Expanding your horizons

For some years now, Krones has been running an exchange programme called “Across Borders”, under which staff can decide to spend six months at one of Krones’ facilities worldwide, to work there and gain valuable experience.

In 2015, once again, eight participants were posted to all corners of the globe. Stefanie Zollner, from Sales and Marketing in Neutraubling, for example, spent six months in South Africa, or to be more precise in Johannesburg, where she trained her colleagues in how to create quotations and orders in SAP. Since in Neutraubling she works in spare part sales for Africa anyway, she was quite familiar with the South African mindset. “But I did have to get used to things like frequent power cuts,” she explained. Nevertheless, she had no problems in fitting in quickly, thanks primarily to the warm welcome she got from the South Africans. She’s quite unequivocal: “I’m looking forward to more trips to Africa, irrespective of whether they’re business or private.”

Christian Prössl’s travels took him further westwards – to São Paolo in Brazil. As part of the team at International Operations and Services, he had been there on a business trip one year beforehand. “I liked solving problems directly on site, and I found the Brazilian mindset congenial.” So he spontaneously sent in an application for the Across Borders programme, and began to learn Portuguese. In Brazil, Christian’s remit was to put in place the conditions for enabling simple software and hardware retrofit jobs for labellers to be handled directly on site in future. Although this work wasn’t always easy, he has not for one second regretted having emigrated to Brazil for six months. By the end, he was almost reluctant to go back home. “As a died-in-the-wool Bavarian, I would never have thought to hear myself saying this, but I can quite easily imagine living and working in Brazil for a lengthy period.”

Nathalie Schroll, too, who works in the Human Resources, Communication and Quality Department in Neutraubling, was familiar with her temporary domicile from earlier trips even before the Across Borders exchange programme. She had an opportunity to spend six months in Bangkok, Thailand. “But working there was a totally new experience,” she explained. Her remit was to train her HR colleagues on the spot in the intricacies of SAP, so as to improve the quality of the data involved.

And for the other five participants, too, their time abroad – no matter whether it was spent in the USA, Belgium, the UK or China – likewise appeared to have been one thing above all: an incredible experience.