Since January 2023 you have been Head of Business Analytics. What does that mean?
In international controlling, all the available and relevant figures from the various regions flow together for our top management. We analyze and prepare reports so that decisions can be made more quickly. We deal with questions such as: What is the situation in the region? How have sales developed? How has production developed? How efficient have we been? And what does this mean for the future? We prepare scenarios so that management can make the best decisions.
Do you have a team?
Yes, we are spread out in Warsaw and Duisburg - and yes, I have again built a strong team since the beginning of the year.
How did your job change into this position?
When I was offered my current position last year, I had a couple of days to decide. After only a few hours, I thought, ‘Of course I'll do it.’ I have always been an ambitious person, always looking for new goals. At the same time, I always wanted to grow. Now I really appreciate the fact that I get a different global view of our company and get to participate in global decisions. I'm very happy because I learn something new every day.
You have been working for Xella for 16 years. How did that happen?
I had previously worked for German companies, a freight forwarder, and the sugar producer Südzucker, and I really wanted a job where I could use my German language skills. At the time, Xella was looking for someone to work in accounting. Even though I had studied marketing, I found that this challenge suited me perfectly.
What positions have you held?
In accounting, I quickly realized that I needed to develop, so I tried different things. And when my boss at the time asked me if I wanted to move to purchasing as a purchasing manager, I quickly said yes. That was in 2010. I changed a lot in the company, e.g., introducing new processes and purchasing guidelines.
In 2014, I took over logistics in addition to purchasing, and in 2018, when SAP was introduced, I was responsible for implementing the materials management module. But already at that time I had the dream to develop myself academically as well. So, I started an MBA in 2021 on top to my demanding day-to-day-job - it's fair to say that the last two years have been very intense. Every weekend, Fridays, and Saturdays, sometimes Sundays. Now, I am fortunately successful finished.
Yes, I completed my MBA in April!
What has changed at Xella since you started in 2007?
We have further developed our mission and vision, we have a real dialogue with the employees, and innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are very important. And more importantly, we now have a real safety culture.
How do you remind yourself to work safely?
When I was still in the purchasing department, I was often in the plants, or at suppliers, and of course I was wearing the prescribed safety clothing - shoes, jacket, shirt. Our safety culture is much more than visible clothing; it is based on safe conduct, awareness, training, and repetition. I am very happy that the Total Safety Leadership Program exists because safety plays a role in all areas of the company. We have Safety Moments, and we start every presentation, every meeting with safety. This approach and thinking are also transferred to the realm of private life and when I drive home, I watch my speed.
What do you like about Xella as an employer?
I've been working at Xella for almost 16 years, since 2007 - I've always been able to develop here, and I've always been trusted. And that is something I would like to pass on to my employees: If you are committed, courageous and pursue your goals, you are right at Xella.
You are part the group of women with high potential at Xella. What has been your experience so far?
I was very happy to be part of the program, which includes coaching, mentoring, training, and networking. But most of all, I was happy that we met in Barcelona at the end of 2022. The program already has a huge benefit to share ideas and learn from each other. I hope we will all be able to meet more often in person. Face to face interaction is just different.
You have a family, a demanding job, and you studied on the side. How do you relax?
Indeed, I love my family and they are very important for me, and I can really relax with them on the weekends (again after Study). Then I take an hour outdoors for myself every day (walking, jogging, cycling) regardless of the weather. No matter how late it is. I also try to walk ten kilometers every day. And that's what I do.
I try to live actively and as much as time allows me to be in motion, I never use the elevator. And if I can only walk less during the day, I do it in the evening. That's my recreation. Every day.
How did you get to where you are now?
If you want to grow, talk about it. I recommend that to everybody. No matter what position I'm in, if I'm doing something, I'm very committed, ambitious and do everything I can to achieve the goal. But the most important thing is to know which direction you want to go in and be brave about it. Just go for it! And never forget to do all this with joy and happiness!