From Industrial Management Assistant to Director of Corporate Controlling
Juergen recently celebrated twenty years at Brainlab. Read on to learn more about how the company has evolved over the years and the secrets to staying relevant in the long-term.
What was the initial position you applied for at Brainlab?I first applied for a position as Industrial Management Assistant back in 1996.
How did you find out about the position?
I found the ad in a newspaper in Cologne, where I was living at the time. I was specifically searching for a new challenge in Munich, and it seemed like the perfect fit!
How would you describe the hiring process?
The hiring process was very quick, to say the least. The interview went very well and I was offered the job on the spot. I immediately quit my former job in Cologne and set about finding an apartment in Munich. Within three hours, I had signed contracts for a new job and a new apartment and had a whole new life ahead of me in Munich.
Have you changed positions within the company?
I had a lot of chances to advance and develop myself at Brainlab over the last twenty years. In the first few years, I covered tasks and managed groups in accounting, purchasing, logistics, production and sales administration. Later, I focused on purchasing until 1999 when I spent a year as Management Associate until 2000. After that, I became the Director of Customer Support until 2009 when I became Director of Corporate Controlling, which is the position I still hold currently.
Can you describe your position as Director of Corporate Controlling?
The interesting part about controlling is the close cooperation with the management board and the ability to provide the necessary tools, reports and analysis for managing the business and making business development projects a success. Many people may still wonder why a controlling department is necessary. Here is the answer as defined in our Mission Statement reflecting the transition of our department from “Data Experts” to “Business Partners”.
“Brainlab Controlling develops and supports the management process of goal definition, planning and control. The result is a joint responsibility to achieve these targets. With expert process knowledge, data analysis and intelligent reporting, controlling ensures economically well-grounded and transparent decisions. We provide business recommendations on our own initiative and contradict if our economic standards are not met.”
Brainlab was a fairly new company when you started. How have you seen the company develop?
When I joined Brainlab, it was a startup with twenty employees. I have seen the company grow rapidly and double or triple key performance figures every year. Even when the IT bubble burst and there was a worldwide financial crisis, it had no impact on business development. The same applies to the Bank Crisis in 2008, Brainlab always continued to grow. In my opinion, Brainlab is somehow crisis resistant!
How would you rate the opportunity for job growth at Brainlab?
Brainlab always offers great opportunities for motivated people. In my time, I have seen people moving from administrative to technical positions and the other way round. Assignments in other global offices are also a great chance for personal development!
What is your favorite part about working for Brainlab?
I enjoy being connected and working together with so many different departments. I am looking forward to the future outlook of bringing controlling closer to all business areas and becoming an internal service provider for those departments.
What is the most satisfying project you have contributed to during your time at Brainlab?
Bringing business intelligence to Brainlab. We started with dashboards and automatic reporting in the year 2000 for customer support—the tools and technology are still state-of-the-art today—and are now used all over the company. Another great project was the very early negotiation and implementation of the iHelp remote service software in 2004. At that time, it was possible to buy remote service solutions at almost no cost with unlimited licenses. The benefits at that time were low because of slow and limited connections, but it built the base for today’s iHelp solution.
What does Brainlab do differently than any other company you have worked at?
My comparison goes back to an age where emails and the internet were not the standard. Can you imagine that? At Brainlab, a state-of-the-art infrastructure was available from the first day of 1996 and along with that, Brainlab has always provided a first class working environment you can enjoy and rely on!
What motivates you to come to work every day?
Discovering deficits within the company and working on improving processes and profitability together with other departments is a main driver for me.
What is the most appealing aspect of working in your department?
The teamwork we share and working closely with the management board at the front line.
Are you involved with any Brainlab activities outside of work?
Yes, I am a proud co-founder of the Brainlab soccer team, which we started almost twenty years back in 1997!
What is the secret to enjoying a long and fulfilling career at a company like Brainlab?
Always look for new opportunities and challenges! There are many to discover and many to come!