Who are you?
I am Anja Gaßmann and since March 2019, Operations Manager at odc. Since 2011, I have been living in my chosen hometown Hamburg, apart from stopovers in Münster and Berlin. Actually, I come from near Weimar in beautiful Thuringia. After my master studies in logistics, I spent two years at Hermes Fulfillment, two years in innovation management in logistics at Zalando and now I am at odc.
How did you come to odc and when, what exactly moved you to go to odc?
When I moved back to Hamburg from Berlin, I got in touch with Torben again, whom I still know from Hermes times, and that’s how I became aware of odc. At the first meeting on site I immediately liked the good atmosphere in the corridors and the opportunity to contribute with a lot of freedom.
What are your tasks as Operations Manager?
In the Operations Team I take care of overriding project topics. The topic that has accompanied me since I’ve been here is the expansion of our network to include further fulfillment partners. In concrete terms, this means that I have looked at potential partners and compared the requirements, conducted contract negotiations with the selected partner, navigated process workshops, then carried out the integration and the first tests. Now I am already looking for new partners. My colleagues will then take over the day-to-day business, from renegotiations and commercial issues to concrete exchanges with the locations, such as problems with incoming goods.
In addition to the operational topics, I was keen to contribute to the corporate vision and strategy and have tackled the further development of the topic of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). So I am responsible for the design of the framework and I drive forward the topic of objectives and OKR culture. We have been working with OKRs for almost a year now and are now in our fifth set. The topic of Agile Coaching, which I am currently reading into and researching how we can implement it, also fits into this.
And what qualities should an Operations Manager have?
At odc: Personal initiative! You have the opportunity to help shape a lot of things here, but you also have to get involved and think about how to do it. For example, in the last few weeks in particular, the rapid growth of our total volume was caused by delays in the incoming goods process. With the aim of making the process faster and smoother and avoiding sources of error in advance, I have set up a small project team for this purpose. I collected all the topics and created a document to facilitate an error-free process. On the customer side, we created a detailed guide to help them deliver the goods correctly. Internally, we worked with the Tech Department and Customer Service to optimize the process design so that we had to have as little clarifying interaction with the customers as possible.
In addition, complex problem structures should be easy to grasp and the core of the problem should be able to be identified for resolution. This refers in particular to topics that are recurring (in a site). To make work easier, we document all operational optimizations. In this way we keep the big picture in view and can prioritize.
What is the best thing about your job?
I particularly enjoy the fact that I can deal with strategic topics related to OKRs and Agile Coaching in addition to the operations area. This creates the perfect balance for me ¬- and at the same time works out great for the company. To become creative and to help shape the processes of odc in a meaningful and future-oriented way is a great opportunity for me to look beyond my area and expand my horizon.
And what do you like most about odc?
My colleagues! I was looking forward to meeting them (next to a proper desk) most when I returned to the office. We are a good team, both homogeneous and heterogeneous enough to work well together and inspire each other. After only a few weeks here, I had the feeling that I belonged, not only because I was directly trusted in my work, but also because of the great team. I also enjoy the fact that I can shape my day to a large extent myself and that I can take the initiative to consider what adds value to the company. This makes every day different!
What else is on your bucket list in your life?
I fulfilled a childhood dream on my bucket list just last year and was at a Spice Girls concert in my old fan sweater! Another concert dream would be Lady Gaga in Las Vegas. I would also like to do a Yoga and Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka – Yoga accompanies me in phases, especially Bikram Yoga and active yoga.