“I know how to reach my goal and I am not easily discouraged ” – Thomas Kaiser tells us about his work, passions, and challenges at Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland
He loves the adrenaline rush. It is not easy to discourage him while coordinating the workings of several departments in Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland. We talk with Thomas Kaiser – PT / M Senior Production Manager / Maintenance / Facility Management / BISO Plant about why he chose Jawor and where his beginnings were in the Daimler concern.
– How did you find your way to Daimler?
– My first contact with the Daimler concern was in 1988 while I was working during the summer holidays in the hydraulic press department at the Sindelfingen plant. In the following years, I took a summer job in various departments, such as engine assembly, gearbox and foundry. In 1992, I started my apprenticeship as a foundry worker at the Mettingen plant. My first “real” job was cleaning castings as well as working in production. Later I became a team leader and then a production master. For 5 years I worked as a foundry engineer in the Brake Disc Department. I later went on to serve as Production Director. After the brake discs, it was time for turbochargers, tool shop, and then for 4 years I managed the innovative Department of Structural Parts Production for the C- and S-Class.
– What influenced your decision to come to Jawor three years ago?
– There was a time when I started thinking about taking up a challenge related to a foreign project. The first proposal was to take the position of the Director of the Mercedes STARCAM Plant in the Czech Republic. At the same time, I heard about a project to build a factory in Poland. This decision was made by my heart. I think that every manager and engineer dreams of a similar challenge. Building a factory with such momentum, a greenfield project happens once in a lifetime, I had to take up this challenge.
– What does the Assembly and Maintenance Director at Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland do?
– Here it must be specified that I am no longer the Assembly Director. Jacek Sikorski took over those duties. However, I am responsible for many other areas. The most important ones include Processing, Maintenance, Facility Management, the newly established Project Department and last but not least BISO Team, i.e. ensuring cybersecurity of production. My main tasks include the coordination and development of these departments, strategic planning and typical operational management. We are currently in front of PT1 on module 8 in the treatment and in the phase of building acceptance. IT systems for building and energy management are being developed, as well as maintenance introduced in the battery factory.
– What was the biggest challenge in this position?
– This position brings with it a whole range of challenges. Finding and selecting the right people, training, creating strategies, managing projects, managing budgets. Acceptance of machines, devices and buildings are huge challenges. This is where we have a great responsibility. The overlooking of defects and shortcomings may result in high future costs or problems with quantity, quality or safety.
– You are passionate about martial arts, snowboarding, diving … does it mean that you like adrenaline?
– I love it! Sport allows me to relieve stress and gives me a huge motivational “kick”. I have been practicing martial arts since I was 13. This taught me self-discipline, the pursuit of goals, real assessment of a situation and not giving up when difficulties arise. Features that are invaluable in a manager’s daily work.
– If you were to mention what your passions and work are, what would it be?
– First of all, I have a clear picture, a vision of what I want. I usually know how to get there and don’t get discouraged. I think that, thanks to my long-term role as a trainer, I know how to motivate the team. I learned to guide the team in and to be part of it.
– Thank you for the interview.