Interview with Anna Tomchuk –
Software Engineer

Anna is a Software Engineer at Rhenus Warehousing Solutions and works there as a Team Leader – she has been enriching our team for 16 years. In the interview, Anna talks about how her path in our working world has developed so far and what makes IT at a logistics service provider so special.

Anna Tomchuk

How did Anna find her way to us?

When I applied to the Rhenus Group, I had no idea what to expect. I came across the job advertisement quite by chance. I had just finished retraining as a database developer and had no experience in the logistics sector, but I found the idea of working on logistics issues very exciting. Without further delay, I applied for the advertised position and after a few weeks I already had my contract of employment in my hands. My hope was that I would be able to work on various topics. And I was not disappointed. When I stood in a warehouse for the first time, I was simply amazed. It was hectic and busy, things were beeping everywhere, something was being printed over here, a forklift truck was driving over there or someone was running through the high storage racks with a hand scanner. I already knew that day that I wanted to support this warehouse process world with the help of IT solutions. In the meantime, I know that logistics offers a lot of opportunities, especially for IT specialists, to get creatively involved in projects, especially because there are so many different processes and tasks. So you could say that I found the right company for me straight away.

What has Anna’s career at the Rhenus Group been like to date?

I joined Rhenus in 2003 and was employed in the Support department at the beginning. The tasks were very interesting because I worked for many customers and areas and thus experienced a very quick transfer of knowledge. It was basically the perfect onboarding to get an overview of the company and the projects. In general, the onboarding here makes it possible to find out where you would prefer to work and where you can also be best deployed. Usually, you start in a generalist function and can then decide whether and in which areas you would like to specialise. We currently have 200 different installations worldwide and therefore a wide range of topics and tasks. During my work in Support, I realised relatively quickly that I was very interested in taking on programming tasks in order to actively help shape projects. Already in the first six months, I was allowed to travel alone to another location to help implement an IT change that a colleague had developed. I enjoyed working on projects and since 2006 I have dedicated myself more and more to supporting a wide variety of projects. Since 2010, I have been a Team Leader and, together with my department, I take care of the support of diverse solutions that our software developers develop for our internal warehouse management system (WMS). The stabilisation and process optimisation of inventory projects are also among the tasks of the entire team.

What makes IT at the Rhenus Group so special?

Our IT is really diverse and multifaceted. With our department, we are responsible for translating the customers’ logistics requirements into IT processes. To do this, we work very closely with our customers and get to know their needs in detail. I find it particularly fascinating that we get to know people from the most diverse sectors across all hierarchical levels. When a new customer gives us the task of implementing their logistics processes, we meet together in several workshops to discuss how we can represent the requirements in IT terms. We plan the entire process from incoming goods to outgoing goods to the dispatch of the goods. But our work does not end with simple planning because, as software engineers, we accompany all processes in the implementation phase. During on-site implementation in the warehouse, we see how our work takes shape and can make adjustments if necessary. I find that really exciting and impressive. Internally, we work very intensively with many areas of the Rhenus Group – for example with the technical infrastructure, which ensures that all the technical preparations are made which enable us to install our software. The topics of IT security and interface management also play a major role. In addition, cooperation with the process engineers is important; they help us with the step-by-step development of the logistical processes. Here we focus especially on how we can support the processes IT-wise and whether we have to programme special requirements.

And what about the working atmosphere in the Rhenus IT team?

Our working atmosphere is really good. We recently moved into a new office, where we now work in a very modern open-space concept. We are very happy with the new space and find the new working environment much more communicative because the distances are much shorter. It’s nice to see how disciplined everyone behaves and that everyone shows consideration for each other. For appointments and phone calls, we have the possibility to retreat to conference rooms or quiet corners, which is really great. Some things can also be settled quickly and easily in our lounge corner. At lunchtime, we all meet in the new kitchen, where we eat together and exchange ideas. And as a little icing on the cake, the coffee tastes even better in the new office! What I particularly like about the working conditions at the Rhenus Group is the equality between women and men. I have often heard the stereotype that it is difficult for women to assert themselves in IT. I have not had that experience here. On the contrary, every employee is equally valued, both by the management and by each other. Therefore, I can only warmly recommend other women to join us in IT.