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15 Voices – 15 Countries: Simone Kirchner, United Kingdom

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NORMA Group is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The blog series 15 Voices – 15 Countries gives 15 colleagues from 15 countries an opportunity to report on their experiences at NORMA Group and tell us how NORMA Group has developed at their location.

Simone Kirchner is an Order Management Administrator at the NORMA Group site in Newbury, UK.

How long have you been working at NORMA Group? And how has NORMA Group changed or developed since you started working here?

I have been with NORMA Group since 2008. A lot has happened here at our location over the course of the past 13 years. In the area of EJT (Engineered Joining Technology), for example, we have managed to continuously attract new customers. Today, we supply a number of well-known automotive manufacturers with our EJT products. In 2008, the focus of our production was on the QRC clamp and the VPP clamp, on which we are focused today, was still in its infancy.

These developments were accompanied by the overall expansion of our site. Over the years, a new office building was built, the production and storage areas were enlarged, new machines were brought in and new employees were hired. We have even been using a robot in our production for a few years now. It is capable of welding clamps together fully automatically. The delivery, installation and commissioning of the robot was a big event that I remember very well.

Are there any other events that you remember fondly?

I have particularly fond memories of our team events. Our family day, for example, which we held regularly before Corona. That was a day when all employees had the opportunity to bring their families along. There were always various attractions on Family Day, including a band, games for the children and, of course, great food. It gave everybody an opportunity to talk to colleagues from a wide range of departments. It also encouraged exchanges of ideas and information among colleagues from production. I still appreciate this interdepartmental exchange very much today.

Other events that I remember fondly are the many sporting competitions that we took part in together as a team. The Muddy Run, for example, where we fought our way through the mud to the finish line and cheered each other on until the last meter. I also have fond memories of crossing the Kennet and Avon Canal here in Newbury on a raft we built ourselves. All the departments were involved in the construction of the raft. Production, purchasing or engineering – everyone was able to contribute something. All these events have always helped us all to get to know each other better and grow even closer together as a team.

What would you like to see in the future of NORMA Group?

I hope that NORMA Group emerges unscathed from the current very challenging environment, which is being shaped by the Corona crisis and the shortage of semiconductors and raw materials. I hope that NORMA Group will grow in the face of these challenges. I also hope that the international cooperation between our plants around the world will continue to work so well and cooperatively. 

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