Interview with Ewa, Supply Chain Projects Manager at Valeo
We recently spoke to Ewa from Poland to discover more about her role in supply chain management at Valeo Service. When we asked her about herself outside of work and she humbly answered she was “not very interesting,” we knew we had to dive deeper. It turns out Ewa is also a fully certified scuba diver with dives on almost every continent on the planet and, unsurprisingly, brings this same adventurous passion to her professional endeavors as well.
Tell us about your role at Valeo.
E. – In my current role, I actually wear two hats — the first is in Division Supply Chain Management, which means I work to ensure our customers always get their products on time, no matter what happens on the market. To achieve this, I have a great team of people that manages customer service, order management, order execution, delivery, logistics and transport. The second is Supply Chain Projects Manager for Europe, which means I am responsible for strategic projects that aim to optimize our supply chain network in Europe.
That sounds very focused, have you always worked in supply chain management?
E. – I’m actually a trained chemist! My supply chain journey only started when I made the career change from being a doctoral researcher for the Polish government to being a lab and technology manager at Colgate-Palmolive. This allowed me to discover my passion for process and quality management. I returned to study at the Warsaw School of Economics for a postgraduate degree in Quality Management. After this I applied for a Quality Manager position at Valeo, and here I am. That was in 2006.
Wow, and how did you develop into your current role?
E. – I started as Quality Manager for Valeo Service Europe and then helped create the same division in Russia. Together with a wonderful team, we created this new company from scratch. This challenge helped me position myself within the structure of the company and showed me that I need to finetune my project management skills, for which I also studied and became certified! After several warehouse implementation projects throughout Eastern Europe, it became clear I need to buff up my logistics management skills too, so I am also APICS certified.
Your passion really shows, what keeps you motivated?
E. – I really like the challenges that I get to share with great teams. Our customers have quite specific and varying technical requirements, you need to create an organization that meets the demands of all. It’s hard, but you’re never bored.
Another challenge is communication. Whether it be making effective use of our digital comms tools, or working with different outlooks and approaches, you need to listen, understand, be smart with the tech, be honest, and most importantly, trust. If you are the kind of person who likes challenges and has a passion for logistics, this is really the right job for you.
Are you proud to work for Valeo?
E. – Yes, definitely. This company gave me all the means to follow my professional goals and passions. There is a real environment for development here. As long as you know what you like and you apply yourself, everything is possible. My career is proof of that. This is the spirit I strive to carry forward to my own team.