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For Lukas, being a trainee at Konica Minolta meant being in the field with his colleagues and learning the job by experiencing it. With this newly acquired knowledge and the many possibilities on offer, Lukas now supports his unit with ideas on how to ensure client collaboration in a more proactive way.
After getting my master's degree in 2018 I joined Konica Minolta as a trainee and had 18 months to gain a good understanding of the complex workings of a large corporation. I partnered with two key accounts managers and learned every step from how to approach a new prospect to managing the accounts we already have. This journey gave me the opportunity to observe all the different positions: key account manager, product specialist and project manager. I was able to follow and understand the entire process from first contact to integration. It was on-the-job training with real experience, and this provided the perfect basis for my current position as Sales Manager (Prospects) in strategic accounts. The department focuses on acquiring and maintaining high value relationships with corporate clients. We want to collaborate with them and construct proactive relationships. We build up our knowledge of their company and their environment so we can jointly develop the optimal package of services and products to suit their needs. I work on identifying and approaching our strategic accounts. Between 1000 and 1500 companies in Germany are the right size to fall within our scope and for us, the main task is to reduce this number down to the companies we consider most interesting to approach. My role is to bring new ideas and perspectives into the sales division.
I enjoy working as part of an interdisciplinary team. I’m the expert for one topic, but we need the expertise of the entire group to reach the objectives set. Collaboration for me means putting tasks in capable hands so you can most effectively divide your goal and conquer it.
In order to keep up to date with business trends and new developments in my field, I work the same way I did at university. I like to link the abstract research with what's going on in the real world. As things are changing quickly, we need to be constantly developing. The learning system in place at Konica Minolta is supportive for building up knowledge. During my trainee period I went to conferences and did training courses and got certificates not just related to the job I have now. This way, I open myself up to new opportunities. We have an in-house academy that provides us with training. We also have the option to integrate a LinkedIn Learning licence into our learning catalogue and anchor our learning path to our performance management system. This ensures a logical link with career development plans.
Personally, I like the mix between work and home life. I'm in the privileged position of being able to work from home, where I concentrate best. Some of us prefer the office option. But both ways are OK at Konica Minolta. There's a lot of trust in people overall. So, for example, I can go for a run in my lunch break and organise my day as it suits. That's absolutely fine, with the assumption of course that you're acting responsibly.
"At Konica Minolta, we have the resources to explore many different topics and the people to work on innovation."
Sales Manager Prospects, Strategic Accounts, Konica Minolta Germany
Konica Minolta has a great human element that was a key factor in deciding to work here. Whatever the situation, people are happy to help. Collaboration always works fine. However, sometimes we do business in too many different ways and this lack of uniformity means it's sometimes difficult to reach a common understanding. On the other hand, we enjoy very open and direct communication. Everyone has a voice and is keen to resolve conflicts for the greater good.
At Konica Minolta, inclusion is not an issue. When you visit the headquarters at Langenhagen, you encounter a multi-cultural environment. So even though it is still male dominated, there's an inherent diversity within the group.
At Konica Minolta, we have the resources to explore many different topics and the people to work on innovation. We excel at putting the pieces of the puzzle together in different ways to create packages that meet our clients’ needs. And that's very exciting. It's undoubtedly the reason we've been in business so long. We have the resources to redefine our business drivers every time we need to.
Sometimes in our projects, we have to search across numerous silos to find the information we want. We need more standardised processes. To combine all the individual elements into a coherent whole, the transfer of experience and knowledge is crucial. So we've established more systematic exchanges between departments. For example, we organise regular meetings between the units responsible for prospects and the unit that handles existing clients, where we're able to discuss projects and goals.
"Personaly, I like the mix between work and home life. I'm in the privileged position of being able to work from home, where I concentrate best. Some of us prefer the office option. But both ways are OK at Konica Minolta. There's a lot of trust in people overall."
What's important is to use all our knowledge and expertise to increase our social responsibility with regard to carbon emissions and welfare in general. This is also essential for our clients. For example, in the automotive sector there is increasing demand for complete transparency on, and reduction of, their carbon footprint. We have to integrate these needs deep within our offerings in order to help our clients. We are also, for example, working on digital responsibility and the integration of data security, which are areas of huge interest for our clients.
A large part of people's work revolves around documents, management of documents and information. In digitalising and optimising these processes, we are definitively having a positive impact on people's daily lives. Although paper printing will probably still exist in ten years time, the world of printing is becoming digital. So we are making the transformation from physical pieces of paper to the digital twin of the document. In my opinion, Digital becomes the commodity and Printing the premium part of it. There is something of a generational conflict here of course, but also potential for a strategic division to work on something that has not yet been done.
"As a trainee, I was able to follow and understand the entire process from first contact to integration."
Sales Manager Prospects, Strategic Accounts, Konica Minolta Germany
"A large part of people's work revolves around documents and information. In digitalising and optimising these processes, we help our clients."
"Konica Minolta has a great human element that was a key factor in deciding to work here. Whatever the situation, people are happy to help."