Marcel has always enjoyed juggling numbers and today he enriches our team as the Managing Director and Service Centre Manager Controlling and Mergers & Acquisitions. In our interview with him, we learn more about the career that brought him to Rhenus and the challenges he faces in our working environment.
For me as a numbers person, it was clear at an early stage that my choice would be to study Finance, Accounting and Controlling. During my studies, I already gained my first practical experience in finance through internships and working student jobs. Various options were open to me for entering professional life. I decided on management consulting, where I also accompanied and implemented several international projects. After three years, I was given the opportunity to take on the next professional challenge in a company in the energy sector. There I went through various Controlling departments and finally became the Department Head in Operational Controlling. After seven years, the opportunity came up for me to join Rhenus as the Head of Controlling.
There are a number of reasons. Of course, I relied on the information given in the interviews, but I can now say that my expectations were exceeded. In addition, I found the entire recruiting process to be extremely pleasant. I had the feeling throughout that there was a serious interest in my person and that attention was also paid to whether I fit into the company as an individual. During the interviews, I was also able to learn a lot about Rhenus and the tasks of Service Centre Controlling. And what can I say, the tasks are a great match for my professional qualifications and what I enjoy doing. The corporate culture was also decisive for me, because Rhenus is characterised by a strong hands-on mentality and I like being able to contribute in an environment where work is pragmatic and fact-orientated.
We in Controlling prepare the income statement for the entire Rhenus Group every month, which we then make available to the board and the Managing Directors. Another task is budgeting and medium-term planning. Based on the operational planning of the decentralised units, we create a financial “picture” of Rhenus for the coming year and the following five years. We provide a central database for monthly reporting as well as for budgeting and medium-term planning; it forms the basis for the processes. Our department also takes care of the support and administration of the IT system. This combination of technical topics and IT implementation is an exciting aspect of my work. With regard to the operational controllers, good cooperation is very important to me. It is one of our tasks to support the decentralised commercial areas with IT systems, methods and knowledge transfer and thus to relieve our colleagues in their operative tasks. To do this, however, we need to know where current problems lie and how we can help. We try to be present as a contact person and support the operational staff, for example, with new projects. Accordingly, we maintain close contact with the controllers of the units and also network them with each other. In addition to our regular tasks, there are of course also special projects that we supervise. This can be, for example, the development of investment controlling or the support of the SAP roll-out in the group. In the past, we supported one of our business areas in the implementation of a driver-based forecast. On the one hand, this helps to obtain further transparency about the profit drivers and is also an effective tool for increasing efficiency.
Thanks to the flat hierarchies and short decision-making processes, we can react very flexibly to new challenges and requirements and establish new processes quickly. At the same time, a certain pragmatism is practiced at Rhenus. So we look at what we really need and then develop customised solutions outside the standard. In addition, as a central unit, I also try to establish close contact with the operational staff. On the one hand, in my professional life so far, I have always enjoyed working most when I was close to the real action. On the other hand, I see it as one of my tasks to provide support there. We must never forget that the results of Rhenus are generated in the operational areas, which in the end also finance the central functions.
The biggest challenge for me was to understand the business models and the structure of the Rhenus Group. It is very complex due to the many decentralised units and the diverse business areas. In addition, the lean structure ensures that there is no formal manual or anything like that on who is the right contact for what. Building an informal network is therefore very important. For me, that means getting to know a lot of people in the first period. The company gave me the time I needed for that, and it’s a very exciting story. The start-up period was also made easier for me by my team because they welcomed me openly, so I quickly felt at home. They have my support, the whole team is very committed. All of them have extremely well-founded specialist knowledge and do a really good job, I can rely on that at any time.
I particularly like the fact that I work in a field that I personally enjoy a lot. This is also promoted by the fact that I get the opportunity to contribute my ideas and thus actively help shape topics. And, of course, my great team with its committed way of working also contributes to this. I also notice that I identify with Rhenus. I feel more like a “Rhenus person” and less like a “Controlling person”. Of course, the fact that Rhenus is a family-run company also contributes to this.
On the one hand, Rhenus offers me the chance to develop in a commercial function in a growing company. On the other hand, I can also play an active role in shaping growth and development. In addition, Rhenus has always given me the time to get to know the company, processes and people better – even in the logistics sector, which I only had passing contact with in my previous professional life. This is the best basis for me to contribute my Controlling expertise in a targeted way.