Miklos Schmidt, Global Head of Cargotec Business Services and General Manager of Cargotec Bulgaria, on what makes the company unique
In ports, on roads or at sea, Cargotec is a Finnish company dedicated to helping businesses keep goods moving efficiently and safely by optimising cargo flows. In 2017, the company opened a new global Cargotec Business Services centre in Sofia to provide Finance, Human Resources and Indirect Procurement services to Cargotc's businesses.
In November 2019, MIKLOS SCHMIDT became the Global Head of Cargotec Business Services. He is also the General Manager of Cargotec Bulgaria. He has over 20 years of experience in the finance sector, supply chain management and project management in different large international companies like IBM, Diageo, Mylan and Colfax. He is of Hungarian and German descent and has worked and lived in the US, Singapore, Germany and Hungary.
We talked to Miklos Schmidt to learn more about Cargotec Business Services.
What is Cargotec Business Services and how does it stand out among the other Bulgaria based ВРО service providers?
Cargotec Business Services is not just the service organization of Cargotec, it has a much bigger purpose. It is an enabler, a partner of the Cargotec businesses that helps the organization achieve its long-term goals. We have long thought about what our differentiators are and what makes us stand out from the rest specifically on the Bulgarian market. We had some idea, but decided to also ask the people who can best define our strengths – our employees. Most of our employees in Sofia pointed out that one of our main strengths is the Nordic company culture of respect, trust and open communication with the management. They also shared that in Cargotec Business Services, unlike other shared service centers, they are involved in complex global projects and not just in transactional work, they are entrusted to take decisions, provide solutions, come up with ideas. And this is coupled with access to the most advanced systems in finance, HR and indirect procurement, allowing professionals to learn from the best in their field and develop.
How do the company's Finnish origins reflect on its internal policies towards its employees?
Our Finnish roots define our unique company culture – a culture of mutual respect, openness, transparent and frequent communication, feedback giving. We are a large global organization, but our company culture is not the typical corporate culture. For us work life balance is not just a fancy term. We are flexible towards our employees. Even before Covid-19 all of them had the opportunity for home office and we plan to remain flexible after the Covid-19 situation is over. People currently can choose whether to come to the office or not, we respect each employee's individual situation and we trust people will do their job wherever they work from.
We try to keep connected with our employees at all times, we have different employee forums where people can share their views and get timely responses from the management and participate in discussions with it.
What working in your offices looks like for the employee?
We all really miss being in the office and seeing the happy faces of our people. Unfortunately, since the Covid-19 outbreak we have been visiting the office much less often. However, we manage to stay together as a team. Our main philosophy is for our employees to be connected.
When the Covid-19 situation eases we will be able to start coming back to our wonderful office more frequently. There, our employees enjoy plenty of natural light and open space, but also more private meeting rooms and leisure areas where they can be alone to concentrate or relax. The interior is cozy and comfortable, creating a feeling of home environment.
One thing that differentiates Cargotec from other companies in Bulgaria is the work desks. They are very comfortable and functional, and each has 7.5 sq.m, which is over twice the size of the average workstation in the offices in Bulgaria. The desks are height adjustable – you can work sitting down or standing up, whatever is most comfortable.
Our office is also very green, something typical for the Nordic interiors. We do not use any plastic, and we separate the waste. You can see more than 200 live plants in the office as well as walls with live green moss.
All in all, an office is just an empty, sterile space without the people, that is why our office is designed to make people feel good, safe and comfortable.
What policies does the company apply to reduce its carbon footprint? How does it turn sustainable development and care for the environment from words into actions?
At Cargotec we take the issues of the environment, climate change and sustainability very seriously. Our global vision is to become a global leader in sustainable cargo flow. We have committed to be a so-called 1.5 degree company, which means we do our best to help reduce global warming to not more than 1.5ºC. We are already acting on this through concrete steps. Here are some of them. We decarbonize our supply chain by getting suppliers on board and setting requirements for them, especially the ones in the steel and steel related categories. We decarbonize our own operations by using renewable energy for our offices, decarbonize our fleet and company cars and continue to increase energy efficiency of sites. We aim at automation, robotization and electrification of our products. We already have an "eco portfolio" of products that we offer to the clients. This makes it more efficient and eco friendly and we get to have our customers on board as part of this sustainability journey.
How did your multicultural background and professional expertise affect your personal managerial style?
I was lucky to have spent time working in so many different countries and experiencing different cultures. One thing I learned is that people are people wherever they live. My personal takeaways as a manager in multinational companies operating in different cultures are that a manager and a leader must respect the people, the culture and take that into account when crafting their own managerial style. I have always propagated open communication with my colleagues and have always invited constructive feedback and criticism. For me it is very important to hear people out, let them know that they matter, that their opinion matters. In most businesses and especially in the shared services industry our main asset is the people, so treating them with respect is a must.
What are your goals as General Manager of Cargotec Bulgaria?
To improve myself with every opportunity I get, in every company I work for. And this is closely related to the people. For me a good manager means being not only effective, goal-oriented and delivering business results, but mainly being a true and empathetic leader, one that listens to the people and guides them, rather than just giving orders and delivering on KPIs.
In Cargotec Bulgaria and Cargotec Business Services my goal is to create a well-functioning service organization that enables Cargotec to achieve its long-term objectives and goals. And at the same time, I aim to nurture happy and engaged employees without whom no business goal can be achieved.
Find us online:
@CargotecBulgaria on Facebook
@cargotecbulgaria on Instagram