Kornelia NiekampHead of Human Resources for the Osnabrück site, has been employed by the Felix Schoeller Group since 1977 and is responsible for our employees from their appointment until when they leave
What is your job? What do you do at Schoeller?“I am responsible for our employees at the Osnabrück site, from the time of their appointment through to their retirement, in other words I give advice and support throughout their life at Schoeller. Once the relevant staffing requirements have been established in consultation with line managers, we clarify whether an internal or external appointment is to be made. A possible job advert is drawn up and produced in different media. Then I am there to assist with the appointment process: holding interviews, drawing up contracts, supporting with training. Advising on career opportunities is just as much one of my tasks as preparing and assisting with key staff appraisals. As a personnel manager, I see myself as a contact for all line managers and employees, regardless of whether the issue is one of professional development, possibilities for change in the job or personal matters.”
Does your role include strategic issues as well as operational ones?“Yes, and these are also particularly interesting. I provide support with the further development of divisions and departments. Again and again, there is the need to adapt organisational structures to new challenges. I am currently working actively on new systems of working hours; these are becoming more and more important with demographic change.”
What are the links like within Osnabrück?“Under the auspices of the Wirtschaftsförderung Osnabrück [Osnabrück Office of Business Development], I work actively on some projects. In addition, there is the possibility of comparing notes with other personnel managers elsewhere.
In addition, the paper industry is a small sector and people know and help one another.”
What do you particularly like about your work?“The best thing is that no two days are the same. My work is very varied and enjoyable. I come into contact with a wide variety of people, I have nice line managers and colleagues. And above all, I have the feeling of making a difference.”
Andrea HoffmannAndrea Hoffmann, Marketing Manager, employed by the Felix Schoeller Group since 1988
What do you do in your capacity as Marketing Manager at Felix Schoeller?„All in all I am responsible for implementing our marketing strategy using suitable marketing tools. This includes firstly the promising placement of our products in all the information and sales documents (printed media, digital media, online media) – in close consultation with Sales, Product Management and our agencies. Secondly, I organise and coordinate, from A to Z, our appearances at national and international trade fairs. Starting with consultations with the trade fair organisation, the construction and/or design of the stand, the coordination of all the marketing measures and their contents through to putting together the staff for the stand and making hotel bookings, to name just part of the extensive preparation work. In collaboration with our agents, I develop communication media such as brochures, mailshots and also advertising campaigns, the content of which I again consult on closely with the head of the Business Unit and with Sales.“
What do you particularly like about your current position?„At the moment it is particularly exciting because a real marketing department is currently being set up at Felix Schoeller. It is fun to be able to make a difference, to follow new paths and also to “try something out” once in a while. The assignments are very multi-faceted and varied. In consultation with the Global Marketing Director I can largely carry out the projects independently, as I have said. The goal is defined, but the path to it is relatively free and I can structure this myself.“
What do you particularly like at Felix Schoeller?„Firstly I have very nice colleagues, with whom it is really fun to work in a team. Secondly, of course, I also really like the flexibility with the working hours. As single mother, I have a full time job; this involves, like in my job, lots of organisational skill. The company supports me in that I can split up my hours relatively flexibly, because in addition to the office in Osnabrück I also benefit from a home office solution. Only in this way am I able to carry out my job conscientiously and at the same time be there for my family. All this makes my work significantly more attractive. Of course, I have to perform my tasks on time and meet my targets; it doesn’t really matter what time of the day I perform my tasks or answer my e-mails however. Working independently, the diversity of my role and the opportunities for further development within the company complete the feeling of well-being."
Tino HimpelPaper technologist and Foreman and Shift supervisor on the PM16 in Penig, employed by Felix Schoeller since August 2001
What exactly is your job as shift supervisor?“During my shift I am responsible for the entire paper machine PM16 in Penig.
The challenge is to run the machine for eight or twelve hours at a high level. As shift supervisor, I have to ensure that my team works in the best way and that everything meshes. Currently, my team consists of nine to ten people.
I am proud of the fact that the company has entrusted this task to me.”
Was it not difficult sometimes to be managing a team at the age of 24?“You do need a bit of a flair for this task. All my employees are older than me. The oldest member of the team is now 61.
It is necessary to achieve a balance between being direct, giving instructions and showing understanding towards the employees. At the beginning it was difficult but I struggled through and it was worth it.”
What does the paper machine that you are responsible for produce?“In Penig, we produce decor and backer paper. On average, per shift, I am responsible for a product value of sometimes up to €100,000. We can only sell paper of impeccable quality. Everything else is rejected. When I am making my decisions, I always have to be aware of this. For me, this means managing my team in such a way that we assess errors quickly and can react correctly in the right way. We have to identify quickly whether the paper produced can be sold or what we need to change. My task is to guarantee this.”
