Dennis fell in love with Shanghai when he went there for studies back in 2012, and is still fascinated with China. He joined Nefab in 2016 as Managing Director for Nefab’s site in Wuxi, China. The work varies and includes everything from customer meetings, employee discussions to meetings with the management team in Asia.
How does a typical day for you as Managing Director look like?
A typical day starts on the train from Shanghai to Wuxi where I have 60 minutes to answer the first urgent emails from the night before and – equally important – have a first coffee. Customer meetings are very frequent here in Wuxi and that is also a part I really like about this job. The meetings are very interactive and challenging in many cases. It often starts with discussions and continues in the showroom, shop floor and test lab. Our redesigned Engineering Center is a great asset for us, and it enhances the customer experience. It allows customers to fully understand the whole product development process and the way we innovate around new material, designs and solutions. Some people do not expect much when they visit a packaging company, but many of the customers and people who comes to us see packaging with different eyes after the visit.
The train ride back to Shanghai in the evening allows me to follow up on issues of the day that could not be taken care of immediately.
I enjoy the challenging environment - as a Managing Director, you are part of every aspect of company activities and you need to understand, lead, coach and solve problems around topics that can be highly complex.
What characterizes a good leader at Nefab?
The most important characteristic of a good leader is to be able to create trust and confidence. The best way to do this is to lead by example, and to guide and coach as much as possible. This can be challenging since it requires a lot of time spent on interacting with employees, but I have no doubt that only a leader who is close to the people, is hands-on and knows all the ins and outs will be respected and followed.
How would you describe the culture at Nefab?
culture is unique – it has a great amount of flexibility and a strong sense of belonging to one big family. It feels like all doors are always open with a flat organizational structure that allows for quick decision making. Also, one of our core values is empowerment and I find this with Nefab. There is always a credit of trust and everyone gets a chance to prove themselves. I have not seen this to the same extent in other companies.
Can you share a memory from your time at Nefab?
Some years ago, we were the first Nefab site to be invited to a big warehousing and logistics request for quotation (RFQ) by one of our global key accounts. We were informed late about the quotation request, so we only had a few weeks to draft a complete solution proposal, which would also require a big investment for Nefab. The project team spent day and night together to make the impossible possible, and we managed to finish our offer in time. In the end, we could not win the business, but we made it to the finals and created a great learning for other projects that followed . The team spirit and commitment I experienced during that time was .