Christine Früchtnicht, Head of Business Process Management: "My work often begins in the coffee kitchen or in the hallway"

Christine, what exactly is Business Process Management? Could you give us a brief explanation?

Process management is essentially about continuous improvement. Inefficient and illogical processes should be optimized and redesigned to make the work as effective as possible. The goal is to have clear processes with a clear organizational structure and clear responsibilities.

In my role, I am the interface between business and IT. We always look together at what work we can automate and standardize with the help of IT. These are mainly tasks that do not require a lot of mental effort and are often repetitive.

If these tasks can be automated, there is more time and space to work on interesting and exciting topics.

My work often begins in the coffee kitchen or in the hallway.

How do you approach your topics?

My work often starts in the coffee room or in the hallway. I get into conversations with colleagues who tell me about things that are not going so well.

I often find that old processes are simply transferred to new systems. But if the old system dictates the work processes, the process doesn't get better, and then there's a crack in the framework.

So I do it the other way around. First, I ask, "What are you trying to accomplish? What should the result be?" And only then is it a question of "how".

In the beginning, I ask an incredible number of questions and also a lot of seemingly "stupid" questions because I am not familiar with the subject. I question things and then try to put everything into a structure. I don't do this alone, but with an interdisciplinary team. Together we think outside the box and find the best solutions.

I think it's important to question what seems obvious, to go deeper, to get to the bottom of why. Too often, people treat the symptoms without getting to the root cause.

I think it's important to question what seems obvious, to go deeper, to get to the bottom of why. Far too often, symptoms are treated without identifying the cause.

What are your responsibilities at CREMER?

I work on a variety of projects and try to be involved in many things.

On a working day I'm usually in the office talking to people. This means that I don't only get involved in projects when there are problems, and I recognize early on where support is needed.

I want to change the way we think and embed change in the DNA of CREMER. We should think more in terms of processes. Connected and not isolated. The environment in which we operate is constantly changing. That's why we should always question ourselves and try to improve.

"That bothers me" - when I hear that, I know: We should take a closer look and get to the bottom of the problem.

"That bothers me" - when I hear that, I know: We should take a closer look and get to the bottom of the problem.

What projects are you involved in?

We have implemented a new ERP system at CREMER OLEO in Hamburg. Currently we are organizing a cross-departmental project team to support the implementation, discuss further developments and problems, and develop solutions.

We have started to set up an interdisciplinary master data expert group, whose members are the link to the business in the individual company divisions.

 

What do you like most about your job?

I love the "green meadow" that I am usually in front of. It allows me to design and develop an incredible amount. I also interact with a wide variety of people in so many different business areas. I really like that.

Even though it's always about improving processes, it's always new and exciting. I get to be creative, think outside the box and work with others to develop something good. I really enjoy that.

CREMER promotes innovation. From my professional experience, I know that this is not the case everywhere. I would therefore like to inspire as many colleagues as possible to be innovative.

Which teams or units do you work with the most?

At the moment, I work mainly with colleagues in Hamburg. In the future, Business Process Management will be used worldwide.

For me, the most important thing is to get people excited about change in order to improve processes and the whole working experience.

CREMER wants innovation and encourages employees to come up with good ideas. From my professional experience I know that this is not always the case. That is why I would like to inspire as many colleagues as possible.

 

You work part-time - four days a week.

Yes, I really like working four days. My workdays are four very intense days, usually packed with a lot of things. But otherwise I never really stop thinking about my projects, it's always working inside of me.