Detlef Storch | Sales Manager North-East
Describe your career at the company and your current position.
I started in 1990 as a sales representative for the floor/wall/ceiling sector in the Dresden and Chemnitz area. After roles as Area Sales Manager and Sales Manager, I have been Deputy Sales Manager for German/Austria/Switzerland since 2009.
Working with my colleagues, the Head of the UZIN Business Unit and the General Sales Manager, as well as my sales manager colleagues, we develop long and short-term goals and measures for UZIN and put them into practice on the market.
My roles are quite varied and falls into three main areas.
The most important part of the role is to manage 16 sales employees in the North-East region. Specifically, that means adapting the company’s goals to our region and, again, to our various employees and market conditions. It is a very exciting process, which I really enjoy. We work together on the strategy for the area. Colleagues on site are then mainly responsible for delivering the strategy. They have a high degree of autonomy. I make sure that everybody stays on track and try to provide impetus.
The image I always have in mind is not a big steamship, but a fleet of ships of different sizes with their own captains, all sailing in one direction. I support colleagues with our wholesale partners and property developers as well. We develop plans to cultivate the market successfully together, solve whatever technical and commercial issues there are, try to help our customers succeed, while also making sure they are fans of our products. We do very many in-house exhibitions, customer events, seminars, training courses and, last but not least, joint trips to promote exchange of knowledge and mutual trust. We set ourselves a lot challenges, but we want it to be fun as well.
The third area of my role is temporary and project-based. For many years, I have worked in product range development and pricing, preparing proposals for regional campaigns and seminars.
Is there a particular experience at UZIN UTZ that you would like to share?
There are so many happy and unforgettable moments I have had with colleagues. Our 100th anniversary in Ulm with Status Quo playing and a spectacular fireworks display on the Münsterplatz is definitely one of those moments.
Describe UZIN UTZ in three words.
Successful, value-driven, family company
What I like about UZIN UTZ is…
Great colleagues here and abroad. The trust that has been placed in me and my team over many years. The fact that employee and customer satisfaction is not just an empty promise, but a real objective. The enthusiasm with which we pursue our ambitious goals and can also celebrate out achievements together.
What sort of support do you get from colleagues?
We are a strong community, not just on a rational level, but on an emotional level too.
Why did you choose to work at UZIN UTZ?
After the peaceful revolution in East Germany, I was looking for a new professional challenge as a civil engineer in a “Western” company. I wanted to learn about new technologies and structures, expand my knowledge and build a professional career, and fast. A property report in the German architecture magazine, Bauzeitung, aroused my interest in UZIN. After that, everything happened very quickly. My application, two face-to-face interviews with the then sales manager and board member. I was a part of UZIN in no time.
What was it like at the start?
From day one, I was supported, challenged and encouraged by my colleagues. 3 colleagues from Ulm took turns traveling with me for 1 week a month to organize training courses and site briefings and to build sales partnerships. It was a very exciting, successful time and intense.
What tips would you give to newcomers?
Be confident, yet humble. Ask the right questions and listen. Form your own opinion and really on your common sense. Set yourself ambitious career goals and do not forget your family and friends, how to enjoy life and your dreams. Judge the day by what you sowed and not by what you reaped!
Conducted in October 2019.