Career on Announcement
For five years, Magdalena Nowak worked for Arvato Supply Chain Solutions as a consultant for the client Rituals Cosmetics, a Dutch company based in Amsterdam, before she was named supervisor of the team in December 2017. She calls it a dream coming true for the Polish native, who joined Arvato in May 2013.
"Right from the start, my goal was to take responsibility and lead a team in this company. I owe the success of this step not only to my commitment and determination, but also to the trust of my employer, who gave me the chance," says the 30-year-old, who had already served other Arvato customers in the cosmetics industry prior to her current job.
Growing with the Customer
Today, she leads a team of around 50 employees at the Arvato site in Venray in the Netherlands. In two shifts, several thousand shipments for the customer are packed here every day and shipped to 27 countries worldwide. "At peak times, such as the pre-Christmas period or Black Friday, our order volume increases fivefold. Then we have to assign around 120 additional colleagues so that we can cope with the volume of work," explains Magdalena, who loves these particular challenges. "I had several other jobs before I joined Arvato, but they were too boring for me after just a short time. I just need a certain amount of variety in my job and I'll definitely get it here," she says with a laugh.
Since the start of the project in 2014, the volume has developed rapidly. "In the beginning there were only three of us in the Rituals team. The first few months were difficult, but from 2015 we only grew." From a few packing tables in the beginning, many packing stations have now been set up to prepare shipments for dispatch. The product range now extends from numerous body and skin care products and precious mineral make-ups to pure tea, scented candles, scented sticks and casual clothing, so-called "soulwear".
"Rituals Cosmetics has experienced incredible growth over the past five years and opens two to three new stores every week all around the world. The processes we have to implement on a daily basis are correspondingly complex," says Magdalena, who as a supervisor is responsible for numerous management tasks. "I check the forecasts, take care of personnel planning, monitor the KPIs and coordinate required resources. And if there are disruptions, I see to it that we correct them as quickly as possible. Fortunately, I live very close to our site and can be there quickly if necessary." She has never regretted her decision to pursue a career as a manager: "Even though things can get stressful from time to time, I'm happy every day to work for Arvato and take on responsibility. That's why I would go the same way again."
Taking the Next Step
Especially in critical cases, the experience she has gained in the job helps her. "In the meantime, I know what I can do and what I want. That wasn't always the case. Especially at the beginning of my professional career I was very insecure," admits Magdalena, who has become an important dialogue partner for the client over the years. "I now know the products of our client and the customer’s needs so well that I know at least as much about some topics as our clients own employees.”
And what is important? "I think my biggest attribute is that I can find good balance between quality and productivity. As a manager, I do not only have to keep an eye on the next 24 hours, but also have to think in the medium and long term. What do I have to do to ensure that we remain successful in the coming weeks and months? What do we all have to do to keep our customer satisfied – because that’s what it is all about. This foresight is part of my job and I think it makes a good manager."
I talk to my colleagues every day and I am always open to their feedback and suggestions. Because we've worked side by side for years and I know that I can totally rely on them. After all, we all have the same goal: to make our company successful.”
Encouraging Suitable Employees
Her team is always important for Magdalena, who likes to cook in her spare time. "I talk to my colleagues every day and I am always open to their feedback and suggestions. Because we've worked side by side for years and I know that I can totally rely on them. After all, we all have the same goal: to make our company successful." All the more reason for her to be happy when an employee from her team makes a career. "If someone is committed and suitable for a management position, I support them and try to open the appropriate doors. Even if he or she then leaves us for another department. After all, it's all about making the best use of the available potential for Arvato, not about hiding your team."
She doesn't lose sight of her own career and the fun she has in developing herself further. Four years ago, among other things, she started learning Dutch. Twice a week she attends class after work. "If I want to develop professionally, English and Polish are not enough. In addition, my partner, with whom I have been living together for six years, comes from The Netherlands. It's not bad if I further improve my language skills," smiles Magdalena and thinks about new projects to come.
What You Need to Bring as a Supervisor!
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