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Operations & Logistics

There are many different trades and occupations in Operations & Logistics: chemical process operator, chemical worker, warehouse and logistics manager, metalworker, mechatronics technician and electrician. We are continuously improving our processes at a very high quality level through team work in manufacturing. Our focus is on process technology and optimisation. We supply our customers at very short notice, so we are also continuously developing our logistics capabilities further to a very high standard.

Interviews

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Wolfgang Frey, Head of Materials Management and Control

What do you do, what are your responsibilities, and how long have you been with the company?

I have been with the company since 2000 and I am currently responsible for materials management and control. This encompasses the technical and organisational management of the logistics centre, intralogistics, i.e. internal transport between the different plants, checking in general cargo and materials that are transported in tanks/silos, and material allocation. I also work on various special projects both within materials management and control and in related areas. One important project I am currently working on is the control technology, which includes automation in the ordinary sense but also link-up and interfacing with the SAP system.

What is your background?

I originally trained as a machine fitter, then I went back to college to be able to study physicotechnology, which I subsequently did. After that, I worked for an engineering firm that specialised in automation technology.
I became involved in the logistics centre project as soon as I joined Uzin Utz. Functions and processes had to be defined and also realised in programming terms. Then the general contractor whom the logistics centre had commissioned had to file for insolvency before the centre went into operation. We were therefore forced to carry out the remaining work and to coordinate the subsequent start-up under our own steam. Ultimately, however, this also enabled us to optimise certain performance characteristics and functions.
In 2003, I was made Head of Materials Management and Control. One core issue I was faced with initially was improving delivery capacity. To solve this problem, it was necessary to change planning procedures, to use SAP planning tools, and to implement the respective master data maintenance. Then the technology control project started in 2006 with the preliminary planning. It was then initially implemented at the dry mortar plant, and subsequently in the adhesives production area. 

How many people are there in your team?

We have five members of staff in the material planning department. There is also a systems engineer who looks after the technical side in the logistic centre, and another nine people work in the intralogistics area. 

What do you expect from your colleagues?

Qualities that are particularly important to me are honesty, commitment, loyalty and discipline. It is also essential to be open to new ideas. Of course it also takes courage to change things. That also means approaching boundaries responsibly and sharing experiences. Which calls for a willingness to learn. The work must not become just routine. I think retaining your inquisitiveness and curiosity when it comes to potential changes is very important. 

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

A number of projects are currently in the implementation phase, so at the moment, the focus is most definitely on my project work. This means holding meetings, drafting planning documentation, consulting with suppliers and putting the equipment into operation.
A project is usually inspired by an idea, but sometimes also by operational necessity, or medium-term strategic planning. What is important is to concentrate on the important and essential points. Ultimately, you also have to consider time and again what the situation is going to be like in five year's time, for example.

What are the career prospects at the company like, in your opinion?

For now, the realisation of the different projects comes first. The absolutely positive experience I have made at Uzin Utz is that it is possible to follow a range of very different paths. 

What is your management style?

I tend to pursue a cooperative management style in combination with performance targets. It is the only way that allows me the scope I need to work on set projects and long-term planning. Annual performance reviews and target agreements are therefore an important management tool. 
It is important to me to establish structures that function sustainably. The premise for this is that my colleagues understand processes and have the requisite skills with regard to instruments and software tools. They should also think outside the box in order to get the whole picture, and should not be afraid to question things. If there is a need for change, it is discussed and tackled. As far as our day-to-day routines are concerned, which have to be dealt with independently, I have my colleagues' fullest confidence.

What do you particularly appreciate about the Uzin Utz AG as an employer?

Uzin Utz lets you have the scope you need to think things through and act accordingly. Doing a good job is appreciated. Any criticism is dealt with openly and constructively, with the shared aim of getting better all the time.
I value the very congenial way people treat each other. Independent of the respective level of formality, the mutual respect is simply there.