Nearly 10,000 employees work for us all over the world. They include mechanical engineers, business economists, IT experts, and specialists in the areas of human resources, legal affairs, procurement, and many more. All of them are committed to ensuring the success of our customers, and thus also the success of the K?rber Group, in their daily work — every single day.
Through the close cooperation of a wide variety of professions, they generate what defines K?rber: innovation. The diversity of these jobs also shows how our business operations are continuously developing and changing.
For decades, the K?rber brand has stood for top-quality machine and plant engineering. This is where our Group has its strong roots. For a number of years now, we have been expanding our software and digital expertise in all of our Business Areas. Thanks to our proficiency in the area of high-performance technology, we play a leading role in all the sectors in which we have customers. Industry 4.0 and digitization offer us ideal opportunities to strengthen and expand this position.
The process of digital advancement not only makes new products, services, and business models possible — it is also introducing entirely new opportunities for qualification and new job profiles.
HighJump offers its customers a cloud-enabled SCM technology platform called the “HighJump One Platform” — one of the most adaptable software solutions in the sector. The company also develops innovative software applications that enable customers to visualize goods flows and synchronize business processes across all channels. Thanks to this software, the entire supply chain can be monitored from start to finish, from warehouse administration to intralogistics and transportation management.
Kim enjoys adapting to the specific needs of individual customers and finding solutions for various applications. “As a project manager, of course I pay particular attention to making sure that all the processes are coordinated and that we meet all the deadlines we’ve agreed on,” she says. If there’s any remaining time, Kim works on the software herself. “We have a basic program that we work with, but of course we adapt it individually to the requirements of the individual customers,” she says.
Kim’s work requires programming skills and a thorough understanding of the software. She acquired these skills during her study of information management, which she concluded with a bachelor’s degree. She joined HighJump right after graduating. “For me, the most exciting part is always the day when a system goes live,” she says. She loves the moment when the first package of goods leaves the warehouse, bound for the shipping zone.
“The degree of automation varies greatly from one customer to the next,” Kim explains. For example, at a wholesale vegetable dealer only a very small part of the warehouse administration was automated, whereas at another customer, a clothing producer, the automation was extensive. “Our goal is that our customers develop trust in our team and our ability to solve their problems. Our motivation is our desire for constant improvement.”
Kim works on projects for periods lasting from several months to a year, depending on the size of the project — sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a team. Her work requires a lot of travel. “I’m on the road for about a quarter of my work time,” she says. Even though she has two sons, she hasn’t found it difficult to combine her job with her private life. “My work is very flexible. So far I’ve always been able to go to soccer games or doctor’s appointments with my boys,” she says. “The company considers it very important to provide employees with this kind of flexibility.”
Michael Wolber’s work is always challenging and varied. He’s employed by Seidenader which is a Group company located in the town of Markt Schwaben in Bavaria — more than 8,300 kilometers distant from Kims workplace. Seidenader, which is part of the K?rber Business Area Pharma Systems, manufactures inspection machines for pharmaceutical companies, among other products.
Michael has worked at Seidenader as an engineer for over 14 years, but his daily work has never settled into any kind of routine. The 49 years old expert was recently appointed Head of Operations — a promotion that required Michael to take on new responsibilities. “This is a challenging job that I really enjoy because it’s so multifaceted,” he says. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe (in the south west of Germany) and subsequently worked in a medium-sized company, where he was ultimately promoted to the position of Head of Design. In 2004 Michael joined Seidenader, where he worked as a project manager and was also the deputy head of the Project Management department for five years.
Today, as Head of Operations, he is responsible for supervising and improving processes within the company. His area of responsibility includes assembly, goods management, procurement, and dispatching. In other words, his expertise is required in a whole range of specialist areas.
“At the moment I’m intensely occupied with the introduction of another system in the form of SAP,” Michael explains. To make sure the processes mesh optimally, he is creating a brand-new department for work preparation. “And of course the further development of the digital advancement is a constant factor in my daily work,” he adds. “I’m constantly looking for points at which we can organize processes even more effectively.” Seidenader has production plants in several locations, including the Czech Republic. Knowledge and documentation must therefore be cleverly transferred between the plant in Markt Schwaben near Munich (Germany) and the plant in Kurim near Brno (Czech Republic). In addition, the various deliveries have to be coordinated.
Matching this, his key word is “communication.” Michael estimates that he spends about 70 percent of his time coordinating processes with department heads and employees and reacting to changes. That’s why it’s important for him to be accessible to the employees. “I like to go to the production zone so that I can talk with the people there directly,” he says.
Communication and face-to-face talks with colleagues and customers are crucial factors. Kim Catrain and Michael Wolber are two employees out of K?rber’s total workforce of nearly 10,000. Their respective Business Areas — Pharma Systems and Logistics Systems — present different sets of requirements. In addition, Kim and Michael have different sets of experiences and knowledge. And many thousands of kilometers, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, lie between their two workplaces.
All the same, the main reasons why they enjoy their jobs and feel personally successful are very similar: varied tasks that keep their jobs from being boring, the pleasure of tackling challenges, and their close and target-oriented cooperation with customers and employees.
And that’s what working at K?rber is all about — in all of its facets, all over the world.