From practising Japanese in Salzburg to working in Tokyo
Eva-Maria enjoys cross-cultural exchanges and international collaborations. With her team, she ensures that the sales processes and systems at SKIDATA function optimally in all branches across the globe.
Eva-Maria has always been drawn to foreign countries. While studying International Economics in Innsbruck, she spent a year at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. “During my Erasmus year, I made friends and met people from all around the world—from Sweden to Japan,” explains Eva-Maria. “The cross-cultural exchange and international collaborations have always been fun for me.” After her degree, she did an internship abroad in Singapore.
Back in Austria at her first job, she worked on a project in the automotive industry in South America and Eastern Europe. The Salzburg native’s dream of seeing the world led her to SKIDATA in the middle of 2014. Her first position at the company took her to Chile. “I wanted to work hands-on on-site,” she says. Chile was the first branch at SKIDATA to introduce a new CRM system, and Eva-Maria oversaw the rollout. She has since returned to Salzburg and now leads the Business Process Management team in the Sales and Marketing department at SKIDATA. “It’s nice to be back,” the 34-year-old says, then adds, “But I’m at home in the world.”
The best part of her new job as Manager of Business Process Management in Sales & Marketing? “The work requires a lot of traveling,” says Eva-Maria. “But even when I’m at the headquarters, working in an international environment means that I oversee projects in Australia early in the morning and projects in the USA at night. Before the lockdown, I was already doing plenty of video conferencing and working virtually with international teams.” That requires a lot of self-discipline and strong organization within the team, as Eva-Maria has learned.
Her team’s task is to make sure that internal processes and programs work in harmony within the Sales and Marketing department at SKIDATA. “Our customers are the sales team, who work outside their branch. We make sure that everything runs well internally,” explains Eva-Maria. “We deliberate on how to implement the system landscape and applications for all countries in a way that the processes function as they should at all levels in a relatively uniform and automated way. This implementation cannot be 100% identical across all markets, as you have to account for tax differences and culturally-specific factors, among other things.”
In addition to traveling, Eva-Maria has always had an affinity for change management. “Introducing new processes always involves transformation,” she says. She pushes projects forward with her team—from Sydney to Seattle. Typical projects include rolling out a CRM system in a branch and introducing new applications in a country. “A recent example is our new product configurator,” explains Eva-Maria. It ensures that sales managers no longer have to fiddle with Excel price lists when generating quotes.
In six years, Eva-Maria has progressed from Process Professional to Senior Process Professional and now Team Manager. Along the way, she has always stressed the importance of working independently and developing professionally. At SKIDATA, career tracks are clearly defined and transparent. “But you also have to work for it if you want to advance, of course,” says the 34-year old. “When the team manager position opened up, I applied.”
She still doesn’t know what the next stop on her career path might be. “In college, I couldn’t imagine what kind of work you could find with change management either. The pandemic has shown that transformation and change management are becoming more and more important, and I think I’m moving in that direction. The sky is the limit,” Eva-Maria says, and she laughs.
The Salzburg native speaks three languages fluently: German, English, and Spanish. She also speaks a little Swedish, French and Russian. Naturally, she also likes to travel the world in her private time. Her last destinations before the pandemic? India and Jordan. But Eva-Maria doesn’t get bored in Austria: She plays golf, does yoga, and likes to spend the summer stand-up paddling in the Salzkammergut. “My great passions are music and writing. I write short stories and blog posts,” she says. She enjoys going to concerts, but also makes music herself—not with an instrument, but from behind mixing decks: “I man the turntables, DJ at parties and weddings and keep the mood up with my mixes.”