Antonia Oswald
Head of Work Preparation/Production Control Mechanics
Feldkirchen, Germany

What is the first thing you do when you get started with work for the day?  

My day starts relatively early at half past six. I think it's great that the flextime framework in the company is so generous. This allows me to organize my working hours flexibly and balance work and family life. Since my department works closely with production, we usually have a lot going on at this time of day and the workday is in full swing. Nevertheless, I like to use the first cup of coffee of the day for a quick chat with the team. Here we talk about personal and business matters alike. Since I work part-time and am usually only at the company until noon, this is a good opportunity to get an update on any specific issues that may arose the previous day. After that, I immediately start working. There, I check whether any new appointments have been received and deal with any open emails. 

What are your main areas of focus in your work as department manager work preparation/production control mechanics? 

In my function as Head of Work Preparation/Production Control Mechanics, the main task is to organize the two areas. We serve as the interface to many upstream and downstream departments in the company. One focus of our role is  tracking manufacturing processes across several departments.  

In addition, we also handle many new projects, new product launches and launch samples on machines for the first time. Here I take care of organizing timing of the projects.  

Furthermore, I am responsible for  production control of our milling machines on a daily basis. This involves taking care of the machine utilization plans allocating sample and series parts to the individual machines. 

How do you organize/structure your workday with tasks/projects? 

I manage the work preparation and production control department for mechanics, but I also have daily administrative tasks. This requires a lot of structure and organization, including to-do lists and staying on top of our priorities to get everything done on time and reconcile everything. Since I'm a logistician at heart, the organization of time is one of my major talents. I have a lot of regular meetings that I must keep. Therefore, I often have to block my calendar to get daily business done as well. 

Before I leave for the day, I check the my meetings for the next few days and prepare a few things. In regards to regular meetings, I always like to be prepared and up to date in advance. This avoids any stress  if other important issues come up at short notice that requires my immediate attention. 

As Head of Work Preparation/Production Control Mechanics, do you collaborate with a team or mainly work autonomously? Which do you prefer? 

In my area of responsibility, individual and teamwork complement each other perfectly. I prepare many of my daily tasks on my own and, where necessary, I discuss them with individual colleagues, my team or other departments for further input  for example, where improvements can be made and how they may be implemented. I am a team player and  very happy to work with a team that is always collaborating and engaged in the work we do here. The company moves forward when team members motivate each other and work together particularly on challenges that may arise and determine appropriate solutions. However, this only works if everyone takes responsibility for their individual work.  

Which part of your work do you enjoy the most, and why? 

I am working in a function with many internal interfaces - production, control, surface, assembly, purchasing, etc.  Every day, you meet and interact with many different people, characters and opinions that you need to adapt to and deal with. Everyone has their strengths and areas where they can improve. I think it is important to communicate with each other a lot. Many issues can be dealt with quickly and easily after a short phone call or having a discussion  in person. I really enjoy that. It's a reciprocal matter. It makes work much easier when everyone shares the same goal and wants to get the best out of it. I particularly like working close to the product. You see what you're working for when a lot of parts are moved from production to the warehouse at the end of the day. 

If you had more hours in the day to focus on new skills related to your job or projects of your work, what would you focus on? 

In any case, I would use the additional time to deal more intensively with the processes of planning and programming the individual machines in order to dive deeper into the topic and to be able to support my employees even better.  Regardless of the acquisition of new skills, I would definitely take more time every day to discuss topics with my colleagues and staff. 

What is your special skill/magic power/hobby you´re proud of? 

My special skill is perseverance. When I start something, I stick with it. It doesn't always have to be full speed ahead and can sometimes take longer. But I continue to do it. I've been doing judo for a very long time, and I've worked my way up to black belt over the years. I'm still proud of that, because it did take a long time of preparation. If my son ever develops an interest in this sport, I could well imagine being back on the mat again with him and my husband. At the moment, I don't have a favorite sport. I do what I feel like doing and what is good for me. Jogging, Yoga, Pilates, Strong Nation, Step Aerobics.... It all helps me relax and clear my head.  I also love spending time with my family, being in the garden or nature. Also, you will often find me with a book in my hand when I have some quiet time whether it's a trashy novel or a non-fiction book.