I’ve been working for MANN+HUMMEL since October 2013 as an SAP consultant in the warehouse management division. Warehouse management falls within the larger field of logistics. Being at the start of my career, understanding and learning the SAP system with all its subtleties is the biggest task I’m currently faced with.
The SAP system offers a whole host of processes as standard. As I have already attended numerous SAP training sessions, I thought they would be sufficient to understand each individual MANN+HUMMEL warehouse in the world despite all the different processes. Unfortunately it is a lot more complicated than that.
SAP constantly evolves
As a business software package which records, processes, archives, and represents all of a company’s processes and data, SAP is constantly developing and changing. This is due to such factors as environmental considerations and amendments to legislation which must be incorporated within the system. However, the main issue is deviations from standard processes – and this is where it starts to get complicated.
To cater to the enormous growth seen at MANN+HUMMEL in recent years from an SAP perspective, choices have had to be made between individuality, standards, documentation, and immediate problem solving. This was, and is, the only way of ensuring the productivity and sustainability of the SAP business software package for MANN+HUMMEL. In other words, based on my own personal experience, ensuring that IT systems meet the requirements of everyday business is an unimaginably demanding task, which I can now only begin to appreciate following my extensive training and the short period of time I have been in my role as an SAP consultant.
Enormous mass of information
My department works together as a team in an open-plan office where we can discuss processes more quickly and conveniently. The MANN+HUMMEL SAP core team works in this office along with other colleagues who deal with other application software used at MANN+HUMMEL. It is hard to describe the depth of knowledge of MANN+HUMMEL processes you will encounter here on a daily basis. Although this mass of information almost overwhelms you every day, it is also tremendously enriching.
My business information systems training at the Baden Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University has probably helped me to bridge the gap between theory and practice more effectively than if I had studied at a technical college or university. However, I’m still constantly faced with this gap in my everyday working life and I am continually being brought back to reality. In practice, everything looks different to the way it looks on paper or in training sessions.
In my job in the SAP department of MANN+HUMMEL, I am now able to build on the extensive practical and theoretical experience I gained during my studies by learning from experienced colleagues every day. I can also seek out opportunities for further improvement and exert some degree of direct influence over this.
Teamwork is the best
Analysing and overcoming the daily challenges to achieve the best results as a team in our open-plan office is what I find so exciting about my work. When speaking to colleagues from around the world, I continually see MANN+HUMMEL from new and diverse perspectives.
Whether you’re dealing with a warehouse in China, India, France, or Germany, and whether you’re faced with cultural, legal, or customer-specific particularities, you’re always left with an impression of tremendous diversity.
There is also a particularly good atmosphere on nights out with workmates, whether with German, Czech, or Chinese colleagues who have come for an integration test in Ludwigsburg or during the go-live phase of a new warehouse in France.
Looking back, this has so far proved to be the right path for me. Gaining experience, understanding, learning, and increasingly drawing conclusions and making decisions was exactly what I wanted and is what I am beginning to do.