Bianca Qiu joined HAVI in Austria 20 years ago. She started out working in warehouse administration, and over the years mastered warehouse procedures and recently started a new role as Warehouse Manager.
Much has changed since Bianca joined the company. “The market has grown a lot,” she says. “Back when I started, we served 50 restaurants. Now it’s 200 restaurants – and many more customers! Thanks to the opportunities I’ve had to learn and develop myself here, I have grown along with HAVI.”
In her new role, Bianca is responsible for three facilities across Austria. As she describes it, her job is to “lead our people in such a way that we get the goods out the door and to our customers on time, every time, all while meeting the highest of standards.” Besides that, she is also in charge of the cost control of her department and making sure they meet all safety, security, and work standard requirements.
It’s a lot to keep track of, but ever since she started at HAVI Bianca has enjoyed taking on responsibilities above and beyond her role. “When I first joined there was a lot that needed to be organized, basically from scratch,” she explains. “I took the initiative to build things up. Figuring out how to do it my way (in compliance with HAVI guidelines, of course) was a very fun challenge.”
Being able to take the lead is one of Bianca’s favorite things about working here. “This job provides so many possibilities to implement your own ideas and to work with other colleagues who are highly motivated,” she says. “I have really appreciated the opportunities I’ve gotten to grow, and I think in general people stay here because they have the possibility to develop themselves and their careers.”
When it comes to leading her team, Bianca thinks that teamwork and communication are key. “Every day I visit the warehouses I manage and talk to people,” she says. “For me it’s important that everyone understands why we are going in a certain direction and that we all work together. This is how we can continue to be a motivated and high performing team.”
Despite working in a traditionally masculine industry, Bianca hasn’t felt held back. “Many think that warehouse work is a man’s job and some women are put off from applying because of that, but I think this is overrated,” she says. “Anyone who is motivated can work in a warehouse. We give female applicants the chance to do the roles they want to do. Roles requiring a lot of strength can be reorganized to fit their abilities, and there also roles where women can outperform the men.”
In fact, Bianca thinks more women should join the field. Her message for them: “If you are persistent; communicate with everyone; and take your blinders off and are open to new things (even if that sometimes means more work), this will result in good things for you and your team!”