Dagmar Schartmüller has been responsible for logistics and fleet management at Metall Recycling Mü-Gu in Amstetten since 2001. In the traditional relay-interview, in which each time another employee of the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group is interviewed, Dagmar talks about her work and the surprises that she is encountering in her daily activities.
Good morning Dagmar, you are in charge at Metall Recycling Mü-Gu for logistics and fleet management and this means that you take care that the trucks and containers are always at the right time on the right place. This is probably a permanent hectic activity, I presume?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: Indeed, don’t forget that the task is more than managing our own drivers and our 27 trucks. We also have quite some sub-contractors driving for us and also with them we need to make sure that everything is exactly clarified for each and every transport order. This ranges from the necessary information, where and when something has to be picked up to details about the paperwork involved for these transports. All of this is done in close collaboration with our sourcing team. Or our “customers” – that is how we, funnily enough, normally call our suppliers – call us themselves with their wishes. You can understand that the number of telephone conversations that I am making every day is countless.
That means that the logistics planning is a continuously running process?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: Yes, in a way it is. Of course, there are certain companies that we have in our planning every day and clearly this is routine and can be scheduled by the week. But most of the transports are planned as and when required. It can happen that in the evening the planning for the next day is completely organized and ready….and then only two telephone calls later, I can start all over again.
Is there any typical working day?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: No, there is not a day like the other. That makes each and every day a challenge. When I arrive at 7 am, I’ll see if all the trucks are on the road. Every now and then, there is already the first nasty surprise, for instance because a truck needs some repair or one of the drivers sick at home. In such cases it is important to react quickly….
… and when everything runs as planned?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: Then I have to deal with the many unread emails that accumulated overnight. And usually very quickly the telephone rings again anyway, requiring a fast response to requests and it is my task to quickly respond to these requests. In the meantime, the drivers’ reports as well as the paperwork of our third party and international transports have to be completed or checked.
Regarding the paperwork: I understand that MGG have converted the planning system to a new digital planning system some half a year ago. What are your experiences so far?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: Yes, that was a big change for everyone. We used to have large display calendars. A glance on the large display calendars was sufficient for both me and the drivers to know who was assigned for which transport. We lost a bit of this overview with the current new print-outs. But then again, other things have become easier. In the past the drivers had to manually copy any orders from the display and scribble them on a piece of paper – now the loading jobs can simply be printed off. Furthermore, at any time it now is much easier to do the tracking of the trucks and to know who has been where. In the meantime, the teething problems are solved and all works well. But indeed, especially the start-up phase was really intensive, as especially the new program had to be fed with all the necessary data – I guess that this was a real challenge….
And what can you tell about the coordination of the international transports?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: In our industry, it is common practice to have deadlines with defined time window for collections or deliveries. So the complexity to get a third party transport in time for the agreed time window is one of our key challenges. Frequently a transport is available that does not fit to the loading time frame. With the many countries around, one must also take care of the international bank holidays, which often differ per country. It has already happened that our driver arrived at a collection address and found himself in front of closed gates. That is why we have our Müller-Guttenbrunn calendar, which lists all the holidays all over Europe.
This brings us straight to the question: what does your work at Müller-Guttenbrunn mean for you?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: It is important to me that I can develop myself freely in my area of work. The work has to be done, of course, but fortunately my work does not have to be done in a strict order and I am so fortunate to have room for freedom in the way how I do it. A lot is speaking for this company; it is still a family owned business in which many employees have been active for many years. I have been working in the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group for over 20 years.
In this long period of time you certainly have had some interesting experiences?
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: I remember one story immediately: a trailer tipped over and landed exactly on the power distribution box of a production site. The entire neighbourhood of this plant was without electricity for more than a day. This way we have given that company a quiet day…..probably just the opposite. Another such memorable story was around a bomb finding on an adjacent building site. Our factory gates were locked immediately and no truck could get in or out.
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: Well, I did get a truck drivers-license when I got in charge of the logistics management back in 2001. Especially in the beginning I used to drive fairly regularly for instance to quickly get a truck into the repair workshop. But I have to admit, however, that I now have a little practice.
You are, as I can hear, very active …
DAGMAR SCHARTMÜLLER: Yes, indeed. I love running and biking and recently I participated in the Glocknerkönig, a bike race over 27 Kilometers and 1 700 Meters Altitude difference. But I also love nature and like to go hike in the mountains. It is good for me to arrive at the top of the mountain and enjoy a wonderful view. This is relaxation I need to compensate for the hectic of my everyday life.
Thanks Dagmar, we wish you many beautiful sporting hours in nature and please continue to enjoy your interesting work. Thank you for the interview.