What are the biggest challenges facing you as a foreman?“As a shift foreman, I also need to have in-depth knowledge about paper and lots of technical knowledge about our machines and facilities. In the event of breakdowns, I have to be able to give the technicians detailed descriptions of the breakdowns. From 18:00 I am, as the shift supervisor, responsible for the whole mill. I am the point of contact for all divisions. But the biggest challenge is managing employees. This is both inspiring and demanding. And that makes it interesting. I myself have to set priorities, and have wide responsibility.”
Konstanze FuchsApplication Technician in Research & Development, employed by the Felix Schoeller Group since November 2011
What attracted you about the position in this company?“Schoeller and my previous employer had already worked together for 3 years. This meant that I became aware of Schoeller and Schoeller became aware of me. What attracted me about my current position with Felix Schoeller was being able to experiment with a very wide variety of digital print media and to find out more about the development process.”
What exactly is your job now?“My job is to check out the very wide variety of newly developed digital print media. This includes tests in our two climate chambers to ensure that our papers keep their quality even at fluctuating temperatures and a wide range of air humidity levels – in this way we support our brand promise “Best Performing Papers. Worldwide.” In addition I work out the optimum print setting for different printer-paper combinations. To do this, I draw up standard and premium profiles using specialist RIP software. Only in this way are we able to provide our customers worldwide with optimum printing performance.
I was also given the opportunity to work on a project together with the photographer Michael Dannenmann. He is one of Europe’s most well-known portrait photographers. Michael Dannenmann take photographs for, among others, magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Stern and the Zeit magazine. His pictures have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries including in the Deutsche Historische Museum in Berlin. He knew Felix Schoeller from various previous projects. Dannenmann was planning an exhibition in Osnabrück. After about three months of work and the final selection of the materials, the time had come. The final personal printing approval was due and everything was well prepared. At the end of the day, he had to be happy with it – which he was. As a result I was able to produce 150 exhibits for him. The exhibition was a total success!
But that still isn’t everything. In addition to testing new products and implementing a wide variety of projects, I also help actively with handling complaints, support the marketing department with smaller graphical typesetting jobs and in addition there is always a lively exchange of ideas in relation to new applications for our products. Overall, my remit is very wide-ranging and very varied.”
What is particularly interesting about your job?“In my previous job I was ‘only’ able to print onto the digital print media, – now I’m able to also look behind the scenes. I work with the different departments such as Product Management, Development and Marketing. Together we can be creative, talk shop, and give our imaginations free rein. It is great to be able to be involved in the development of new materials and to be able to have an influence on the results.”
Matthias BaumgärtnerVice President and Head of Sales at Technocell Vlies, employed by Technocell Vlies since 1 May 2011, responsible for Technocell Vlies’s sales activities.
What attracted you about the job /about the Felix Schoeller company?“I already knew the company from my previous job. What attracted me to Schoeller was the fact that Schoeller is a down-to-earth, family-owned company, but still with an strong international outlook. I was also interested in nonwovens as a specialist area. I was a bit sceptical about this to begin with, because I thought: who needs wallpapers nowadays? But as the possibilities and prospects of this business unit became clear to me, I was convinced, and the idea of becoming involved and above all supporting the development and setting up of this new Business Unit intrigued me. But on the basis of my professional career, there’s one thing I can say: You never get the smell of wood pulp out of your nose.”
Is is difficult to establish a new product line within the Felix Schoeller Group?“Not at all, in my view. New product areas are held in particularly high regard and promoted at Felix Schoeller. All the departments and colleagues involved in this process support us and we receive consistently positive feedback. You feel very good and, above all, you enjoy the fact that together with others you can make a difference.”
Is it difficult to integrate new businesses into the existing workflows at Felix Schoeller?“No, it’s not a problem at all. While there are existing structures, parties involved are happy to keep changing and adapting these in order to achieve the speed and efficiency required by the customers. From all sides, lots of stops are being pulled out and new doors are constantly being pushed open to new possibilities.”
Does the name Schoeller help in your sales pitches?“Most nonwoven customers were not familiar with the name Schoeller because they didn’t know the company in this context. What was very helpful, however, was to introduce Schoeller and illustrate the possibilities that arise thanks to the power of the company Felix Schoeller. Every customer is impressed when he hears how many sites and facilities Felix Schoeller has worldwide and that we produce over 300,000 tonnes of paper annually. Having a ‘parent’ like Felix Schoeller in the background does help hugely.”
What do you particularly like about the work at Felix Schoeller?“I particularly like the collegiality and team spirit within the Business Unit and beyond. I received a very positive welcome when I started working at Schoeller and was able to forge good relationships and establish networks very quickly. It is a very fair, open cooperation and working here is enjoyable. The short pathways are ideal for pushing through new solution options. The collaboration between the different departments such as Production, Technology, Logistics and Sales is excellent which means that optimum solutions can be found.
In our Business Unit there is a very positive atmosphere, which is increased further by success. It is more and more enjoyable, which is also attributable to the fact that we are given a lot of freedom and that we are greatly supported by management.”