Lisa’s story


Lisa has lived in a high valley in Tirol, Austria half an hour from her job for 32 years. As a Project Coordination Consultant for procurement and logistics, she spends up to half the year traveling the world.

The story of Lisa and her current employer began as unrequited love at first sight. Right after finishing high school, she applied to the company, which is known in the area as a good and fair place to work and which she had always liked. She didn’t match the requirements of the job she’d applied for, so she spent three years working for a logistics company, always keeping an eye on the vacancies at the Kufstein plant. When she saw a position to be filled in procurement at the end of 2008, she tried again. And Lisa has been with the company ever since. In part because she made it very clear during her interviews that she really wanted the job.

Lisa is open-minded, gets along with a lot of different people, and stands out with her relaxed nature and her honesty. “Honesty is a trait that I think is incredibly important, and I certainly wave my little banner of morals around for that.”

When she isn’t traveling, Lisa’s work at the Kufstein site involves a lot of meetings and phone calls. Having a laugh in the process is important to her. She believes that work should be fun.

She has lived, studied and worked in the same area of Tirol her whole life, which is possibly why she loves to travel so much. To this day, new employees at the Kufstein plant are told the story of how she – with permission, of course – went on vacation in her third week on the job.

Her love of travel is also why she enjoys the fact that she travels so much for STIHL. She just spent about week in Changzhou and, before that, three months in China to support supply chain management. Lisa is regularly at the STIHL head office in Waiblingen and has flown to STIHL in the USA for a workshop. Lisa hopes that a project will take her to Brazil someday. At each location she visits, she sees a number of commonalities: “… this spirit and the extreme awareness of quality that we all share, and the sense of connectedness to the STIHL brand.”

Lisa is part of the Project Coordination Procurement Logistics team and represents the areas of production and market supply at the Kufstein plant. She primarily handles battery-powered and electric projects that are manufactured here. Her role is to support market launches. “This means that, at the end of the product cycle, a first series is built that is ready to be sold and is introduced to the market. Our goal is to ensure throughout the entire course of the project that the market launch is successful.” That is a matter of technical approvals – when a part has to be completed and approved so that it is available on Monday evening of the necessary week and can be installed. This is quite a challenge, especially when it comes to battery-powered products. The market availability of these components is difficult and challenging. After all, it involves time frames that span over more than a year. This calls for constant planning ahead, looking towards the future. Lisa has to know what she needs to take care of today so that it all works in a year. One particular challenge also lies in the fact that no one comes up to her and hands her a task, “but rather I have to figure out on my own what I have to do now so that it works down the line. That takes a lot of self-motivation.”

It’s part of Lisa’s job – essentially her special function – to always have a focus on the series. She has to ensure that market readiness is achieved. And sometimes this means that her colleagues – who are focused completely on the project, the perfect prototype – have to be reeled back in. Lisa isn’t a big fan of processes, but it always means making case-by-case decisions where flexibility is needed. “Something always happens in each project and it’s never the same.” Her department is made up of about 20 people, a large proportion of them women. “Maybe women are better at being confronted with problems every day and finding solutions for these problems,” Lisa speculates with a smile.

“If you can only work well on your own, it won’t work out. And if you don’t contribute, then it also probably won’t be successful. And we just have a really, really great mindset in the project teams, a spirit of jumping in and helping out.”

Lisa definitely sees her future with STIHL. She appreciates the fair way colleagues deal with one another as much as the opportunities that the internationality of STIHL provides. For her, it’s also good to know that there are other places within the same company where she can work and contribute the expertise that she has developed while working here.

“I have often been surprised at the challenging tasks I have been presented with. I have probably made a reputation for myself with my way of working. But that’s how it’s always been – my bosses have said, ‘Lisa, you can do this. We’d like to give you this project.’”