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In our NORMAPeople series, our employees from around the world talk about their day-to-day work, how they came to join the company and what they appreciate about their jobs.
Niklas Heckelt works in NORMA Group’s purchasing department at the headquarters in Maintal. In his work, he regularly exchanges ideas with colleagues from all over the world. With a digitization initiative, he is improving the purchasing process in the company. One insight is particularly important to him.
What is your role at NORMA Group?
I am driving the digital transformation of purchasing.
I am responsible for our new internal purchasing platform, the NORMA Store. This platform covers daily procurement needs, i. e. all sorts of things that are ordered regularly and at many locations. This includes, for example, laptops and monitors, but also tools and spare parts for our machines. With the NORMA Store, we ensure that we purchase from those suppliers who offer us the best conditions. In addition, the platform can also realize approval processes.
How did you come to your current job?
I studied product and process management and joined NORMA Group in 2015 as a working student. I have been working full-time in the global purchasing department for four years.
What is your most important work equipment?
My headset. I make a lot of phone calls, about 80 percent of my working time: leading the implementation project, informing about the system and testing it together with colleagues as well as training the users in working with it. By the way, I always turn on the camera during conference calls, because I think it’s important to see your counterpart.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
My personal ready, set, go routine is: turn on laptop and coffee machine and put on the headset. I work with many colleagues from different time zones, from China to California.
What are you currently working on?
The technical implementation is largely complete, now it is all about fully exploiting the strategic benefits of the tool. The platform is already available at 22 locations in 14 different countries. However, the focus is not only on enabling as many colleagues as possible to use the platform, but to enable them to use the platform in a value-adding way for the company.
To what extent does the NORMA Store contribute to increasing value?
With a globally uniform system, we can use uniform processes worldwide and thus use our global purchasing power in a more targeted manner. For example, if we buy a certain IT hardware from one designated supplier or their distributors we can order larger quantities overall and negotiate better prices.
Did you learn something during the project that you didn’t know before?
I am surprised how open my colleagues are to a new project that, at least in the ramp-up phase, comes with extra tasks in addition to the daily work. Open mindset is one of our core values in the company. It is great to see that this is not just displayed on our homepage, but something that people actually live.