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Cluster: Americas

Since the start of BOLD MOVE we have all been part of OBS System Certification. In previous issues of this newsletter, we have gradually introduced you to the individual clusters. But a lot has happened since the first cluster was introduced. Three clusters are now under new management. Reason enough to revisit them. This time in focus: "Americas" under the new leadership of Hakan Sen. He worked at TÜV NORD CERT in Essen for 15 years before moving to America with his wife and his two children last summer.

Mr. Sen, how were the first months at TÜV USA for you?

I'm very comfortable here. My office is in Salem, in the US state New Hampshire. The Americas cluster has 71 employees in the USA, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and we are all working together really well. We pool our resources and, for example, together train auditors who then work for the entire cluster. In general, employee development is a very important topic for me: the structure has so far been more "from top down", which I would like to change into a more flexible management structure.

Hakan Sen

I see myself more as a companion for my employees. My motto is: The best solutions come from the employee. By the way, I learned this during my time at TÜV NORD CERT in Germany. In my 15 years at TÜV NORD CERT, I went from being a clerk to a managing director and learned everything from scratch. My superiors, the management and talent management gave me great support along the way and I would also like to give this type of support to my employees.

What are your plans for the future?

We want to be better positioned geographically: So far, we only have the Salem branch throughout the USA. This is like wanting to supply the EU from Berlin. Therefore, there will be two new branches in America in the future: in 2019 on the west coast and in 2020 on the east coast. This will make it easier to cover the different time zones. A new location in Canada is also planned for 2020. At the moment, we are acquiring customers and building up a network.

Customer loyalty is generally an important issue for us: There is a higher fluctuation rate in the world of work here than for example in Germany. Customers are more loyal to the auditor than to the company, so if the auditor changes companies after two or three years, he often takes the customer with him. We would like to change this in the future and retain more customers in our company by offering higher client services.

Another project for 2019 will be the opening of a new "Shared Service Center" in Mexico. Central activities for the entire Americas cluster are to be taken over from there. We will initially start as a pilot project with the appointment of an auditor, but further activities may be added later. Many companies in our cluster are very small and look forward to receiving support from a central location in the future. Mexico is an ideal location for this: you can quickly find qualified personnel and there are no language barriers.

And in general, the topic of digitization is a major issue both now and in the future. Here we want to expand our services and develop new ones. To achieve this, we are working closely with the S4S team and are developing a rollout plan in 2019.

Thank you very much for the interview!