I joined M+H in June 2013 as, I have been Vice President of Sales for the original equipment division. I lead a team of eleven globally active key account managers and their teams, who coordinate all commercial and strategic activities with our customers. I was already familiar with the company, having had various jobs in the automotive sector, so I was really thrilled to take on my new position which such a dynamic company.
Reorganisation of Sales and Project Management
My first task was to work with Ivor Ng, Vice President of Project Management, to reposition the current Sales and Project Management department in order to respond to the increasingly global nature of the business. We therefore divided the department into two areas: ‘OE Sales’ and ‘OE Project Management’. Our goal was to focus even more strongly on the needs of the customer, which is why we also installed new key accounts for our customers and made various other structural adjustments. My task was to lead this process and to make sure that the new sales department was truly globally orientated.
The German team – that is, the entire department in MHDE with around 70 employees – related very positively to the reorganisation. They may not have been expecting such major upheaval, but the changes we introduced were adopted with great commitment. We successfully completed the restructuring on 1 January as planned.
Living and learning
This was an exciting time for me as well. The old adage that ‘you live and learn’ really does seem to be universal, and my new role is constantly teaching me new things. These may be minor, for example that a bread roll is known as a ‘Weckle’ in the Stuttgart area, or major things such as the MANN+HUMMEL organisational structure.
Ludwigsburg is a nice place to work. The people are friendly and the weather is better than in Hamburg where I live. I moved from England to Germany in summer 1989 to work as an engineer in Hamburg. Germany was, and remains, the country for engineers, particularly in the automotive industry. Only six months after arriving, I felt really at home. Then suddenly, the wall fel, the streets were full of Trabantsand I ultimately decided to stay in Germany to be part of the transformation process. That was more than 25 years ago. In the meantime, I think it’s fair to say that I have become fully ‘acclimatised’ and pretty international, despite my British accent.