Heike Kruchen was born at the Alfried Krupp hospital in Essen. Was that destiny? Coincidence? Whatever. She has been working at thyssenkrupp Materials Services GmbH since 2016, thus returning to her earliest childhood roots. Heike Kruchen is a Senior SAP Consultant. She inherited her penchant for controlling and finance from her father and followed in his footsteps with a degree in economics. However, it was more by accident than design that she ended up in the field of SAP. In Münster she studied economics, majoring in “money and credit” and “international economic relations” and her career has included a number of different positions, including one where she spent five years in London for an SAP project. On returning to Germany she initially worked for a US chemical company as part of an international SAP project team, before finally joining thyssenkrupp in Essen.
One for all, ...
Together with her five-member team, she works in IT. Her job is to map processes and workflows in SAP systems. Her team comprises highly skilled financial experts – both long-term employees and newcomers. “A great mix that means we can support each other well and exchange experiences,” says Heike Kruchen. The fact that good teamwork is the key to success is something she already experienced during her studies, a period she has good memories of: “All the students really stuck together and helped each other. I really appreciated that and it’s something I am now enjoying again on a day-to-day basis at thyssenkrupp – a truly great experience. I try to encourage this culture, also in our “wider” group of colleagues in India and Poland, where we have further support functions.” Heike Kruchen is currently working on a project that frequently takes her to the USA where the latest SAP technology in the form of an S/4 Hana system is being implemented for colleagues.
.... all for one
In her experience the greatest challenge lies not in technology, but rather in communication between those involved in a project: How can we avoid misunderstandings and how can we steer people and processes? And above all: how can we motivate employees? “So my main task is to act like a kind of translator. IT people often speak a very different language to those in other departments and this issue is something we need to overcome – only when we all speak the same language can we successfully implement a new system and new processes,” says Heike Kruchen, “Sometimes that’s tough but I really enjoy it when ultimately something good comes out of it.” Despite all the work, she finds it easy to switch off from her job by going out on her inline skates or jogging. “After a 10 km run my head is clear and I have lots of energy to tackle my projects again the next day.”