Together with colleagues from many parts of McKinsey, I help our clients reliably meet or exceed their customers’ expectations. The greatest reward for me is to see my clients being proud again of their products and services.
My engineering degrees have been absolutely essential to my career. My second project was with a truck manufacturer in Germany, and when you talk to engineers about material cost optimization for engines, you’re not credible in their eyes without an engineering degree and basic engine know-how. You need to speak their language and understand their technologies or it’s going to be hard to be accepted as a thought partner.
I was able to bring my experience to our Tokyo office. After I served an automotive supplier in Germany, I got a call from the partner who hired me and who had transferred to Tokyo a few years earlier to work with the Japanese branch of a German client. He needed someone who knew automotive and spoke German, so I went to Japan for a two-year program. Unfortunately the earthquake and then Fukushima happened, when my wife was pregnant with our third daughter, so we ended up coming back to Germany.
Although it was hard to leave Japan and my clients there, I had a lot of help from my mentors to find new clients in Europe—it was much easier than I expected to return. By then, my focus was on quality management and I began to work with an automotive manufacturer on that topic.
I started to get involved with a handful of people who were building a service line on quality management and, after working on a few related engagements, I decided to center my time on this topic. When we were in the middle of launching a full-fledged service line on quality management within our Operations practice we realized we needed a practice manager. I took on that role part-time and spent the rest of my time serving clients… it was the best of both worlds.
Since then, I’ve broadened my expertise on quality and become a senior knowledge expert. Although automotive remains my home, I have served other advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical device, food and aerospace clients. I have even had the pleasure to transfer automotive best practices in quality management to service industries like banking.
My passion is to orchestrate quality transformation programs that cover the entire product lifecycle and all line functions. Together with colleagues from many parts of McKinsey, I help our clients reliably meet or exceed their customers’ expectations. The greatest reward for me is to see my clients being proud again of their products and services.