At UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Roermond, the teams are made up of both new or younger professionals as well as experienced, seasoned colleagues who have been with UPS for years. One of these people is Sanne Ohlenforst, Operations Supervisor at UPS SCS in Roermond and a core part of the team for more than 11 years across various roles. Find out more about Sanne’s story and why she works for UPS SCS in Roermond.
Roermond according to Sanne
Hello Sanne! We are very curious: why do you work at UPS, how did you get a job here and more importantly, what makes you stay at UPS?
My family purchased a house in Germany very close to the border with the Netherlands and I wanted to find a job in the nearby area in the hopes of having a fast commute. In 2011, I found a position with UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Roermond, the Netherlands, in the Operations department and have been employed here ever since, eventually working myself up to Operations Supervisor. What I think allowed me to be successful in my recruitment process at the UPS SCS in Roermond was my strong character which was a good fit with the company, its people, and the working culture. I am not afraid to speak my mind and communicate very openly and transparently. The elements which have made me stay with the company for the past years include the UPS culture, the fact that employees are given substantial room and various resources to grow within their job functions, and that the company values promoting from within, having offered me the possibility to pursue a next step in my career at the right time.
Good to hear that you feel at home at UPS in Roermond. How would you describe the culture at UPS SCS and are there any special moments you would like to share?
In my personal experience, the company culture at UPS Supply Chain Solutions is based fundamentally on mutual respect and the principle of give and take – if you give, you also get to take (or in this case, receive). Hard work is acknowledged, highly respected and valued, and rewarded commensurately. In addition, with UPS SCS being a multinational company, our employees are very international and diverse, which is something that I greatly enjoy as it allows me to connect both personally and professionally with very different people. Furthermore, when working for UPS SCS, you will never find yourself idle and bored – there is always an opportunity to put your skills into action and make a difference, whether it be through physical work, operational organization or leadership capabilities.
A special story that I’d like to share was from a UPS SCS community team event focusing on a charity activity we did with a foundation for burn victims, specifically with kids belonging to this foundation. For this initiative, which lasted an entire day from early morning until late evening, we picked up the kids from all over the Netherlands and organized a musical day with them. Everyone had the possibility to play different instruments or use their singing voice to make music together and have fun. I was able to bring along my step-daughter who made very good friends with one of the kids from the foundation. The day was very exciting and rewarding, and what stuck with me the most is the ability of kids to look beyond the physical appearance and focus solely on personality and character. Being able to bring my step-daughter along and make her part of this work activity made this an invaluable experience.
Are there any other special experiences that you had while working at UPS Supply Chain Solutions?
What makes the general experience of working at UPS Supply Chain Solutions special for me is the fact that everyday is a teamwork moment, regardless of which account you work on or which facility you are located at. This strong collaboration and team spirit is a key driver across all business units and departments of UPS, making the connections UPSers forge amongst themselves that much more special. Some memories highlighting this include the fact that when working on Saturdays, lunch is ordered for employees to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication, which we enjoy together during the lunch break. In addition, we always organize a special Christmas lunch with all colleagues before holidays begin, and for Founders Day (every year on August 28) this year, we had food trucks with limitless ordering for all UPSers at our Roermond facility! All these memories have allowed my colleagues and I to forge stronger connections on both personal and professional levels.
‘What makes the experience of working at UPS Supply Chain Solutions special for me is the fact that everyday there is a teamwork moment, regardless of which facility you are located at.’
If you would have to explain to friends and family what it’s like to work for UPS, what would you say?
There are three words which capture the essence of working for UPS: dynamic, versatile, and challenging.
It is dynamic because the work we do across all positions can be quite vigorous at times, and you have to be able to think on your feet. The versatility comes from the fact that no one day is the exact same as the one before – often times, we need to adapt to spontaneous changes, requiring us to continuously be flexible. Furthermore, as UPS encourages growth and promoting from within, you can regularly move across different job functions, meaning that you can gather very varied work experience and gain all-around skills. Working for UPS can also be challenging because our business is based on fulfilling client expectations and respecting deadlines, which is why we need to consistently work as a team in a dedicated and focused manner. At times, this can be demanding but it is also what allows us to experience substantial professional growth throughout our careers at UPS.
What is an interesting fact about working at UPS SCS that most people do not know?
I’d say that while UPS Smallpack is the “main” business unit and what our company is most known for to the outside world, not all UPSers are part of this business unit – this is a very common misconception for many people. We have many other business units, departments and partner-companies that many UPSers belong to, including UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Healthcare, and Coyote to name a few examples.
Finally, if people would ask for your advice about working at UPS SCS, what would you say?
I would tell them very honestly that working for UPS SCS, especially in an operations-related position, can be overwhelming, especially in bigger warehouses, but incredibly rewarding. Everything you need to know cannot be taught in one day, so it’s important to take it day-by-day, have it sink in, stay calm and focused, and remember to train, practice, and then execute your learnings. What helps tremendously are your colleagues who are very accommodating and willing to help you learn and improve. I would also add that it is important to remember that communication is a two-way street at UPS, meaning that you are always welcome and encouraged to say your opinion, share your experience, and explain your point of view, and you can always count on the fact that you will receive helpful feedback from both colleagues and managers/supervisors.
A tip I would give to potential candidates is to always be yourself throughout the recruitment process and afterwards if you get the job, and to be straightforward with what you want and what you expect. This will allow for you to get a position that fits you, your goals, and your personality best and will consequently give you the greatest growth possibilities within UPS SCS.