Today we’re chatting with one of our implementation managers, Christian. We talk about his beginnings at Logward and the day-to-day of an implementation manager in the field of supply chain. Make sure to also find out why even customers know him as Mucki.
Hi Mucki, thanks for the interview. Let’s start by learning a bit more about what you did before joining Logward.
I started working in this field with an apprenticeship at Kühne + Nagel in 2012, where I was rotating between departments every half a year. For example, I worked in importing FCL containers, but also exporting LCL shipments. In general, this experience helped me learn about everything that makes up freight forwarding.
Tell us about your Logward journey since you've been here from just about the beginning.
I joined Logward in April 2019. A couple of months before that, I had been approached by Jonas, who I had known already for a couple of years. He wanted to talk with me about a project. So, we met a couple of times, and we took a look at the original features of what was soon going to become Logward. After that, it was clear to me that I wanted to work at Logward, so we agreed pretty quickly on me joining the company. I initially worked as a Transport Manager with the goal of building the customer support team, since Logward was born as a 3PL, and only after a few months we switched to the 4PL approach given the higher potential in this area. That’s when I moved to implementation, and I became Implementation Manager in March 2021.
Since you’ve been working in this role for almost a year now, can you describe us a typical day as an implementation manager?
A typical always starts with a coffee and reading the news. As my task is to plan our work and coordinate all the different tasks for the week, the first software I usually open is our project management software where I follow-up on the progress of the current week. During the day, I write new tickets and keep planning the work for the upcoming weeks. An essential part of my work is also evaluating how we can improve the implementation process and to properly document basically… everything. The time that I don’t spend with these tasks is usually occupied with meetings, but of course there is always some time for discussing the latest sports results or having some "quote battles" with the colleagues from the Hamburg office (shoutout!).
What do you like most about your job?
I like everything about my job! However, the best thing about my job is that it combines three areas that I’m interested in: project management, product management, and software development. Regarding project management, it has always attracted me, although I never worked in it before, but I got a glimpse of it while I was studying. I like serving customers in the best way I can - talking to them, getting their feedback, and making them happy. As for product management, I find working with our product managers Arun and Ivan super interesting because we develop or improve features based on the feedback of our customers. Lastly, building software is very new to me and therefore, also really interesting.
Implementation is all of these things.
What are the challenges faced by an implementation manager?
One of the daily challenges that I face is keeping an overview on all the small and sweet details of each project that I’m in charge of as no project is like the other. That’s why it’s crucial to write proper documentation for every project step. When I plan the work for the upcoming weeks, it can be tricky to break down general and rather unspecific customer requirements into detailed and workable tasks for the team. Fortunately for me, the colleagues forgive uncertainties from my side and understand even the most cryptic ticket descriptions. The biggest challenge though is making all customers and colleagues happy at the same time because sometimes all the different timelines collide and then it’s up to us to find satisfying solutions which everybody is okay with.
Anyways, for me, it’s these challenges that make the job so exciting and versatile!
What skills does an implementation manager need?
Definitely organizational skills, and in terms of soft skills I think that communication and presentation skills are also very important because you need to know how to present a solution to the customers. Other useful skills are problem-solving and critical thinking, good project planning, and reliability.
More specifically, about hard skills, a good supply chain knowledge is necessary to understand customer requirements because only by understanding their needs you can built a solution for them. You always have to keep in mind why you’re supposed to implement a solution, and most of the time the answers to this question are ambiguity in the supply chain and need for improved processes. Therefore, without customer knowledge it would be quite difficult to understand customers properly.
Where do you see Logward's biggest potential?
It’s all about the people and how we function as a team! It’s the combination of talented developers in our engineering team and concentrated logistics knowledge in our customer success team that makes us strong. On the one hand, we know how to build great software, but on the other hand, we also know how the supply chain game works. This puts us in the position of being able to efficiently support our customers in managing their supply chain and to give them the complete feel-good package at Logward. At the same time, our well-organized product managers make sure to constantly improve our product and that our vision becomes reality piece by piece.
What’s your reaction when you realize that you have made a mistake?
The very first reaction is always a sort of “oh no!”, but then for me it’s about finding the source of my mistake and how I made it, so that I can learn from it and not repeat it. I also think about other scenarios in which it might happen again so that I can use the learning. I believe that mistakes are not a bad thing because you make them when you try to do something, and trying is better than not doing anything at all. So, you didn’t 'not succeed'. You learnt something, and you’ll do better next time.
What makes you happy at work?
Receiving good feedback from our customers. For example, I smile when hearing that a solution is great or that they appreciate our effort. What also makes me happy is having people around me that are equally thrilled and motivated.
Now, something readers might have been wondering about from the beginning of this interview: why is you nickname “Mucki”?
When I started working at Logward there was someone else called Christian, so to avoid confusion one day Jonas started calling me “Mucki”, but I don’t really know why. Now everyone in my professional environment calls me by my nickname, even customers, and it just sounds very weird when someone uses my real name - I might not even realize that this person is calling me.
[Of course we wanted to know more, so we asked Jonas about it: “mucki” is the abbreviation of “Muskel-Christian” since Mucki is often found at the gym]
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I consider myself a simple person. I love fitness, and it always feels good to spend some time with my loved ones. In summer, I like riding my motorbike and a passion that I can, unfortunately, fulfill only in summer is motorcycle racing on race tracks.
What’s your dream travel destination?
I don’t have ONE dream destination. I want to visit as many places as I can. Every country and city has a different culture and makes you meet different people, so I just want to get to know as many beautiful places and people as possible.
Cardio or weightlifting? Weightlifting
Burger or pizza? Pizza
Concert or festival? Festival
Winter or summer? Summer
Car or bicycle? Car
Logward is a Hamburg & Bangalore based logistics technology company.
We build software, move containers, and change mindsets.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi, reach out to email@example.com. Or you can book time with one of our logistics experts here.