Anna Markiel, Schneider Electric's Operations Manager.
What interests you in your role, how has your role/career developed in Schneider?
I wanted to join Schneider Electric because I believe that what we do as business is important. I wanted to be a part of it and make the best use of my knowledge and experience I have got in supply chain/distribution. I have been always strongly committed to leading the change and implementation of improvements. SE enables my further professional and personal development with strong support from our leaders which I greatly appreciate. I feel challenged every day and that is the best way to learn and expand horizons. Our company culture and the core values focus.
What's a big challenge for you right now?
The biggest challenge for us in GSC is to automate our processes and lead our team through digital transformation. The pace of change is very fast and to adapt to the new market needs, it requires application of solutions which guarantee flexibility in order to meet customer expectations and adaptation to the new trends.
The key is not only to design the most agile solutions but first and foremost to engage the team into the project because the project cannot be successful without team’s commitment.
How would you explain your job to people not from our industry?
Making sure that our fantastic products are right on time where they need to be at the lowest possible cost without compromising quality to ensure that Life is on everywhere.
How has Schneider supported you?
Schneider supported me from the beginning of my adventure starting with relocation and flexible working hours to allow me to find the new place to live through further coaching and various workshops and training sessions. I have never been refused any time off when I needed to study for an external course exams which I am really grateful for because it lets me fulfil my intellectual ambitions. I have been also recognised many time for my efforts which makes me feel valued at Schneider.
Who has supported you, been a guide or role model? How?
Since day one I have had loads of support from my direct manager, Tracey Haynes. She has great knowledge of the industry and various experience in production and distribution which she gladly shares. Other than that she is also a great leader who unites our logistics team who works across two sites, the NOC in Smethwick and Telford DC, around common goals- to guarantee great customer experience and lead the happy team who shares the same values.
I have had also a great pleasure to work with Steve Doyle, our HRBP who’s positive energy, encouragement and wide knowledge of the industry and experience in human resource management were key to bring my actions up to speed in the beginning and make me effective by familiarization with our tools, policies and company structure. Steve, has become my mentor, supporter and my career coach along with Tracey who also put a lot of trust in me and supported whenever it was needed.
I received also a very friendly welcome from team reporting directly to me. I would like to mention here especially Mick Raffan who’s passion for customer service, experience, honesty and calmness have been very motivating for all our team. I am really proud of all my team because we do a great job and no matter what situation we are in we still have a lot of fun working together. I learn from all of them every day and we support each other a lot and share the same passion for logistics processes improvement.
All management made efforts to make me feel a part of the team when I joined the business 2 years ago and cared very much to make sure that I had all support I needed starting from my relocation to Shropshire through challenges thrown at me when I took over operations management of our distribution centres.
What makes it exciting working in our industry?
I strongly believe that the future is electric and green. At Schneider we deliver high end technology and automation which makes a real difference for the businesses and our planet. We are the leader in our industry and we do care about environment. The company has been on the market for 180 years which means that it can adapt to the new trends and it is powered by people who are capable of delivering innovative solutions and keep up with pace of change. Being a leader in the industry also means that our employees have access to the latest technology and some awesome tools.
What's impressive you about Schneider Electric in terms of its people, culture, work, opportunities etc?
There are several things which are really impressive and unique in terms of people, culture and opportunities. Firstly, Schneider is committed to provide ongoing training and staff development and business is led by individuals who share their knowledge as mentors to others. Our diverse culture and global footprint means that we work with people from all over the globe and the opportunities to grow and work internationally are unlimited. We’ve been in existence for 180 years and we’ve been continually growing since then which means that we are strong at what we are doing and provide stable environment for our employees. Secondly, at Schneider we care about communities in which we work through commitment to H&S and environment, we aim to be part of something bigger than just a company because we are committed to social responsibility and this is expressed through our charitable support and environmentally friendly initiatives. Personally, since I have joined Schneider, my work/life balance has improved significantly because of flexibility of my working time.
How can we support the progression of female careers across Schneider Electric?
There might be a various approach to importance in company image to present a well-balanced gender diversity in its senior management teams. At Schneider the positive fact are equal opportunities for all which means that only our competencies should matter and that should be a decisive factor in any recruitment. I think that this is crucial to ensure that we always provide equal opportunities and measure against the same criteria men and women because both men and women at Schneider and resourceful, ambitious and capable and the only challenge is to find the job in which we will excel and fulfil our potentials. On the other hand to encourage more women to join our company, I think we should collaborate more with technical universities (Polytechnic) to promote our brand and mission within students’ communities which will allow us to attract young talents who will define the future of SE and will lead it one day.
What advice would you give to your “younger self”?
To travel much more in my 20ties and get to know as many countries/cultures as possible.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Energetic, creative, team player
What's the one best piece of career advice you've been given, and why is it relevant at Schneider Electric?
Team is the most important. We don’t succeed without it. It is relevant in my job at Schneider in GSC because I work within a really big team and I have learnt that even if we are under challenging circumstances what makes a real difference are people focused on the same goal, not fancy tools or beautiful buildings but sense of purpose and team who support each other to win the game.
How do you ensure upon your great well-being & do you have any activities outside of work?
I enjoy travelling, hiking, skiing, MTB and horse riding. I also play the piano and accordion and I am a big fan of jazz music.
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