In recent years, our IT department has been increasingly involved in innovative processes. Stefanie Jacobs, our Specialist in the Spotlight, is in the midst of the innovative actions at Hertel Industrial Services.
What is your position within the company?
Stefanie: “I am an IT coordinator at Hertel Industrial Services Belgium. I monitor the IT department and IT projects in general (such as the initiation of new projects, collaborating with other colleagues, etc.) and negotiate IT contracts. Within this scope, I check for instance whether we still have the most optimum contracts for telephony, internet… I am also a member of the company’s innovation think tank, involved in innovative processes.”
How did you end up at Hertel Industrial Services?
Stefanie: “More than nine years ago, after my university studies, I started working for the Hertel group. Within the group, I mainly facilitated ERP projects and also helped develop a global ERP approach. Since the Hertel group’s acquisition by Altrad, a more regionalised IT vision was developed. The corporate IT department still provides shared IT services (such as e-mail, hosting,..), but the local IT department does its utmost to meet the IT needs of our operations and customers. That is how I ended up at Hertel Industrial Services Belgium.”
What does your average day look like?
Stefanie: “When I get up, I always check whether certain things have happened. Of course, this is very easy to do with a smartphone. It allows me to quickly determine if certain incidents require action. At work, this depends on the project being implemented. In other words, my day-to-day activities are quite varied. No two days are the same at Hertel Industrial Services, this is what makes it so interesting. And because we also have a smaller IT department, we sometimes exchange work. For instance, in between projects I can help my colleagues with their IT jobs.”
What are the coolest projects you have been able to achieve?
Stefanie: “Two years ago we implemented a great project: a time registration and planning tool. We wanted to achieve a largely automated planning, taking into account our arrangements with the customer. This tool helps us to make optimum use of our people, for instance based on their availability, certificates, competencies and location in relation to the various sites.
We combined it with a time clock, that operates with a fingerprint. This makes it very easy to see who is at which location. Of course, security is also a key IT component of such projects. After all, we always do whatever it takes to protect our employees’ and our customers’ data as well as possible.“
What are you currently working on?
Stefanie: “We are currently working on a new ERP. We are checking how to make certain interfaces run smoothly with the key systems. So, we are in the middle of the preparatory phase.
In addition, we are developing pilots regarding the Internet of Things.”
Have you already found something concrete?
Stefanie: “We are looking into several approaches and business models. So far, everything takes place within the innovation think tank. One example of something the think tank has already developed, is the virtual reality application. We have also created a customer portal, allowing us to provide the construction site and customer with tools to collaborate more efficiently and to make the follow-up of work more transparent.”
You also take extra training?
Stefanie: “Indeed, on July 1 I will be completing a two-year training, an Executive Master in IT Management. Among other things, it teaches you the structures, processes and relational mechanisms you need for a proper IT policy. The training has also taught me many useful tools and theoretical concepts I can also use at Hertel Industrial Services.
For instance, we have already conducted several additional IT audits within the company, to determine the maturity of our IT environment and make any necessary changes. This also focused on IT architecture and security. Among other things, I learned more about the General Data Protection Regulation which came into effect in May 2018, to handle the security of our employees’ and customers’ data in compliance with the regulation.”
What do you like most about working at Hertel?
Stefanie: “The opportunities that Hertel Industrial Services provides time and again. I have already been able to take various trainings and even had the opportunity of taking part in the Hertel Talent Development Program. This included a variety of courses and coaching, which are very useful for one’s development within the company.
In addition, you can rely on the daily support of great colleagues, and you get the feeling that your opinion really matters. That is why I like working here!”