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As the son of two teachers, Wajih Ellouze grew up in the harbor and industrial city of Sfax, 270 km south of Tunis. As an open-minded person, Ellouze takes a keen interest in other cultures. He came to Germany as a young man, began his mechanical engineering degree, and married the love of his life. In 2018 – the same year as the 90th anniversary of the Coroplast Group – he started his career in the area of technical adhesive tapes and through a variety of company events he met his new colleagues, who he came to value greatly. His personal highlight was the company Christmas party in 2018 with the theme “Golden Twenties.”
In 2018, Ellouze had completed his mechanical engineering degree and had just started his master’s degree in quality engineering in Wuppertal when he came across a job ad for a position with the Coroplast Group. His personal strengths fit the profile perfectly: He is always ready for a challenge and speaks Arabic, French, English, and German. “I come from a culture in which I learned to communicate with other cultures. I love experiencing something new and foreign,” enthuses Wajih Ellouze. This is a great advantage in his job: He is in contact with international suppliers on a daily basis; he communicates with the purchasing department as well as development, sales, production, and logistics in order to ensure that the quality criteria and specifications of the raw materials are observed. In the business unit Coroplast Tape, these include textiles, plastic foils, aluminum foils, and raw materials for adhesives. If Wajih Ellouze finds something that is not up to standard, he then begins the process of rectifying the problem: He communicates with the supplier and requests that corrective measures be taken to fix the discrepancy, or he finds another solution that will ensure Coroplast Tape is always supplied with the highest-quality raw materials.
For the small but strong quality team, every day begins with a team meeting: What are the current topics relevant for quality? What tasks need to be done? Who will do what? This daily exchange of information with colleagues from all three areas of the quality department is extremely valuable because it makes it possible to effectively coordinate the numerous complex tasks between quality planning, quality assurance, and supplier quality – the three fields in which Wajih Ellouze works.
Nowadays, quality also always means sustainable raw materials. At the Coroplast Group, sustainability is already included in the product development process. Wajih Ellouze is 100% on board with his employer’s strategy. “Using environmentally friendly raw materials and production processes leads to satisfied customers.” Through the use of the current CAQ – Computer Aided Quality System – quality along the company’s entire value chain can be monitored and controlled. Wajih Ellouze speaks enthusiastically about the tool: “It’s an extremely useful tool that monitors the quality of our products and lets us act sustainably. That’s not a given in every company.” His master’s thesis is based on research in the area of quality – at Coroplast Tape, of course. This has benefits for both parties: The company benefits from the suggestions for improvement and he from the academic research on location.
Especially during the pandemic, the balance between family and job was and is a challenge. Flexible working hours that could be changed at short notice, a good connection to one’s supervisors and colleagues, as well as the ability to work from home were all very helpful.
In the morning when he drives into Wuppertal – he lives with his family in Essen – he first brings his seven-year-old daughter to school. Then he uses the time to catch up on world events. Even today he still has a close connection with his home in Tunisia. His parents live there and he had his dream wedding there on the beach. So it’s a good fit for him that the Coroplast Group has a company in the country: its subsidiary brand WeWire. Wajih Ellouze is convinced that this strengthens his connection to his roots, which, for a family man like him and the father of two daughters, is an important aspect. It looks as if it will be a “connection that lasts.” Ellouze sees great value in Coroplast Tape as a real family company with a flat hierarchy. “I feel like I am very well integrated and kept well informed. The work-life balance is also good. And the opportunity to meet up with other Coroplastlers, not just at the office, but also to share hobbies, is a very important aspect for me.” And does he plan to stay at Coroplast Tape after finishing his master’s thesis? “Definitely! I’m very happy here.”