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Mai 22, 2024

Astrid Fixl has been responsible for invoice control at the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group for 22 years. She also contributes her experience to purchasing contracts, invoicing and drop shipments. An exciting insight into the supposedly dry subject of administration.

When the job is still fun after 22 years: the right attitude and an exciting, varied range of tasks ensure that Astrid Fixl still describes her job as her dream job.

Ms. Fixl, what motivated you to apply for a job at Müller-Guttenbrunn? And: What was your professional career like up to your current position?

I grew up in Schwertberg, trained as a retail saleswoman and then worked in the office at Hödlmayr. After I got married, I moved to Amstetten and started working in the office at Farben Wahl. Once my son was old enough, I wanted to work more hours, but that wasn’t possible with this employer. That’s why I started looking for a new job and my friend Dagmar Schartmüller, who had already been working at Müller-Guttenbrunn for several years at the time, gave me the tip to apply. What can I say? I started on May 21, 2002 and have now been with MGG for 22 years and am still happy! And when the time comes, I’m looking forward to retiring here.

What has changed since the early days?

In my early days, my workplace was in the scheduling department. Now I’m in the same office as the Production Manager at MGG Metrec and we work well together. A lot of things work through the „short official channels“, so to speak.

What does this work look like? What specific tasks does your job involve and what challenges do you encounter most often?

I am responsible for invoice control at MGG Metrec and Metran. The incoming invoices are first indexed in the accounting department and then come to me. I check that the company address is correct and that they match the corresponding delivery bills. I then allocate the invoices to the individual companies and departments or release them directly if I know what they are and whether the invoice amount matches.

You certainly have a good insight into the entire MGG Group and know exactly who is responsible for what.

After 22 years, you naturally know who is responsible for which areas. The further development of the companies has made things a little more complex than they used to be. It helped me a lot that I also stood in at the cash desk at the beginning and was therefore more directly involved in the daily routine. My area of responsibility also includes drawing up the purchasing contracts for all domestic and foreign material purchases for MGG Metran as well as foreign purchases for MGG Metrec. This also includes drop shipments.

What are drop shipments?

In principle, these are all commercial transactions where the material does not come to our plant. For example, when a buyer purchases copper in Slovakia and the material is delivered directly to Montanwerke Brixlegg. We then receive a report from Brixlegg where the quality of the material is assessed. As soon as I receive approval of the quality from my supervisor, I calculate the purchase and sales prices.

What does a typical working day look like?

Every day is a little different, and that’s the great thing about it, because the variety is what makes the job so interesting. I’m a real morning person, I’m already in the office at 6.00 am. The flexitime model is really great for me because I can often go home earlier. It’s also still quiet in the office in the morning, so I have plenty to do. First, I check my e-mails and see which invoices are due. Then I check the incoming goods weighing slips for Metrec and Metran. And then I have various tasks, such as forwarding the material analyses to our purchasing department, which uses them to calculate the price per ton.

Is the job still fun after 22 years?

Definitely! Even if it sounds dry, it’s not at all, quite the opposite. My work is interesting and varied. I have daily contact with my colleagues and am responsible for a wide variety of things.

Trust is good, control is better. Digitalization has simplified many things. Nevertheless, Astrid Fixl prefers to check everything again with her analog documents to make sure that everything really fits.

In your opinion, how has technological development affected administration in your company and what new trends or tools have you introduced in your work?

Of course, digitalization has been an issue for us for years. For example, the results of the truck scales have recently been automatically posted to the corresponding contract. Or the provisions that the computer now automatically outputs for me. In the past, you had to write everything down by hand. But you still must check the data. Because despite all the digital developments, PCs are not always perfect. You have to look over it again, because where people enter data, mistakes can happen. Thank goodness MGG still „works properly“ and not everything is automated. We used to communicate a lot by fax, but today, for example, purchasing contracts or analyses are only sent by email. However, we can’t go completely paperless either. Sometimes I’m even glad when the computer goes on strike and I have my folders to hand and can look them up. The analog printouts give me a certain security, so to speak.

What skills or qualities do you think are particularly important to be successful in your position?

Basically, flexibility is required. But you should also have a good sense of humor, sometimes you need a broad back, and of course accuracy helps a lot. You also need to have a certain love of technical topics – but you grow into it, that was the case for me too.

How do you deal with errors or discrepancies in the accounts?

Where there are people, there is humanity. Everyone does their best here and if you work well with your colleagues, everything can usually be resolved. Only those who don’t work can’t make mistakes. If something does happen, it’s usually just minor things or inaccuracies that can easily be rectified.

Can you tell us about a particularly challenging situation or a sense of achievement that you experienced during your time at MGG?

I can remember a situation where we were very short-staffed due to a few sick days. And on that very day, we had an old car campaign where we paid a very good price for old cars. There was a queue of customers right up to the main road – all the way to Möbelix. We had our hands full because we hadn’t expected such a rush. But everything worked out in the end, Dagmar and I worked together perfectly and it was a really good feeling in the evening to have achieved everything.

How do you see the future of your field of activity? Are there any particular developments or changes that you are particularly excited about?

We are in the middle of a major changeover. As already mentioned, the results of the weighbridge, which is located next to the office building, are automatically transferred digitally to the purchasing contracts. Possible complaints will also be entered digitally in future. In future, all containers will also be provided with codes. Despite all these technical developments, I am convinced that people are still needed, and that is a good thing. Basically, our lives are becoming more and more digital, but we have to be careful and should view everything with a healthy sense of proportion. The question is: what makes sense digitally and what is perhaps not so efficient after all? I think it’s important to listen to employees with a lot of experience when it comes to further development.

Finally, can we ask you a few personal questions? How important is sustainability in your private life?

Of course, recycling is particularly important to me as an employee at Müller-Guttenbrunn. At home, we always separate everything perfectly. We have four waste garbage cans and we dispose of glass waste separately. However, it’s not always easy to separate everything properly due to the constant changes to the separation requirements. Sometimes you have to think really carefully.

In her private life, Astrid Fixl does a lot of sport. She can often be found on the tennis court in Blindenmarkt or on the Mostviertel cycling routes with her new e-bike.

Please introduce Astrid Fixl in a little more detail. What do you do to balance out your varied job?

I live in Blindenmarkt, am married and have a 34-year-old son, a daughter-in-law and a grandchild. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis with my husband. We are also both involved in the Blindenmarkt soccer club, where we often volunteer in the canteen or help at the flea market. Our latest hobby is our e-bikes, which we bought through the leasing campaign from It’s a really great initiative that is supported by my employer, the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group. After the four years of leasing, you can buy the bike or get a new one, and the best thing is that the costs are staggered according to your personal earnings. We have been riding our e-bikes in our home country ever since.

Ms. Fixl, thank you very much for the interview and all the best for the future!