We are back with our fourth edition of the “behind the scenes” blog article series! This time together with our Quality Assurance Manager Kajsa Arnlund we are diving into the world of Operations, which is one of the driving forces behind our digital success story. Kajsa joined our team back in July 2020 and since then has been supporting our growth and development with her international job experience in logistics.
1. You joined our team around 6 months ago. How was your onboarding during the midst of the Covid-19 crisis?
I still very much remember my first day at InstaFreight. It was definitely an unusual experience to start a new job from home, but the entire InstaFreight team has done a great job integrating me and giving me the feeling of a “normal” onboarding process.
During the first few days of the digital onboarding process together with all other newstarters, I learnt more about the organization, ongoing projects and exciting future plans. The different department heads as well as the Management team also took some time to digitally get to know us and to share more about their areas of expertise and roles at InstaFreight. We even had opportunities to spend digital lunch breaks with other newstarters, colleagues from HR or our assigned buddies* – a great idea to replace the spontaneous office chats.
2. How did you get into logistics?
As part of my studies in German and Linguistics, I had to spend one year in a German-speaking country. An Austrian forwarding company presented their business at the university I visited at that time and gave me first insights into the world of logistics. After a successful application process, I completed intensive training, learnt about the processes of a traditional freight forwarding company, worked on road and intermodal transports between Spain and Scandinavia and took care of customers from those countries. After moving to Berlin, I worked for multiple e-commerce businesses, administering their logistics processes.
Logistics has fascinated me since my time in Austria. I love how it combines people in the same way languages do. The mixture of solving problems, communicating with all stakeholders, self-responsibility and teamwork fill me with enthusiasm. We are all connected to this broad global logistics network and I am excited to work towards making this network more robust, digital and adaptable together with InstaFreight.
3. Very interesting – and how exactly did you come across InstaFreight?
After my time as a customer of logistics firms, I wanted to return to the other side that is responsible for the coordination and find an organization where I can further develop my skills and see myself long-term. I first heard about InstaFreight through LinkedIn and the extraordinary digital product and mix of international startup atmosphere and traditional logistics know-how directly won me over. The more I learnt about the organizational values, internal development opportunities and the active and trustful leadership style, the more I wanted to join InstaFreight.
4. Can you tell us how the Operations team is structured and organized?
Operations at InstaFreight is very versatile and consists of different Dispatcher divisions as well as a team responsible for our new Transport Management service and an Operations Development team working on continuously improving and expanding our service to carriers.
Our Dispo department is separated into several smaller teams which are assigned by region. We also have multiple larger customers who we manage independently of region, in order to make sure that those partners always have the same contact person. Additionally, we have several Dispatchers who are not assigned to a specific team; they are more flexible and support special projects and partners. The Operations department is located in both Berlin and Poland and we work closely together among ourselves as well as with all other departments, such as Sales and Business Development.
My team consists of three Dispatchers (Forwarding Managers), three Quality Assurance Managers as well as one Team Lead. Dispatchers are responsible for the planning of transports and the capacity procurement, while the Quality Managers are always available for customers and take care of all tasks from checking the orders in the system up to ensuring that transports arrive on time. The typical tasks of Operations are distributed between the different roles. This gives everyone the chance to focus on bundled tasks, work more efficiently and get regular feedback on the service performance through targeted reports.
5. And how would you describe your typical work day?
As Quality Assurance Manager with multiple designated regular customers, my work includes a happy medium between routine and variety. My days usually start between 8 and 8.30am and I spend the first half hour going through emails, internal messages and lists for the day. This helps me get a quick overview of open transports and allows me to start with the most pressing cases or questions.
I verify that all shipments are booked into our portal correctly during quieter moments and I am constantly available in case customers have any questions or concerns. With our Team Lead, the two other Quality Assurance Managers and the three Dispatchers, I always have the feeling of mutual support. Our regular team check-in meetings help us constantly exchange information and plan and carry out all transports smoothly. We also frequently communicate with colleagues from Sales and Key Account Management, which allows all involved teams to get to know the customers better and to optimize processes.
My days usually end with last updates to customers with ongoing transports and with transferring outstanding tasks to the night shift, which together with the day shift are available 24/7 for InstaFreight’s partners.
6. And lastly, what has been your best experience at InstaFreight so far?
What I will always remember are the first emails from customers who were extremely satisfied with our service and happy about their collaboration with us as their strong partner. Those are always small but great successes! Also, my birthday at InstaFreight, around one month after I joined the company, was unforgettable. Despite Covid and much home office, I was surprised by a beautifully decorated desk when I came to the office – all “Covid-friendly” of course. The phone calls, emails and messages I received that day from all colleagues from different departments reminded me that despite a remote onboarding, I had become a part of the amazing InstaFreight team.
Thanks Kajsa for this interesting insight into Operations and we are looking forward to many more months and years together with you!
Do you also have a passion for Operations? Then start your journey with us!