Clever solutions for tricky questions
Jessica Pfeifer solves many seemingly unsolvable problems in the Sales Back Office.
Sales Back Office - that's the name of the area for which Jessica Pfeifer is working at VOG Products. Back office could be loosely translated as "background tasks". And indeed, the 28-year-old from Laives is something of a miracle worker in the company, who does important work behind the scenes and in this way ensures that the goods cycle does not come to a standstill. Tricky questions are the icing on the cake for Jessica. "Can't" is not in her vocabulary, and so over the years she has earned a reputation as an internal problem solver.
Jessica Pfeifer has been part of the 200-strong VOG Products employee pool since 2015. At that time, vacancies on the South Tyrolean labour market were still few and far between. And so the high school graduate was very happy when her unsolicited application was considered and she was hired as a bookkeeper. In order to gain an insight into the company's operations, Jessica first had to learn the ropes in the scheduling department. "I prepared the documents for the incoming and outgoing trucks and their goods, and got to know the operating programmes as well as the customers," Jessica explains. "It was really a good education for me."
The "new girl" did her job well, apparently so well that after a while she was promoted to the position of dispatcher for the importing of raw materials. "It's an exciting but hard job where you're constantly under pressure," she says in retrospect."I knew I had to make a change ..."
That's when the newly established "Sales Back Office" department came in handy. Jessica accepted the offer to build this department with a colleague and in three years has developed it into a hub inside the company. All sales contracts run through Jessica Pfeifer's office, she is responsible for a host of administrative tasks, processes customer enquiries, takes care of complaints and - a very time-consuming point - also often tricky customs matters.
The latter in particular demand a lot of Jessica's negotiating skills, persistence and stamina. Whether a missing health certificate, an incomprehensible customs document or a difficult customs officer - Jessica always gets what she needs in the end. And before something doesn't get done, she prefers to take it into her own hands right away. In this way, the tough native of Laives has also acquired knowledge of various operating programmes. "I write things down and after one or two tries it works ..." she says.
Jessica Pfeifer has got used to the fact that communication in the Sales Back Office is mainly in English, "even though I was pretty bad at English at school". Thanks to YouTube and Facebook videos, she even learned American slang, she says with a smile. If things don't work with English, German or Italian, she tries to correspond with drawings and, if necessary, with the Google translator.
Jessica has even overcome the trickiest tasks. For example, there was this website from Chinese customs that existed only in Chinese, but she needed the registration to import goods into China. "With a text translator app and my phone to scan the text, it should have been translated. But the result was worse than you could imagine,” she says. So, she turned to a customer in China. "The problem was then solved pretty quickly," says Jessica with a wink.
Every working day adds new challenges on the agenda for Jessica Pfeifer. But almost nothing flusters her. And when things really go wrong, she thinks back to her previous experience: "There is always a solution, you just have to look for it."
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Picture: ©Südtiroler Apfelkonsortium
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