A dryer for veneer from which plywood is produced. To install this technology, Marc Engelhardt traveled to Chile at the end of 2013, more precisely to Concepción, which is about an hour's flight south of the capital Santiago de Chile, near the Andes. He stayed for several weeks and traveled there a couple of times more afterwards. “The customer’s representatives communicated very directly during the project and the spoken word was binding, creating a mutually appreciated trustful working level. Over time, this also led to a private exchange”, the 47-year-old says. Marc Engelhardt kept in touch with one of the contacts for the drying plant in South America, who lives in Spain now. “In the meantime, we have also met at the Ligna, the well-known international trade fair for woodworking technology.”
Secret of success: Time buffer
What is the secret of successful project management? “It is important to know your goal, keep your focus and to make the most of the different perspectives and contributions of all project partners.” For Marc Engelhardt, it is important to have the time for discussions. “Having to keep an eye on the clock during on-site appointments to make sure you don't miss your plane – that doesn't pay off.”
First training, then university
Marc Engelhardt chose economics and chemistry as his performance subjects on his way to his university-entrance diploma (Abitur). He graduated from the Gesamtschule Heringen in the Hersfeld-Rotenburg region in 1994 but did not yet know then where his professional life would lead him. He chose to train as a drafter at the Babcock BSH GmbH, which turned out to be just the right decision. He went on to study general mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Giessen-Friedberg, “I was very certain that I had made the right choice then. I had an easier time in many areas due to my technical training where I was able to become familiar with the subject.”
Since he started in the international plant business in 2001, for him, every day is an opportunity to learn something new. “You experience something new every day and these insights contribute to the next project. That never stops.” Getting a Grenzebach project team together, cooperating intensively with customers and handling unpredictable events and turns which can occur despite the best of planning – Engelhardt especially appreciated that part of his many years of work in project management.
In the two decades that he was working in construction, commissioning and project management in international plant engineering, Marc Engelhardt has held many responsible positions. What made all of his positions interesting was "the openness of my colleagues at Grenzebach, who are always willing to try something new". Everyone contributes their expertise, and the teams work together on innovations. Marc Engelhardt says: “Grenzebach definitely stands out as a family business with an international presence in the economic world of the region.” The two years he spent working for another company in between "further increased my awareness of Grenzebach's strengths.”
Bike tours starting at the doorstep
Marc Engelhardt and his wife live in Alsfeld, about 40 kilometers away from Bad Hersfeld. Both love to go on bike tours in the area, starting at their doorstep. Their e-bikes further increased their radius. “Up on the bike and off we go. I would find it much too tedious to pack the bikes in or on the car first”, Marc Engelhardt explains.