Hello to all the readers of the BLEFA Blog.

My name is Lara and in December 2018, I did two weeks’ work experience at BLEFA GmbH in Kreuztal. During this time, I had the opportunity to watch the people working in Sales and Marketing, and in Accounts. I also learnt how many different aspects there are to the job of industrial business management assistant.

When I started my internship, I knew that there were barrels of different sizes and they were made of stainless steel. What I didn’t know was that there are many different types of barrels, which are known as kegs in trade circles. A keg can have different diameters (e.g. from 235mm to 395mm), different volumes (10 – 59.62 litres) and can be fitted with top and bottom chimes of stainless steel or various plastics. Kegs can also be equipped with so-called RFID tags to enable keg stocks to be recorded digitally. But what really impressed me was the great variety of design possibilities for each keg, from embossing the brand name into the top chime to screen printing the logo.

But let’s begin at the beginning.

I spent the first week in the Sales & Marketing department and quickly discovered that all the staff were very friendly and actually took the time to give me a really good insight into their work. So on the very first day, I was able to gain some experience of the internal ERP and CRM systems for recording customer enquiries, quotations and orders. The company’s various departments are networked through these systems so they can work together smoothly. I also noticed that the relationship among the staff is very friendly and they all work on their daily tasks together and support each other.

In the next few days, I was allowed to do more and more tasks myself and was able to get a good insight into the actual work content. In addition, I was introduced to the tasks involved in the marketing department and was really pleased to get the opportunity to write this article for the BLEFA blog.

Towards the end of the week, I was given a guided tour of the production plant and was able to get an impression of how the orders I’d seen in the system beforehand were practically implemented. It was clear that the manufacturing process had been constantly modernised in recent years, so keg production is now faster, more reliable, more environmental and of a consistently high quality. I was also able to watch a machine being converted to produce a different type of keg. It was really impressive to see how smoothly the whole process went and that every employee knew exactly which steps to take.

In my second week, I was able to look over the shoulders of the women working in accounts and was directly included in the procedures. One of my jobs was to enter invoices into the system and process them. As this is one of the company’s most sensitive areas, I quickly realised the importance of working carefully and thoroughly.

What I can take away from these two weeks at BLEFA is the fact that industrial business management assistant is a very wide-ranging and complex profession. In Sales & Marketing, not every procedure is identical and customers almost always have very different requirements. The work in Accounts, on the other hand, carries a lot of responsibility, despite the many routine tasks it involves, because this where you actively work with the company’s capital.

At this point, I’d like to say a big thank you to all those people who looked after me so well in the two weeks I was there. You all made me feel very much at home and I really learned a lot.

Author: Lara Buch