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 years old and a Business Development Manager at Rhenus Air & Ocean.
What are your responsibilities as a Business Development Manager?
My role is divided into two areas: (a) Maintaining and growing business with important key accounts at our location in Hilden, Germany and (b) developing the Ocean Export product, focusing on the Americas and our Buyer's Consolidation setup.
In addition, I work closely with my colleagues of the 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?
Precise, 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. I was looking for a role and a company that would give me the opportunity to benefit of my strengths in the ocean freight product, the US market and in sales in general. Rhenus is well known for its quality & service, as well as for the LCL product. Thus, the advertised role caught my attention immediately. Above all, the opportunity to actively support the development of the product and the American markets were most convincing.
What training do you need to work as a Business Development Manager?
I finished my apprenticeship in freight forwarding 2011. During the following years, I studied part-time next to my regular job and successfully completed my bachelor of transport management as well as bachelor of business administration. Looking back, these two degree 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, e.g. the processing of RFQs and the creation of quotations, taking-over of escalations or building and maintaining customer relationships. But generally, the tasks vary a lot. 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 follow them up as well as 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 qualify for a funny anecdote. But whether these occurred in a more serious enviroment, e.g. an inappropriate humours comment about religion in the strictly Catholic US southeast, or in moments of complete triviality, e.g. handing over a business card incorrectly 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 are given, most people tend to excuse even a larger faux pas.
What has been the best experience in your job so far?
Those six months in Hong Kong. The biggest cultural shock of my life so far, but probably also the biggest express boost of my "growing up" process. A great city that can't be any more contradictory. It never sleeps, unites nature and metropolis in very congested space. Hong Kong definitely had the strongest influence on the development 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 the digitization process will continue. Phones are being replaced by voice-over-IP, information increasingly needs to be live and the quality of data is becoming a gradually important factor in everybody’s daily work. Current world politics show that topics such as “environment” and “security” touch every occupational field. Freight costs in air freight and ocean freight should continue to rise as more complex filtration techniques to reduce emission are needed. Customs matters will remain a challenging factor, especially if trade unions experience further damages (e.g. the EU) or if domestic markets are over-protected for the sake of a political agenda. The good thing is: There will always be a need for logistics experts - even if the tasks and classic job profile of the freight forwarding industry 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. But especially programs such as the Sales Trainees Programme 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.
What were your success factors to achieve your career goal?
That's not easy to say. Certainly “quality” is part of it. There’s not much that will be handed to you on a silver platter - and that's a good thing! Keep yourself informed, do not let first disappointments discourage you and keep working hard. Sometimes you have to take a step aside or even one step back to take two forward at a time. For me, studying, living and working abroad were the biggest factors to “boost” my career. Just don’t expect everything to work out as planned. Be willing to take risks and do things a bit unconventionally when you feel it’s the right time because sometimes you will need timing and luck.
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 that you come across. Take certain risks. Always be willing to challenge and question yourself and be open to new ideas. Do not take every situation too personally and not every statement too literally. Be courageous and accept responsibility, even if mistakes happen.