Persistence is Heike’s super power. “It’s definitely one of the qualities that my team appreciates the most – and perhaps also finds a bit annoying at times," she says. She really homes in on issues. “Pushing for action and developing measures is part of what I do. That’s how you get things moving.” In her role as operations assistant at the Worms site in Germany, Heike is responsible for three production plants. When people unfamiliar with the position ask about her job, Heike first has to clear up any misconceptions, “People assume that being an operations assistant equates to administrative work.” But in actual fact her job centers on production plant organization. Her tasks cover everything from product quality and plant safety to employee training. “I really enjoy the variety aspect of my job.”

“I help people connecting each other to collaborate on solutions.”

Operating assistant

Process optimization is another thing on her agenda, “We’re always looking at how things stand and where we can do better.” The focus here is on root cause analysis. For instance, if output volumes drop or malfunctions occur, “We take a close look and analyze,” Heike explains. “We find out where the problem lies and, most importantly, work out how to deal with it.” She doesn’t stop until the cause has been found. It’s really important to Heike that she doesn’t have to puzzle over such problems alone. “That’s the beauty of my job; I get to interact a lot with other people.” One of her core skills is bringing people together to collaborate on solutions. She emphasizes teamwork a lot.

Heike isn’t short of challenges: a capacity expansion project is on the horizon. An additional production plant is set to be built by 2023, meaning new employees and new processes, “The entire Operations team is going to get involved in terms of organization to make it all happen.” Heike appreciates the mood of optimism though, “I’m happy that I work at a company that invests in the future,” she says. Heike started at Röhm at the Weiterstadt site a year after completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, where she specialized in process engineering. Seven years later she transferred to Worms. This change also was related to her roots; Heike comes from a small town in the Rheinhessen region, situated about 20 kilometers from her current workplace. She now manages a small farm there with her husband, where she cultivates vegetables and also grows feed for her two horses, with whom she competes in western riding competitions.