Who are the people behind job titles like "Tender Manager" and "Business Developer"? We conduct interviews with different people in diverse positions throughout the Rhenus to give you insights on what logistics is all about. One thing is for sure: Logistics is not only moving goods and packing containers.
Would you mind shortly introducing yourself?
Of course not: My name is Scott Dudley, I am 31 and a Business Development Manager for Rhenus Air & Ocean.
What are your responsibilities as a Business Development Manager?
My role is divided into two areas: (a) Maintaining and expanding important key accounts at our location in Hilden, Germany and (b) developing the Ocean Export product with a focus on the Americas and the Selling Point Buyer's Consol.
In addition, I work closely with my colleagues in day-to-day operations, especially in connection with our important freights to Mexico.
Can you name three adjectives that best describe you as a person?
Accurate, open-minded and enthusiastic about sports!
What is your career path until you reached Rhenus?
After ten years with DHL it was time to leave my training company. I was looking for a role and a company that gives me the opportunity to live out my strengths in the ocean freight product, the US market and the sales area. Rhenus always stood for good services and an excellent LCL product. Thus, the advertised role thrilled me immediately. Above all, the opportunity to actively support the development of the product and the markets in America were very convincing.
What training do you need to work as a Business Development Manager?
I finished my apprenticeship as a merchant for forwarding and logistics services in 2011. In the following years, I studied extra-occupational and successfully completed the traffic specialist and then the business economist. The two courses were very important for my personal development.
What does a normal working day look like and which challenges do you encounter?
There is no normal work routine per se. There are certainly recurrent topics. For example, the processing of tenders and the creation of offers, the assumption of escalations or the maintenance of customer relationships. But generally, the tasks are very varied. And that's actually the biggest challenge: The job requires a high degree of self-motivation and self-organisation. It is important to set clear goals and to track and question them over and over again.
What was the biggest sandtrap / the biggest challenges you experienced when dealing with different cultures?
By having lived and worked in Asia and the US, there are certainly some situations in dealing with other cultures that make for a good punch line. But whether these are supposedly big shots like an inappropriate humoristic insert in the strictly Catholic southeast of the US or a supposed triviality like the wrong handing over of a business card in Hong Kong, my personal experience has shown that mutual respect, as well as an adequate portion of empathy, are the most important foundations for any conversation. If these factors are given, usually even a larger faux pas will be pardoned.
What has been the best experience in your job so far?
Six months in Hong Kong. The biggest cultural shock of my life so far, but probably also the biggest express cure of my "growing up" process. A great city that could hardly be more contradictory, that never sleeps, that unites nature and metropolis in very little space and that definitely had the strongest influence on the formation of my personality so far.
What will be different in your field of work in five years time than today?
You do not have to be a prophet to know that digitization will continue. Phones are being replaced by voice-over-IP, information increasingly needs to be live and up-to-date and the quality of data is becoming a gradually important factor in every body’s daily work. Current world politics also shows that the topics of environment and security touch every field of activity. Freight costs should continue to rise as more complex filtration techniques are needed. Customs issues are complicated by the softening of communities (EU) or the (alleged) protection of domestic markets (USA). The good thing is: There will always be a need for logistics specialists - even if the task areas and the classic job of the freight forwarder will continue to change.
How do we have to position ourselves to be prepared for the future?
It is a balancing act between quantity and quality. We aspire to grow, but we must not forget what we stand for: Service. Only great service can prominently stand out today from the mass of service providers. Therefore, we not only have to work on the breadth/depth of the company, but also increasingly on the quality of the areas. Not only to present processes effectively but also efficiently in order to be able to be a strong partner for many out there despite larger competitors.
What opportunities does Rhenus offer new employees?
So far, I have learned that those who are willing to do something and show self-initiative to improve will be given the chance to develop themselves. Of course, this must make sense for both sides, employees and employers should anticipate a chance of success at least in the medium term. But especially programs like the Sales Trainees show that Rhenus is ready to invest in order to have a long-term benefit. I think it is absolutely right to shape your own talents and not (only) buy them finished from the market. That's the same with football. :)
What were your success factors to achieve your career goal?
That's not easy to say. Certainly quality is part of it. Gifted you get almost nothing and that's a good thing. Stay tuned, do not let the first disappointments dissuade you and keep working hard. Sometimes you have to take a step aside or even back to take two at a time. All phrases that have their reason to exist. For me, foreign countries were an incredibly important experience that I would never want to miss. But pretending that everything is plannable passes reality. It also takes a good deal of timing and luck, sometimes you have to be willing to take a risk at crucial moments. As so often in life, it is a mix of predictable and unpredictable factors. However, the proportion of plannable should generally be significantly larger.
What would be your career advice?
I would like to name a few, as there is not the one correct advice: take advantage of opportunities if they surface. To take risks. Be prepared to question yourself and be open to new ideas. Do not take every situation too personally and not every statement too literally. Take courageous responsibility, even if mistakes happen.