After his studies in Operations and Supply chain Management at Aalborg University, Michael Scheel is now an Operations Graduate at Demant and works at the production site located in Ballerup.
The production site in Ballerup
There are about 150 employees working there over three shifts. The production site is working 24/5 and 12 hours a day on weekends. On a good day 25,000 amplifiers are produced, also depending on the mix of products.
How is it to work in Ballerup and what is your role here?
I think it’s pretty amazing to work here. We are a small group of people, so everyone knows each other, and the feeling is kind of different. And since we are a production site, we don’t deal with administrative work, but more with producing physical output for the hearing aids – in this case, amplifiers.
At the moment, my role is to plan the production and determine what kind of products we are going to produce in the production. Then, for my next rotation I will be part of defining a strategic initiative that has the ambition of making our site in Ballerup a Center of Excellence. We will have to collaborate with the headquarters and other relevant stakeholders to achieve this strategic ambition.
What do you do in a day?
My morning starts by reporting to the Operations leader group about the previous day’s performance. Afterwards, I decide what kind of products we are going to produce during the day. The products initiated at the production site in Ballerup must align with the expectations from our production site in Poland and the Global planning department, so we ensure that the products we produce fulfill customer expectations. We use a lot of time also to look into the future: are we good in capacity, or do we need to do anything to fulfill the requirements in the future? Therefore, stakeholder management is important in my daily job routine.
Afterwards, I will plan which products to produce at which specific production lines. To secure a stable flow in the production here in Ballerup, it is important to plan the production route for each product.
How would you describe your job? Is it dynamic or more routine-like?
I would say dynamic. At the moment the job is very operational, since it’s daily-business, so I need to make decisions from the minute I walk in. A good example of my task is something that happened the other day. Corona impacted our workforce capacity and instead of running four production lines as usual we only had capacity to run three lines. I was the one to take the decision abut what production line to close.
Could you describe what projects you are working on?
I have two big assignments. The one I just described is one of them as an interim SCM, and the other one is a project that concerns transferring products from our site to the Polish site. My role has been to create a governance on how to transfer products in the future. Since we are seeing an increase in capacity because we are producing more hearing aids, we need more space to expand.
Talking about the Graduate Programme, how do you like it so far and why did you decide to apply? How do you think doing a graduate programme is different from doing a regular job?
I applied because I am a curious person and I really wanted to learn and meet peers that are somewhat similar to me, that have the same ambitions in terms of career. Career-wise, this is a sort of fast-track: you get a lot of responsibility pretty early in your career – people really count on you. When I talk to people who have a regular permanent position, I realize that by doing a Graduate Programme you get a more holistic view. You get to know different kind of departments within Demant and you get a very broad network – I really like that.
Why did you choose Demant?
Actually, I did not know a lot about Demant before I applied. But when I was looking into different programmes offered by large companies in Denmark, I would say that the job description in Operations was very appealing. I think they did a great job in describing what you can expect of the programme. Also, I liked the visibility into the programme: there is a lot of material on the webpage, including the graduate blog, so I was able to get some information on how the life as a graduate at Demant is. I think another reason why I was so attracted to the position was that I could read that we really get to know each other as graduates and spend time together. I think that it is also a big part of being happy: having some good friends, doing some things together when you are off, and then the network. You get to know people from different kind of departments at Demant, and I think that is very valuable.
Would you like to add something? Is there something you would like to recommend to future graduates?
Again, I would recommend them to apply for the programme, because so far, my expectations have been fulfilled and I am very happy with the position.
Michael Scheel, Operations Graduate