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    Field-service trouble-shooter taking up new challenges

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    27. March 2024
    5:00 min.

    Birgit Hahn took charge of the Central Field Service Department and the Krones Academy at the beginning of this year. After she herself spent years travelling the world as a service technician, the new job now brings her home, and she has certainly set her sights high.

    When asked to describe her new remit in one sentence, Birgit Hahn answers: “I send experts for all on-site erection jobs out into the big wide world.” For many years, she had herself been one of these experts. Starting as a student trainee and intern, Birgit, who is now 41 years old, has worked for Krones since 2002. It did not take her long to realise one thing: “One fine day, I want to see the world outside Neutraubling.” After she graduated, she therefore took a job as a service engineer so that she could travel the world. “Well, to be honest, my first job site was in Eastern Germany, so not really the big adventure after all,” says Birgit, laughing. But only a few months later, she was sent to China – and then to the USA, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Russia and to almost every European country. In the years that followed she saw it all, from mega-cities right down to the back of beyond.

    Always give full value!

    “On the various sites, I soon became a trouble-shooter,” she recalls. Getting to grips with difficult baseline situations, handling complicated conversion jobs and solving microbiological problems made up most of her daily work. She travelled the world on behalf of Krones on 250 to 300 days a year. Being the only woman on most sites never bothered her. “You see, my field of work is a male preserve, that’s just the way it is. But I never let that get to me – I always gave full value in my job, convinced them with my results, so it never became a problem,” says Birgit Hahn.

    Image 39540
    Bangkok: One of the many destinations Birgit Hahn visited on behalf of Krones

    In the end, the work she did was so convincing that she was appointed group leader for the field of electrics and then head of the Asia/Pacific service region. “That was a great opportunity for me, and I gladly took advantage of it,” she explains. Not least because she’d meanwhile come to prefer seeing a bit more of the world inside Neutraubling again. “So that was really a good compromise: no longer up, up and away so often, and yet in close contact with the product and my field of work.” She held this post over the past few years until she moved on one more time on 1 January 2024 when she took complete charge of field service, the associated back-office team and the Krones Academy.

    Old field of work, new responsibilities

    “So now it was back to the roots, meaning returning to work in the field where I cut my teeth,” is how Birgit Hahn describes the latest change. Today she coordinates and links the field service jobs for all regions and sends out service technicians, fitters, engineers and other expert staff as requested by customers all round the globe. She is also responsible for the field service department’s worldwide strategic alignment. Although it was initially a big step for her carrying a lot of new responsibilities, she was never in doubt: “You see, I know this business inside out,” she says, laughing. And what was even better was that she was welcomed with open arms, many people told her how pleased they were to see her back. “Sure that blows fresh wind in your sails.”

    Nevertheless her working methods have changed: “In my previous job, I was faced with a problem, I sought and found a solution, and then I ticked it off my list. Now we’re talking targets to be reached by 2027 or 2028,” explains Birgit. But her new remit offers her plenty of fresh opportunities. She is particularly pleased that, on the one hand, her work is no longer restricted to Asia and the Pacific region but now covers the whole world while, on the other hand, she also gets to help solve the problems of customers right outside her front door. Even though her main activities are now based in Neutraubling, she keeps on planning a business trip or two: “One basic prerequisite for being successful in my job is to stay on top of the markets’ requirements. That’s why I definitely intend to still visit customers from time to time in future,” says Birgit.

    Specific plans, professional and personal

    She is particularly committed to whetting young people’s appetite for a career as a service technician. In her view, it is still one of the greatest and most exciting jobs you can get. Though when looking at the incoming applications, she says, you definitely notice a change in applicants’ attitudes. “In my time, it was considered great to travel the world on your job and earn money with it. These days, almost everybody is able to take some time off after A-levels and do what they please for a while, after which they’d like to settle down to a fixed work-life balance in Germany.” Birgit Hahn thinks that is a pity and therefore put the following item on her 2024 agenda: In collaboration with human resources management and the specialist departments in Central Field Service, she aims to highlight a career as a service technician more prominently as an attractive alternative for young people.

    She also has specific plans for her private life in 2024. “I used to spend all my holidays at home because in my job I was abroad most of the time. This year, I will go on a flight to South America that has got nothing to do with business for a change,” she tells us. And she is looking forward to doing plenty of outdoor sports in her free time, such as skiing, mountain biking, motorcycling or just hiking up a mountain.

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    Birgit Hahn loves the feeling of arriving at her destination after a long hike: “I did it!”

    “Standing here on the mountain top after hours of hiking and realising ‘It was definitely worth it!’ is a tremendous feeling.” So you see: Birgit Hahn demonstrates admirable staying power outside the Krones gates as well.

    27. March 2024
    5:00 min.

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