From the helpful and friendly doorman to the pleasant chat with my boss, I have enjoyed working for MANN+HUMMEL since my very first day. For two years now, I have worked in market analysis for industrial filters in Speyer, with my main responsibility being to deal with all aspects of market research: What new construction and agricultural machines are available? Which vehicles are our filters suitable for? What do we already have in our range and what should we add? My focus here is on agricultural and construction machines in Europe.
A background in chemistry
Conducting market analysis was in principle nothing new for me as I had already gained some experience of this in previous jobs. However, the topic of filtration was uncharted territory. In fact, my background is in chemistry, so I was used to working with precise quantities. And then suddenly I just had to deal with ‘items’. In my very first week, I had to work hard to familiarise myself with the subject and get to grips with the rapidly growing market in order to get the overview I needed. This allowed me to quickly develop my in-depth expert knowledge.
A woman in a male-dominated environment
Women have always been under-represented in this field and I can safely say that in the agricultural and construction machine sector, I am working in a male-dominated environment. As a woman, it is hard to avoid attracting more attention, especially if you walk around a construction and agricultural machine trade fair in ballet pumps, as I do. But this attention soon wanes and, just like everyone else, I have to start by proving that I can do my job well. As soon as I enter into a conversation with people, they soon realise that I have in-depth expert knowledge to offer and an excellent understanding of the market. At this point, it makes no difference to my colleagues whether they are talking to a man or a young woman. What really matters is that the person in front of them is qualified and interested in the field. If you ask me, the concept of a division between male- and female-dominated fields is outdated.
As well as conducting market research, I am also responsible for the catalogue systems within the Industrial Filters Business Unit. With products like filters, people know exactly what they are looking for, which is why online catalogues are all the more important as they allow people to search for specific products. Or have you ever just searched for a W 1022 because you felt like doing a bit of shopping? Unlike with a paper catalogue, we are able to display far more products and applications, and provide extensive information online. For example, we can include cross-references to the relevant competitors’ filters so that our customers can easily find a suitable filter for their vehicle.
Optimising the catalogue
This year, we also have introduced new ways to analyse the ways in which the online catalogue is used, and then adapt it based on our findings. This is the most effective way for us to discover and rectify any gaps in our product range. Taking into account all of our products, the MANN-FILTER online catalogue is accessed in 15 languages around the world. I personally found it fascinating, for example, to discover how many people access the catalogue worldwide, in which regions the catalogue is accessed most frequently, and which products people are searching for and selecting. We are now an integral part of the construction and agricultural machine sector and our optimised online catalogue is an important step towards positioning ourselves on the same level as our competitors.