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In our NORMAPeople series, employees around the world talk about their day-to-day work, how they came to the company, and what they appreciate most about their jobs.
Jaroslav Kulhanek is a PME Manager at the NORMA Group site in Hustopeče, Czech Republic. In this interview, he tells us about his career, the most exciting projects he has worked on and his proudest moments at NORMA Group.
Jaroslav, what did you do before you joined NORMA Group?
I have been with NORMA Group for a year now. Prior to that, I spent twelve years working for another industrial company. I started working there while I was still a student. After graduating, I worked as a process engineer, in my last position, I was a production manager.
What do you do at NORMA Group?
My tasks include the transfer and optimization of production processes. That involves, for example, implementing new processes and technologies in already existing workflows. At the moment I spend most of my time on the implementation of the D365 program as the main application for production.
What is the most exciting project you have worked on?
After a transfer or optimization, it is always exciting to see how the implementation is progressing. Only recently we managed to identify production processes in Hustopeče that we were able to improve: By changing the work process during welding, we are reducing the number of employees involved in such a process. This in turn allowed them to focus their attention on new projects.
Would you say this is one of the projects you are most proud of?
Yes, absolutely. Following optimizations like this one, everything has to happen quickly – production has to proceed. Despite that, we were able to increase our capacity and revenue within three weeks. And all this without outsourcing production processes, so the project proceeded without incurring any costs.
What do you like most about your job?
It makes me really happy when I see that the changes we initiated make the work of my colleagues easier. Change always happens when people try to improve the circumstances of others.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have two children, six and eight years old. I spend most of my free time with them. I also like to ride my bike or go jogging. I have also started playing table tennis again, something that I first got into when I was six years old. I had to take a break from it because of the Covid 19 pandemic and the construction of our house.
What motivates you?
I am especially motivated by the close cooperation with my colleagues. Seeing how these hard-working people are happy about the improvements in their daily work makes me happy.
What do you look forward to every morning?
A good cup of coffee. I try to challenge myself every day. Finding out in the morning that a problem has occurred and seeing in the afternoon that it has been solved is motivating for the next day.
What are your goals for the future?
I look forward to completing the development of the software, which will allow operators to register their work more easily and record all the important data. Then we can cut down on the use of Excel spreadsheets and use automatic reports instead.