People who work with us: Iris Heck

As Team Leader of Commercial Organisation at MAPAL in Pforzheim, Iris Heck drives process-related changes in order to improve the internal workflow of the departments and sites.

Iris Heck, Team Leader Commercial Organisation at MAPAL in Pforzheim.

Whether it’s drafting a quotation or preparing a customer order – if commercial processes are not up to scratch, Iris Heck uncovers the need for optimisation and initiates corrective measures. The versatility of industrial professions has always fascinated her.

“We analyse commercial processes between departments and sites and try to continuously improve them. The challenge often lies in taking into account the interests of all the areas involved and working out a joint solution”, says Iris, describing the core of her professional activity.

Trained as an industrial clerk, Iris has been with the company since 2003. She also completed a business administration course at the VWA College of Professional Education alongside her training at MAPAL Aalen. In 2014, she moved within the group to MAPAL WWS in Pforzheim, where high-performance and high-precision tools are developed and produced in the world’s largest and most modern manufacturing facility for PCD tools. 

“MAPAL has grown significantly in recent years. For me personally, it was great that I was able to stay in the group despite moving to Karlsruhe”, says Iris, appreciating the professional opportunities that can be realised in a group-wide network. After joining MAPAL WWS, she completed a part-time Bachelor’s degree at the VWA College of Professional Education in Karlsruhe. 

“During this time, it was particularly important for me to be able to combine my job and my studies. My employer actively supported me in this. And I’m able to return the favour by bringing the results of my continuing education into my daily work.”

Finding solutions together

At MAPAL, it is particularly important to meet the requirements of the market at all times. In an ongoing project, the focus is on optimising lead times in order to be able to meet customer requirements on time. With a team of sixteen, every internal work step is put to the test. In another project, Iris supports the standardisation of information within the MAPAL knowledge database (MAWIS) to ensure smoother processes on the customer side. “There’s always room for improvement. That’s why, as part of my role, I continuously question structures and processes in order to simplify the everyday work of my colleagues”, Iris says, summing up her drive.

Change is ubiquitous

An office situation with a couple of colleagues.

With regard to digitalisation, her own field of work has also changed significantly. On the one hand, because working models have become flexible, and on the other hand, because digital solutions have been integrated. Tools are changing from local software to cloud solutions and collaborative tools. But the general processes in the company have also accelerated thanks to digitalisation. According to Iris, one example of this is the digital transaction file, in which incoming customer orders are transferred to the SAP system and assigned to the corresponding sales order.

“Digital solutions simplify everyday work. This allows us to react faster to customer needs and the market.”

Reaching the goal with further development

Of course, the inhibition thresholds for employees to use digital services should be kept as low as possible. This premise is already being adequately lived out at MAPAL. Online training is available for many applications. In addition, the company offers a wide range of training – from time management to language courses and the usage of various tools to leadership seminars. “In the past, there were always opportunities for me to complete exciting further training and to develop professionally”, she sums up as the current team leader for commercial organisation. She is already looking forward to taking on the challenges to come.

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