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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.
Julian Schäfer is a Logistics Supervisor at the NORMA Group site in Marsberg, Germany. In this interview, he talks about his career and gives an advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship at NORMA Group.
Julian, how long have you been working at NORMA Group?
I got started on my apprenticeship as a specialist for warehouse logistics at the NORMA Distribution Center Marsberg in August 2015. I managed to complete it six months early at the end of January 2018.
How did that happen?
The apprenticeship was really not that difficult for me and I had good grades. In cooperation with my supervisors, we applied for a reduction of the apprenticeship period. This meant that I was able to take my final exam six months ahead of schedule.
And what happened after that?
It was during my apprenticeship that I was introduced to the advanced training program to become a “Certified Logistics Master”. Once I had completed my apprenticeship, I then decided that this was the right step for me, and at the end of 2018, I began to pursue my master qualification. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, some exams had to be postponed, so I was not able to complete my training until July 2021. Subsequently, I took over the position of Logistics Supervisor.
What role do your colleagues play in your career?
My colleagues and my supervisors taught me the job from the ground up. I always had the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for areas that were not directly related to my training. I was always welcomed with an open ear and am very grateful for the support that has been given to me.
Is there any one success that you are particularly proud of?
As part of our D365 project, we recently established a new warehousing concept at our site. The project has now been fully internalized by our employees and has greatly simplified our work processes.
What does your daily work routine look like?
Every day is different and there are always new challenges to meet. My first task in the morning is to compile the KPIs in preparation for the daily team meeting. During this meeting, we talk about the logistical performance of the previous day and get an overview of the outstanding orders. On this basis, any necessary adjustments are made to the staffing plan. I try to ensure that everything runs smoothly at all times.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment, I’m mainly working on optimizing our warehouse layout to achieve a faster throughput with shorter walking distances.
What do you like most about your job?
The fact that I have such a diverse workday and can actively help shape the logistics processes – that is really fulfilling.
What advice would you give to someone who would also like to do an apprenticeship at NORMA Group?
I would just recommend that anyone who is interested should simply apply. I really enjoyed my apprenticeship at NORMA Group and everyone tried to make sure that I got as much experience as possible: In Marsberg, for example, we didn’t have the opportunity to cover the topic of hazardous materials disposal. But my supervisors still made this experience possible by offering me the chance to get to know this area at the NORMA Group site in Maintal.
Every question I had was answered and all topics were explained in a way that was easy to understand. Even if something was not directly possible, everything was done to make it possible for me in the end. I highly recommend doing an apprenticeship at NORMA Group.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend time with family and friends. It’s a great way to maintain balance.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to get started on my further training as a technical business specialist as soon as possible. That is something that I am really looking forward to.
And finally, please complete the following sentence: I work at NORMA Group because…
…the company has always helped me achieve my goals and I now want to help NORMA Group achieve its goals.