Michael Bächle | Head of Corporate Management and SAP
Please introduce yourself briefly.
My name is Michael Bächle. I’m 40 years old, married and the proud new father of a little daughter. I was born in Ulm and after high school I decided to stay in the beautiful city of Münster to plan my future there. I am now responsible for corporate management and SAP applications at UZIN UTZ. I also have the role of quality management and data protection officer.
Why did you want to work for UZIN UTZ?
Given my private circumstances, it was my goal after graduation to get a job as a dual student in the Ulm area. I can across UZIN UTZ from a description of the companies working together on the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University. During my job interview with the then Commercial Director and later Chief Financial Officer, I felt right at home immediately and felt really valued and appreciated. I have felt in just the right place at the company from then on.
Describe your career at UZIN UTZ so far – from your first day at the company to now
I “took up office” October 1, 1998 as a dual student. After part-time studies and graduating successfully in 2001, I started my career in the Central Controlling Department at UZIN UTZ. I have a great affinity for numbers. So it was the perfect place for me to get a look at all the key figures for the company. At that time, controlling for the parent company was a one-man show. When my predecessor fell seriously ill and was unfortunately unable to return to the company, I was thrown in at the deep end right after my studies and had to sink or swim. It was both a curse and a blessing. On one hand, it was a great challenge with the chance to realize my potential. On the other hand, I had to mature and gain experience very quickly. The rapid development of UZIN UTZ then brought some restructuring and new responsibilities over time with it. Controlling for the subsidiaries in Würzburg and Ilsfeld and quality management for UZIN UTZ were only some of the new areas of responsibility that I gradually took on. I started as head of department, then in 2012 I took on additional responsibility for the SAP applications and have been division head at the company ever since.
What challenges are you dealing with at the moment?
Our growth strategy sets clear goals for the Group. In 2019, turnover will be 400 million euros. That also means a tight schedule and an ambitious program for me and my division, of course. Process optimization and exploiting synergies within the Group are a major challenge. The digitalization of our processes and services is therefore only part of our daily business. It gives me great pleasure to help initiate and actively support new projects, especially when they are challenging. Against the background of these tasks and constantly increasing demands, it is currently also a great challenge to find and train the specialists who will help us to make progress in the future, especially for SAP applications.
What are your responsibilities within the department?
Firstly, I see my team and myself as an early warning system for the company. We keep a close eye on the economic development of our companies and report regularly to the Board to take action on negative trends at an early stage if necessary. I am also responsible for the budgeting process of our German companies, which account for approximately 50% of Group sales, and I ensure that budgets are met. My team directly covers all aspects of cost accounting, such as product cost calculations, cost center and cost type accounting as well as investment calculations in the companies assigned to us. We also advise and support our foreign subsidiaries in these areas and in other business and technical areas. For SAP applications, we first make sure that a functioning ERP system is available at all times. It is also our role to continuously develop digital processes to increase the efficiency of day-to-day operations and to minimize errors. We are also responsible for providing the entire company with figures, data and facts to make it even more successful. Alongside these tasks, we support the Board during the implementation of various projects. For quality management, the focus is firstly on compliance with defined work processes and specifications. Alongside that, our work has clear focus on constant further development of processes of UZIN UTZ. Overall, our responsibility is to uncover risks and discover potential for improvement, while also keeping an eye on further development of the company.
What skills are required to work in your division?
Of course, the requirements vary depending on the department and the job. Regardless of professional expertise, all employees are united by a process-oriented, logical and, above all, entrepreneurial way of thinking. This is the basic condition for success. However, I also believe that the social component is an extremely important element in success, in addition to professional skill. It does not matter whether it is in the department or in the large team at the UZIN UTZ Group. We can only achieve goals together in a positive environment.
Conducted in December 2017.