My name is Christoph Neef and I am 30 years young. I have been working as a project manager at S&P Computersysteme GmbH in Stuttgart since the beginning of 2017. Recently, I have also been responsible for the Quality Management Standard area in addition to my role as project manager. My four-year career at S&P allows me to look back on great experiences and a variety of challenging tasks and projects. In short: it is and it remains a super exciting time.I joined S&P through a very good friend, our current CTO Markus, in the first few months of 2017 to be precise. Even before that, I had already had some contact with the logistics sector in my managerial role (logistics technology management). So basically, none of this was completely new to me. But anyone who knows logistics knows that it is not that easy to have a complete overview of the industry. Even today, I am still fascinated by exactly what drew me to the logistics industry back then: the diversity and complexity of individual processes and procedures in the warehouse, as well as the continuous new developments and innovative trends within the industry.
Every day anew: exciting, challenging and varied!
"Ready, steady, go!" - well, let's be honest, a working day doesn't usually start as easily as it sounds. Before I go to my desk, I grab the dog leash and go for a walk with our two dogs. With fresh air and adrenaline in my blood, there's one thing I definitely cannot do without afterwards: a hot cup of coffee and off I go. In my position as project manager, the customers have the highest priority in the day-to-day business. Does a customer need support, have questions or ambiguities come up, or are there project-specific tasks that need to be completed at short notice and out of schedule? A first answer to these questions is usually provided at the beginning of my working day by my unread emails in my inbox and Slack messages (Slack is one of our communication tools in the company) or even missed calls in the evening.
Besides the scheduled appointments in my calendar, my day is mostly free to arrange. Sometimes it's about structuring and working out new offers or writing specifications. On the other hand, topics such as conducting (market) research are also on the agenda.
For all that, at this point I have to smile a little myself, I am happy to be available to our marketing team as a "photo model" for picture material. True to the motto "Theory meets practice. I also often go to our customers' warehouses, for example to carry out the commissioning of the system, etc. I think you can already tell. I think you can see here just how exciting and varied the everyday life of a project manager is - and that doesn't just refer to the field of activity. The clients and their employees are also very different. Different circumstances, different requirements, as well as different characters and customer wishes make it necessary for a project manager to adjust to new and sometimes unknown conditions again and again. In the end, this also results in the qualities that I believe a project manager should inevitably have: organisational skills, strong communication skills and, above all, he or she should always keep a cool head, even when things get a bit stressful.
S&P Computersysteme GmbH as an employer
The friendly or almost family-like interaction is what makes S&P special for me as an employer. The support in the team is simply great. Everyone has a lot on their plate in their day-to-day work, but despite all that, they are always happy to make time to support you. Almost all colleagues want to help you and vice versa, of course. In addition, I have already experienced my own personal highlight in my career at S&P: the go-live of my first own project. I think at this point I speak from the soul of the majority, because it is simply indescribable to experience this milestone in a project. After hours, sometimes even days, of working out the specifications and implementing the associated task packages, then going live in practice and seeing at the end of the day: it's up and running - I think everyone can imagine what a great feeling that is for the entire project team. Since pleasure should not be neglected alongside work, a toast is raised to the successful go-live - as is fitting after hard and successful work.
#Letstalkaboutyourhobby – Christoph in his free time
Of course, I am not only a project manager but at the same time "Christoph as a private person" or in other words: motorbike lover and "dog whisperer". Due to my job, I spend most of my day indoors. I either sit at my desk and work on my PC or I'm at the customer's site - and even there, most of the work usually takes place within the four walls. Since I like to be in nature and especially in the fresh air, I therefore use almost every free minute to go hiking or walking with my wife and our Labrador mongrel Fritz and our terrier mongrel dog Emmy. Personally, this gives me a lot of energy for everyday life, is a great distraction, especially after stressful days, and gets my mind off things. It's really incredible how quickly I can switch off. And when I'm not on foot with the dogs, I get on my motorbike. Here it's especially the acceleration that brings a smile to my face every time. On the way to your destination, you also see so many places and landscapes that - at least that's how I feel - you don't really notice and get to know when you're driving.
A Chris Neef – I guess you could say in conclusion – Is simply always in motion!