From practising Japanese in Salzburg to working in Tokyo
Jo is a process analyst at SKIDATA, where he leads transformation and improvement projects. His goal? To make the company more successful.
SKIDATA today is a different company than it was just a few years ago as the company has set off on a tremendous transformation journey. “As an employee, this is challenging and demanding, but also full of opportunities,” says Jo from Belgium. “To be able to take part and contribute to this phase of SKIDATA’s lifecycle is a unique opportunity, and one that will define how SKIDATA evolves over the years to come.”
Jo is one of the people at the company whose job is to drive the transformation process forward. “Currently, I am part of the Business Process Management (BPM) department and I work as a process analyst,” Jo explains. “The purpose of this role is to support and lead process transformation projects at SKIDATA”. Since he started the role as a process analyst, he switched from the Brussels office to working from home. “As a process analyst, most of my day is spent working on defined transformation and or improvement projects. The goal of all these projects is simple: Make SKIDATA more successful!”
Jo was born in Leuven, Belgium, and raised in Kortenberg near Brussels. Currently, he lives in Mechelen, a city between Brussels and Antwerp. After specializing in accounting and IT in high school, he started working as an accounts payable agent for the EMEA Finance Service Center at Federal Express. “This encouraged me to start and finish my degree in Accounting at Groep T Leuven College while continuing to work full-time,” says Jo. Since 2003, he has held various accounting positions working his way up from accounts payable agent to general ledger accounting and working as the operational lead of day-to-day operations for the accounting department. “As employers, FedEx, SsangYong and Brussels Airport gave me the necessary know-how to continue my professional journey,” he says.
Then, he needed a change: “I like change AND I need change, and I try to make a difference,” he explains. As he progressed in his role, it came to an end when there were no longer any further internal opportunities available, so he looked for new ones. “I not only wanted to build up my operational leading capabilities, but I also wanted to become a true leader.”
A recruiting agency connected him with SKIDATA. “In all honesty, I had never heard of SKIDATA before or any of the solutions that they delivered. But at first glance, the small company office in Belgium seemed ideal,” he remembers. “Working somewhere with the advantages of the small local organization combined with the benefits of a larger international company helped me to build up my leadership capacities as a Finance Manager for the Belgian presence”. He also found the people at SKIDATA convincing. “The Belgian General Manager who hired me was truly inspiring!” In 2012, Jo started as Finance and Administration Manager of SKIDATA’s operations in Belgium. Since 2019, he has worked in his new role as a process analyst in Business Process Management. He works for the organization’s headquarters but is still located in Belgium. “The ability to work remotely is a living practice at SKIDATA—even before the pandemic”. Since he started as a process analyst, he switched from working in the Brussels office to working from home.
In addition to working on transformation projects, Jo uses his know-how to support colleagues around the world within the confines of finance and administration. “Balancing these two parts is not always easy,” he says. “But both activities provide a lot of opportunities to talk to people around the world—from the US to Mexico and to Chile and throughout all of Europe.”
What does he particularly like about SKIDATA? “I am grateful for SKIDATA for enriching my professional career and believing in me as a leader,” he says. And he was surprised “by the opportunity to be recognized for what you do and what you can do”. He says, “From that point on, it can go anywhere. You can really set something in motion and make a difference.”
As the former Finance Manager for the Belgian market, he enjoyed the freedom to transform the accounting department into a multi-disciplinary department taking care of finance, order management, supply chain and so on. “It’s been a wonderful and challenging roller-coaster,” he says. “The remarkable aspect was the high and personalized level of support for us as in the form of internal coaching courses and a highly-professional external business coach to guide us and act as a sounding board”. And as a SKIDATA employee, he has particularly enjoyed watching the impressive transformation that SKIDATA has undergone over the past years. “The journey is far from the end and will require a lot of time, courage and effort from all of us. But in the last three to four years, the pace of transformation has picked up”.
When he's not driving the transformation process at SKIDATA, Jo enjoys his free time with his life partner Sofie and son Arthur. “Family is a top priority for me,” he says. “Other than that, I try to stay healthy. I started running in 2017”. Currently, he runs three to four times per week and also takes part in the SKIDATA Charity Challenge. “Running in the Charity Challenge is rewarding as I can see how the entire company around the world comes together for the same purpose”.