Bernd Reiffenberg took up his post as the new coach of the EK Logistics team in May 2020. In the middle of the first months of the pandemic. In the middle of the short-time work period. Aren’t these perfect conditions for proving yourself in your new job right away?
Today, Bernd Reiffenberg smiles at this ironic question. But at that time, for example, the major car manufacturers stopped production completely in the first wave, while orders from the glass industry continued almost unchanged. Suppliers like EK and their new logistics team coach first had to come to terms with these massive order postponements. Despite short-time working. Regardless of whether, as a team leader, he already knew the finely balanced process systematics of EK Logistics down to the last detail. “That was already a serious challenge. For the team, and also for me,” says Bernd Reiffenberg looking back, “But we delivered. And yes, we proved ourselves together!”
Since 2005, the qualified forwarding merchant has been working in managerial positions in shipping, warehousing and logistics in various industrial companies. Encouraging his colleagues in his total EK team of ten to do their best is an integral part of how he sees himself as a manager. So he starts his day early in the morning with a tour of the large production hall, making sure that raw and packaging materials are ready and talking to individual employees from his area about more than just the day’s problems. “Going into such a conversation with an open mind and, above all, listening. That’s not only crucial for my work; in my eyes, it’s generally true for good interpersonal interaction.”
At home in Düsseldorf, where Bernd Reiffenberg was also born, he relaxes with meditative breathing exercises. Or, as a contrasting program, he puts on what he considers to be the really authentic, because hard and loudly played time and socially critical hip hop of the 80s, such as by Public Enemy or the Beastie Boys. Or, as a passionate BMX rider, he’s either preparing his next session at the skatepark or planning the next vacation on his favorite island, Formentera. Bernd Reiffenberg has fallen so in love with it since his first visit in 1997 that he usually visits it once a year since then. At least! The extraordinary beaches with Caribbean flair make it impossible not to relax there again and again.