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Ulrich Schreier

Head of Mechanical Engineering

"The road leading from my first dim thought of becoming an engineer, to taking up the role I have today was long and sometimes complicated. But a lot is possible at thyssenkrupp!"

 

My job: Developing machine concepts, convincing clients, and implementing orders

Something I never would have thought of in my childhood or youth. It was after completing my training to become a drafter that I first thought I might be interested in engineering as a profession. And I made that thought a reality through adult education. But even after doing a degree in machine construction, I didn't have any idea what kind of job I could have or what I could achieve. At that point, I joined Johann A. Krause as a design engineer, before the company was taken over by thyssenkrupp in 1989. In the mid-1980s, I took on the management initially of a construction group and later of a technical area for our transport system – this was an exciting and diverse job! Alongside management of up to 50 employees, I also held product responsibility for new transport systems with redevelopment, standardization and customization. In 2004, I also worked at our US sites for six months, in order to share expertise and support co-workers there.

My challenges

We not only have to develop new machine concepts and components that the market demands, but also adapt our products flexibly and individually to different customer needs. Because our highest priorities are being close to customers and achieving customer satisfaction. Customers often want to make changes to the agreed contents of the contract during the construction phase: Fulfilling these requests and preferences without entirely departing from the schedule is one of our greatest challenges. Not least, implementing a regulated construction process with short lead times despite significant fluctuations in incoming orders continues to be an art form!

My typical working day

The majority of my working day, which is around ten hours long, is taken up by conversations with co-workers, colleagues, superiors, suppliers and service providers on subjects such as HR and capacity planning, schedule planning and tracking, HR and product development, process optimization and/or procuring capacity. Because my role as supervisor also involves a disciplinary aspect, there may be performance reviews with co-workers on the agenda, whilst I also provide support for technical issues. My other responsibilities include helping sales colleagues in defining concepts and pricing for quotes, and supporting our dual students.

Our tagline is "engineering. tomorrow. together.". For me, "together" means...

Well, since the end of the 1980s, I've been used to collaborating on setting up new factories across the globe, and incorporating design engineers into our products and processes. So you could say that "together" means that everyone accomplishes great things for the company, regardless of their nationality or current situation.

Realizing your potential

Realizing your potentialI enjoy working at thyssenkrupp – my scope of responsibilities is varied, with a constant flow of new technical challenges and rewarding contact with people from other countries and cultures. And when you work in teams here, it's with very well-trained, intelligent people and in a very positive working atmosphere. It's particularly important for me personally that I also have far-reaching freedom to make decisions within my scope of responsibility. And don't forget – Supporting the entire origination process, up to completion of a technically demanding machine or plan and knowing that I've made a key contribution to that process is a fantastic feeling every time!

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