Książki. At first we worked only at one shift. I cooperated with other Departments, i.e. the Lettershop, Warehouse, Returns Departments.
 
arvato’s dynamic development went together with the development of the internal structures. What was the effect?
At first, my work as a Forewoman consisted mostly in management duties without the necessity to use the computer. Originally, warehouse management and goods trading was conducted using paper documents and as the assortment expended, it proved necessary to register data in the system. I was then chosen the manager and a one-person Production Setup Department was created.
 
In 2001 you were promoted again …
Yes, as I accepted new tasks, in July 2001 I was officially appointed the Production Setup Coordinator in the Dispatch Department. I had to deal then strictly with warehouse management tasks, in particular, securing products and materials for the production, stock management, stock control and explaining any discrepancies. I cooperated with the Warehouse. My Department was the cradle of the EDV – ElektronischeDatenVerarbeitung Department, i.e. Electronic Data Processing Department.
 
What was the next step in your career?
New Customers appeared, our assortment expanded and so did the Production Setup Department. Four new people were employed. Apart from the then tasks connected with handling the so-called production in progress, I took on an additional managerial function. In September 2006 I was inducted as the Production Setup Specialist.
In the meantime, Świat Książki opened new libraries and the Market Sales Department was created. The B2B channel started to develop. At that time I was entrusted with the task of implementing and managing the Publishers Department. My duties were planning and scheduling the work of employees, determining the efficiency limits and exacting them, supervising the fulfillment of Customer orders in compliance with quantity and quality requirements as well as reporting.
 
Your are currently a Shift Manager. What Department do you work in and how many people do you manage?
Since 2009 I have been Shift Manager in the Dispatch and Publishers Department. I manage nearly 150 people. The scope of activities connected with this job has considerably expanded. Besides the ones mentioned above, I plan production processes in the Dispatch and Publishers area. I plan, organize and coordinate the work of the team, I fulfill Customer orders in compliance with accepted norms, I manage and develop employee skills by challenging them with new tasks, I determine what tasks are employees responsible for and I exact them, conduct periodical appraisal, determine and monitor processes efficiency, calculate monthly remuneration for my employees, implement and run new projects.
 
Impressive! That’s a lot of responsibility and duties. Has arvato allowed you to raise your qualifications in the meantime in order to perform your duties more fully?
During the sixteen years of my career, I was member of the Social Benefits Committee during three terms of its office, I participated in training in change management, team leadership, motivation techniques, transferring authority, team building, managerial skills and disciplinary and motivation talks.
 
I suppose that this is not the end of your development. Form what you say I can see that you are a very ambitious and active person.
My career consists in accepting new challenges and self-improvement. In order to develop my skills and raise my qualifications I started to study Management at Poznań School of Logistics. This year I will obtain the Bachelor’s Degree and I am writing my paper on employee motivation.
 
Right now I can only congratulate you and wish you good luck with your final exams. Beata, as the spectrum of your professional experiences is so broad, could you share your observations on the direct area of your duties with us?
Managing employees over such a long period of time allowed me to have a broad perspective on their needs and on things that are important for them and that motivate them. I treat each employee in an individual manner and I never refuse a talk if they need it. My goal is to “extract” their true value and character, find them a place in the team and to perfect their skills so that they can feel needed and that they do not treat their work as necessary evil.
 
It is a great challenge, but I have no doubts that you will prove your worth there.
I am aware of the fact that this task is tough, considering the number of employees and my other duties. I try to maintain the balance between my private and professional lives. I have learnt that with time.
 
Let us enter your private sphere now. It is difficult to believe that such a professionally active person can find a moment to rest.
My Husband is my great confidant and advisor. We spend each free moment on walks with our uncontrollable German Pointer. We also use the Benefit card to go to the swimming pool and sauna. We love going to the mountains and we regenerate our strength and minds there. I am a tranquil and balanced person by nature.
 
Thank you for the precious information and guidelines. I wish you further equally dynamic development.

 

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