The finalisation of the FAT for the LED blade system also marked the end of my time in Design.
My next stop was the Purchasing department. Here I had a lot to learn. Before, I had been sending requirement enquiries to Purchasing, and now here I was on the other side. I quickly saw there was more to Purchasing than can be seen from outside: requesting offers from suppliers and then comparing them; coordinating with colleagues from Design, sending orders to suppliers, and finally tracking dispatched shipments and receiving incoming goods. In addition to these operative activities, a lot of strategic issues are advanced from Purchasing, which remain unnoticed to most other colleagues in the company. These include finding and establishing new suppliers, or the creation and negotiation of framework agreements, or the advancement of process digitalisation in SAP. Although I only spent a relatively short time in Purchasing, I was lucky enough to be incorporated fully in both operative and the strategic thematic areas.
The chance to obtain such a detailed insight was extremely valuable for me – not just because I got to know the processes and procedures, but also because I can now better comprehend and understand my colleagues’ working methods.
Such experiences gathered during this trainee programme are, in my view, incredibly helpful. And this isn’t just the case if you later intend to work as Project Manager, requiring an interface to all these departments. I am convinced that it is helpful for every employee to gain an understanding of how other colleagues work, and to comprehend which information these colleagues require in order to work efficiently. In this way, I can communicate my requests and enquiries to my colleagues more effectively, which facilitates their work and allows me to achieve my objectives more rapidly. This results in a win-win situation for everyone.
I think the trainee programme is a true career-booster for the reasons stated above. Without this programme, I still wouldn’t have got to know many of my colleagues as well as I have. The internal network of colleagues and newly-obtained friends is, in my opinion – in particular in my role as Project Manager – essential in order to comprehend my colleagues’ needs and to ensure that projects run smoothly.