[People of Business Services] DB Schenker

//[People of Business Services] DB Schenker

Bogdan Ionescu, Service Delivery Head of Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable @ DB Schenker GBS

Projects or activities in your company that you carry out and that are different and unique from those that you do every day. Describe them, please.

Being part of an organization set on the path of continuous advancement implies working on initiatives and tools meant to help it reach its full potential. One of those initiatives is #Engage, a program developed to provide us with the proper framework to advance both on the individual level and on the team level.

Engage is a comprehensive organizational culture program that encompasses several pillars, such as developing a culture of feedback, career management or wellbeing at the workplace. What is interesting to mention about this program is that the projects are being run with a bottom-up approach. This means that teams of colleagues from across all SGBS teams define courses of action and design projects in the benefit of the entire organization.

Job positions in your company that can be considered pioneering in the business services industry? We are talking about those special, uncommon, and rare jobs, which may become a common thing in the future. Please, describe them.

Because in 2020 there is such a variety of career opportunities and things are evolving so rapidly, when you think about a special or uncommon job, you must refer to a remarkable, unheard of job. In my view, regardless of the industry, any job can achieve the “awesome” status, but it’s up to us, as individuals to make it feel so. The way we relate to it – be it with passion, curiosity or ambition to innovate – is what makes it special.

If I were to think of a job mindset that will be a common thing in the future, that is having a flair for innovation. No matter what type of activity you are performing, the trend will be to remain open to improvement.

Many of the activities that take place in our industry are not “in the spotlight”, but they are very important in the effective exercise of the business. Tell us about those activities. How important they are for your company and for your clients. Tell us about the people at the core of your business and their jobs. Let us understand what they are doing in your organization and appreciate them. How do you see them evolving in the future?

Especially during Covid-19 period that we are all going through, it is more obvious that financial health is what keeps companies alive. Considering the context, I think we are morphing from being sprinters to marathon runners and now it’s more important than ever to have resilience and adapt to the new norm of performing our remote activity independently, while at the same time keeping close contact with the team.

In these times, I think AP & AR tower that I am handling is doing a great job and my teams manage to do so through professionalism, flexibility and desire to genuinely achieve more. My appreciation for them goes without saying. I think the most important form of appreciation is having close contact, participating in discussions at all levels and making myself available for them.

People are at the core of our activity, whether we are talking about our Collections teams that ensure proper cashflow or about our Account Payable teams that ensure we have a stable vendor relationship that secures us services for the future. Irrespective of job level or specificity, I consider all my colleagues a crucial cog in the mechanism.

Corina Gorun, Operations Manager Accounts Receivable Department

What exactly are you doing in your current role (and how did you start)?

I’m Corina Gorun, Operations Manager in the Accounts Receivable Department of DB Schenker GBS for 3 years now. I lead a team of 80+ people through 5 team managers and my stakeholders stretch over 3 business units and more than 10 distinct geographies. We are responsible for maintaining the % of overdue AR within the country targets, and for executing the other AR processes accurately and on time. My career in Schenker started as Team Manager, and the structure I brought in their work and the prioritization principles allowed me to get involved in a transition project too. Once the activities were stabilized in Bucharest, I could shift to my current role, with a much larger span of control and exciting extra tasks such as budget forecasting, high-level stakeholder management, leading global improvement projects beside the core that is drive for results, resource management and people development.

What are the activities that bring you great joy? & What challenges have you faced so far?

I am particularly fond of people development as part of my role, and I play with different methods, from organizing workshops to role-playing and group sessions to identify solutions or make decisions. When my team members are strong on their feet, generate good ideas and in tune with the business needs, I feel motivated and I overcome challenges coming from resource availability a bit better.

What do you consider to be trends in your domain? Please list 3.

A strong focus on customer satisfaction will remain, in my view, among the top trends in this domain, and it’s crucial that we understand the need to always strive to match or exceed the customer’s expectations. Automation is also a buzzword in Finance, with many solution providers proposing chatbots and optimization of bank postings so that people can invest their energy in the negotiation and persuasion that bring the cash in the company faster. In the same line of thought, the upcoming years should bring complete digitalization of invoices (e-invoicing services) to address the top root cause of payment delays and a common delaying tactic that now still keeps our DSO up.

When you explain to your parents/family what you do at work, how would you do it?

Just by writing about metrics like the DSO makes me realize that the corporate world has a language of its own, and our jobs are difficult to digest by people outside the system. We’re not doctors or lawyers, but we fix lots of things too, we’re busy all day, passionate about our contributions and our continuous development. For my mum, my job is simple: I work in the accounting department of a very large company, I am responsible for the quality of services executed by my team for thousands of end customers, and our main goal every day is to find ways of collecting money in the shortest possible time, ideally close to the due date. She pays her bills on time so she doesn’t really understand why my job is needed, but when I tell her how much my team learns every day, how creative I get in guiding them to achieve their results and my face lights up, she’s happy for me and there’s no need for more.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop in the pioneering work?

You have pretty much realized what keeps me going every day: the buzz, the pressure, the people. I couldn’t have achieved so much in my career without empowerment, and for this I need to thank my superiors for trusting me and to appreciate the culture we have here in Bucharest for encouraging innovation and change. I develop by getting involved, by leading projects, staying curious and in sync with what happens around me. Listening to people has a tremendous power in leadership: a source of great ideas, feedback and rewarding trust. I’m shaped and refined day after day in formal team meetings on results, town halls with large audiences on strategy and programs, informal coffee talks I lead to feel the vibe of my teams and mentoring sessions where I’m challenged to guide and sustain colleagues reaching out for more.

Laura Hera, Operations Manager Accounts Payable Department

What exactly are you doing in your current role (and how did you start)?

I started in DB Schenker over 5 years ago as a Team manager and now I am privileged to be leading a team of TMs. Currently my main tasks are to oversee that operationally the teams have a good performance, to keep a close contact with our clients and to make sure they are satisfied with our results and to work on improvement initiatives, as we always need to get better at what and how we are doing our activities.

What are the activities that bring you great joy?

I enjoy working with my team and my colleagues and finding solutions together. It gives me great satisfaction to try new approaches and then see them develop.

What challenges have you faced so far?

Matching expectations with reality and, in general, trying to meet expectation while joggling available resources of all kinds.

Tell us about the most unique experience/project implemented in your current position.

The most recent project that is very dear to me is a People Development program meant to help individual contributors grow their soft skills and to work on competencies which, later in life, would give them the leverage to become respectable people managers.

When you explain to your parents/family what you do at work, how would you do it?

“Dear Mum, we take good care of DB Schenker’s suppliers: we register and then pay their invoices and if they have problems or questions we do our best to assist; on a larger scale this helps DB Schenker create great relationships with their partners.”

What do you consider to be trends in your domain? Please list 3

Automation, People development, Customer orientation.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop in the pioneering work?

I question myself every day and I also try to be open to all feedback and new ideas around me; one does not have all answers, that I am sure of, but together with colleagues we can find a good path to move forward.