Faces, stories, teams and talents

Interview with Benjamin Wiens
  • Benjamin Wiens
  • IT specialist for application development
  • With FIEGE since 2009, currently working as Business Intelligence Product Manager in the Information Management Team
  • In February 2019, Benjamin Wiens won an idea stipend from the Venture Club Münster together with his colleague, Thorsten Sbrzesny. Click here to visit the Instagram post.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN AND HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT FIEGE?

I did my high school diploma and then started studying Geo-Informatics. At some point I realized that I needed something more tangible. I decided to start an apprenticeship as an IT specialist for application development here in Greven at LIS AG. After completing my IHK examination, my mentor at the time took me with him to FIEGE to support the project implementation. I had certain skills that I could directly apply there. Back at my old employer, I had the role of a key account with a special authorisation for development for the customer for a long time. Then a colleague asked me if I would like to join FIEGE. The proximity and the family environment made me want to come to FIEGE, as it simply suits me.

SINCE WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AT FIEGE?

I have been with FIEGE since 2009. I started as a project manager and have been involved in the implementation of transport management systems. I had the task to manage projects, but also to adapt the systems so that, for example, the old transport system in Cologne could be switched off and the data could be transferred to the new system. This means that customer order data has been received, the colleagues from the disposition department have scheduled the items and so the goods could be delivered from the warehouse to the end users. This was my first career at FIEGE.

Then Rangsdorf and Switzerland came next as implementation. In Switzerland it was a somewhat larger project, we provided the entire local traffic in Switzerland at seven locations with a central transport system. I had shown QlikView to a friend of mine, a controller in Cologne. This is a BI software solution. We needed a standard software that was future-proof.

So I had a two-track approach: firstly as Implementation Manager, but I was still able to follow my technical passion: The development and construction of infrastructure and the programming of data models and reports.

WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT RESPONSIBILITIES AT FIEGE?

I am currently in the Information Management (IM) department and am BI Product Manager. This means that I am responsible for and supervise the entire product portfolio that falls within BI. In other words, the information supply of the different units. At FIEGE there are operative (e.g. warehouse) and strategic units (e.g. controlling). We prepare this data and build visualisations on it. These are key figures to show people their daily business within a reporting. Being a developer and BI architect is also part of this. At FIEGE we have a very heterogeneous system landscape, i.e. not just one system that contains all our data. There is a solution for every location. For the warehouse management alone, for example, we have ten software products with different customizings.

WHAT DOES THE ABBREVIATION “BI” STAND FOR?

BI stands for Business Intelligence. We are working on converting operational data and figures into information and then making this information available to the operational level to manage the business. Not just to make gut decisions, but to make data and fact-based decisions – in other words, to be “data driven” (see bellow). These are then performance analyses in which you can see how much has already been processed.

We have developed our BI solution into a product. Since 2019, we have been working on the next level, which we want and need to reach. That means we want to become “cloud ready” and “data driven” and go to Azure Microsoft. There we will use the tool stack, a so-called toolbox, so that we can migrate the current solution.

FIEGE is a good match for me because the company caters to my needs. Where I wish to go, FIEGE supports me along the way.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT OF THE PAST YEARS AT FIEGE?

There are a few. In fact, every day is a highlight for me because there is always a challenge that we can solve. FIEGE is very solution-oriented, you can already see that in our logistics solutions. We implement and get down to work. This is the same with IT. A huge highlight for me is the technology change because FIEGE is entering new territory in this environment. We are among the first to switch to the Azure Cloud (Microsoft) with our BI applications. We have great support from Microsoft itself, which is a lot of fun.

My second highlight for me is the participation in the Innovation Challenge. There we designed a project with which we can find optimal paths. From this, process optimizations for FIEGE can be derived. Taking the third place in the Challenge was a big highlight for us. But also that we started with the same idea at the Venture Club and won one of the three scholarships. We prevailed against a lot of competitors, which was simply great on the side.

IN WHICH WAY DOES FIEGE SUIT YOU?

On the one hand, FIEGE suits my technical orientation. It is exciting to have so many technical systems and the challenge of bringing information to the surface and thus helping other people. This is very important nowadays and is becoming more and more important to remain competitive.

It is also the personal and private thing that connects FIEGE and me very much. Everything works in a team and everything is always a collaboration. Here the gears simply mesh well and communication simply works. There are flat hierarchies and structures that allow you to work efficiently in IT. Once you have a solution in place, you are supported in going the extra mile and getting even more out of the solutions you have already created. It is also accepted when you fail at first. Fault tolerance is lived at FIEGE. Nobody is reproached for it, instead, one is motivated. It is like a family, because in principle you get along well with every colleague. We also work with a large Serbian team of about 60 colleagues, which integrates very quickly. They also feel very comfortable and identify themselves with FIEGE. This is not only the case in IT, but in the entire FIEGE world.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO AN APPLICANT AT FIEGE?

To simply do it. I also do a lot of advertising for FIEGE myself and conduct job interviews. Recently, a mother of one of my daughter’s classmates approached me. She wants to start here as a lawyer and asked me what the climate is like here. I then said that FIEGE suits me. I would recommend every applicant to apply to FIEGE and have a look at the offers. FIEGE has many exciting fields. If one of them does not fit, another field can certainly be found. It was the same with me: before, there was no BI area either. So I created my own solution with my team and if I can do it, then others can do it as well.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?

I have two sports that I like to do in my free time. I have been doing Judo since I was a child. I am with the TG Münster and train there. The second is a passion that developed two years ago. I do Strong Viking, which are obstacle courses. I can recommend that to everyone! I do it very intensively and have already got some colleagues interested in it.

 

* What is the Data Driven Company (DDC) program?
FIEGE is supposed to become Data Driven and we definitely want to implement it. With our current solutions we are making progress and can take the next step. To achieve this, IT and specialist departments work closely together. This is not usual. We have a good team for this purpose, the BI Core Team. The team is made up of information management colleagues and employees from controlling. Data management is also part of it, this department is quite fresh with us. They make the data at FIEGE more valuable and evaluable. The basic pillars for the DDC are different: The data warehouse, data visualisation, master data and meta data management and finally the content projects. Once our data has been made for high quality, we can bring Westphalia Data Labs on board. They can then make forecasts on our data, for example. This means that the cooperation will be even closer.