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A New Career in the Digital World

Tim Grube’s decision to sign on with the Wuppertal-based company was made over a fish sandwich on the German island of Sylt. Today, the 26-year-old trained sales engineer is part of the Coroplast Group’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO) His most important project to date is the global launch of a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). He is, as he says himself, the “fitting full package” for this position.

Tim Grube started off his career working in sales and was thus, from an IT perspective, in the role of the end user. Since August 2020, however, he himself has been a part of the IT department in the role of Project Manager Digitalization. “Together with a few other DTO colleagues, I am one of the few people working in global IT organization that does not have classic IT training. This gives me the advantage of being at home in both worlds, which allows me to reconcile the needs of the department with what is technically feasible. In 2019, after six years in sales at one of world’s largest automobile suppliers, Tim Grube wanted to complete an internship abroad and see the world outside a corporation. While enjoying a fish sandwich on Sylt, a friend he had known for years who was also a Coroplast employee recommended that he send in an unsolicited application – and it worked straight off. After a brief initial introduction at Coroplast Tape Wuppertal International Sales he headed off to Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he was a part of the TapeTube market launch in the United States.

The Power of Data

Tim Grube analyzed the “digital transformation” in his master’s thesis. In it, he focused on the employees with questions such as: What do employees need in the transformation process? What employee concerns and fears influence their willingness to use new digital tools? After all: Digital transformation and the power of data do tend to scare many people. And that’s quite understandable: “The digital transformation requires new ways of thinking and new approaches in order to make sure that all employees are able to get on board early enough and with the necessary transparency. With tools like a CRM, we can obtain new data on the entire sales process, which help us to act with pinpoint accuracy. This, of course, is a good thing. It also means, however, that the work of many sales employees becomes more transparent, which, for some, is a cause for concern. That’s why it is all the more important to focus on the users and to make sure they are on board during the entire transformation process. This is the only way to create a general understanding of how to handle the new tools and how to use the power of data to make our daily work easier,” says Tim Grube. This is also the heart of his CRM project, in which he continuously trains the users and involves them in the development process. This allows us to provide our employees with intense personal training, so they can learn the new system step by step.

First Fax, Then Outlook – Now the Digital Toolbox

For Tim Grube, one thing is clear: “The way sales representatives work will change completely, and that is the most exciting challenge. Just as we changed from fax to Outlook, we will also see changes with tools and concepts such as CRM, analytics, and social collaboration.” Grube himself needs to constantly keep an eye on the conditions for the global CRM introduction because he serves as an interface between the sales, marketing, and IT departments. “We evaluate new trends, tools, and strategies with regard to the digital transformation. This provides the Coroplast Group with a toolbox that prepares it for the digital future and allows it to use the power of data for its own needs.” In order to optimize the process, Tim Grube initiated and now coordinates a joint project with the professorial chair from his Sales Management master’s program at RUB (Ruhr Universität Bochum): “Within this partnership, we use the triangle of research, teaching, and practice to delve into a variety of topics on the future of sales.

Full Support of the Management and a Sensational Team

Tim Grube is certain: “Yes, the digital transformation still has a long way to go before we are also able to self-assuredly use our digital processes and data flows like many of our competitors currently do.” For Grube, the key is having the full support of the company’s management because he actually already has all of the freedom he needs for the project. “I have been given a great deal of trust, and that is not always a given. And my team is incredible – each and every person brings their knowledge and ideas to the table. Everything flows smoothly; we cooperate and get along with each other very well.” The results speak for themselves: The Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has now gained a high level of acceptance in the company and has been successful in getting the employees on board for the first go-lives.

The trust and appreciation I have received, even as a young member of the team, has been exceptional. I’ve been given numerous opportunities. Right now, the company is in an exciting phase regarding digitalization. And I have a hand in shaping this transformation.

Tim Grube | Project Manager Digitalization

A Mix of Traditional and Modern

Tim Grube thanks in particular the support the company has given him for his confidence that he will succeed. “I have always known where I stand, and the informal atmosphere here makes a big difference.” No criticism at all? “The thing that I do miss a bit is a modern office setting. For me that means work spaces with flexible work stations, creative rooms, or open spaces, but also the option to use the space as a team and, with it, to promote collaboration. My generation is more interested in modern, open working worlds than the classic nine-to-five.” But it’s precisely the contrast of these traditional and modern company structures that make it so exciting. “In the end, it’s the mix of traditional and modern approaches, paired with the right mentality.

"Bavarian Weisswurst" Breakfast in Wuppertal

Tim Grube also appreciates tradition. He was the one who initiated the "Bavarian Weisswurst" breakfast in the DTO, featuring the traditional Bavarian white veal sausages. Born in Munich, Grube has remained a true FC Bayern fan, though he was “kidnapped” and brought to the north as a child, i.e., his family moved for professional reasons. Today he still returns regularly to his first home in the south to spend time with old friends in the mountains and the city. Each time he returns, he brings back some Weisswurst sausages for his colleagues. “In Bavaria, Weisswurst sausages have to be eaten before the church bells ring at noon, so we also have a proper early Weisswurst breakfast here in Wuppertal,” he says smiling.