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New challenges in Bozhurishte

Date: 25/01/2019

Author: Rune Jungberg Pedersen, Communications & CSR Director

Category: Logistics , People

It has been a great but challenging experience for Logistics Manager, Jan Oliver-Schmidt, to move to Bulgaria and take up responsibility for the new distribution centre in Bozhurishte.

Jan Oliver-SchmidtFrom his office at JYSK’s distribution centre in Bozhurishte, Logistics Manager Jan Oliver-Schmidt can observe a landscape, which has changed a lot since 1 January 2018, when he changed his job at the distribution centre in Uldum, Denmark, with Bozhurishte, Bulgaria, to be responsible for the newest distribution centre in JYSK.

Actually, the distribution centre, located near the Bulgarian capital Sofia, is so new that it will not be finished until summer.

And while craftsmen are busy installing cranes and shelves in the new high bays, Jan has been busy building the right culture and the right organisation to run the distribution centre in the future.

“I have focused a lot on our JYSK values and on explaining what JYSK stands for. I have also made it very clear, that JYSK has some defined concepts that we work with, and that it is within these concepts that we can come up with new and creative solutions,” explains Jan.

And that message has been well received.

“I think this is something which has been easy to understand for everyone, and basically everyone here in Bozhurishte are very open and helpful. We are a fantastic team, and all of my colleagues are doing an incredible job,” says Jan.

A lot of challenges

However he still experiences a lot of challenges reminding him that he has replaced the well-known routines in Denmark with a job in Bulgaria.

“There are a lot of issues to solve when building a brand new distribution centre. It ranges from building issues to operating the canteen or delivery of garbage cans. In Denmark, I always knew who to call. Here, it takes more effort when I face a new challenge. The result is a few more grey hairs, but also a lot of experience, which I can use in the future. Some weeks it has been hard to see through it all, but then we have found ways to solve 20 problems in 30 minutes the week after, and then we are moving on,” says Jan.

Jan Oliver-SchmidtThis process has made him much better at making decisions.

“You always want to do everything perfect, but I have learned that sometimes you just have to make a decision. Then we must change it later if it turns out that we made the wrong one,” says Jan.

Personal development

That is one of the ways in which the stay in Bulgaria has contributed to Jan’s personal development.

And even though it is hard only seeing his family in the weekends, he has not regretted taking the challenge in Bulgaria.

“It is a great experience, and I would recommend others to do the same, if they get the opportunity. It is of course very important to have your family on board with the idea, but if that is the case, it is an extremely exciting challenge. Perhaps it has been easier for me, because I had already been with JYSK for ten years and knew the values. But being responsible for a new distribution centre in a foreign country is something, I have learned a lot from,” says Jan.

Facts about Jan

  • Jan is 42 years old
  • He has a wife and two children who are 10 and 12 years old.
  • In his spare time, Jan goes skiing and play golf.
  • He is educated Bachelor of Science in Engineering, BSc
  • Work experience:
    • LEGO (Planning, Purchasing).
    • Lemvigh-Müller (Logistic optimisation, Distribution concepts, controlling).
    • Bestseller (Logistic optimisation, WMS implementation, controlling).
    • JYSK (Logistic optimisation, WMS implementation, controlling, IT) 10 years.

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