8 Jul 2015, 7:00 CET

Visiting Customer Service Center abroad – Part 2

I (Eva) did not spend my month abroad in a sales office like the other trainees. I visited Paccess, a company that manages and deliver sustainable packaging solutions to minimize costs throughout the supply chain and secure consistency to increase brand value. We are looking for ways to collaborate more and work closer together.

The first part of my visit was in Portland in Oregon, USA. There, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people that helped me understand the first steps of the project flow: sales operations, project management and packaging design. The energy at the office was inspiring and welcoming. We did audits to existing packaging in retail stores (super fun!) and followed the projects from the design stage, sampling and mockups, to approvals and graphics. It was interesting to experience how the packaging world works when you are that close the brand owners and the consumers. But of course it was not only work and meetings, Portland is known by their delicious food with locally produced ingredients, tons of breweries, beautiful waterfalls and super friendly people, all that in addition to the amazing cost line of the Oregon State just a couple of hours drive away.

The second part of my visit took place in Shenzhen, China where I found a different work environment with more focus on production than on the commercial side. There I learnt how the costing and sourcing is done and how is the account set-up. We went over communication with the production partners and the factories and how do they operate and do business in other Asia Regions. It was interesting to see how different is their approach compared to the Portland team. One of the most interesting areas of the business is the production process, I learnt how they work with supplied graphics and how is the preparation for production, as well as the quality assurance process and management. I had the opportunity to visit different production partners and see different production methods. It was a great experience and I met a lot of fun Chinese people in the process. It was fun!

Visiting these two places gave me a good understanding of their business and operations, and gave me the opportunity to be involved in their daily work to create a stronger connection between Paccess and BillerudKorsnäs. In addition to that, it was an amazing experience to be part of a different working culture and be surrounded of so many talented people that love what they do.

I (Lina) and Valdemar were stationed at our customer service center in Paris. During these weeks have I learned a lot about the company, the work at the customer service center and about some of our customers in France by customer visits.

The first day we got a warm welcome and an introduction to the customer service center in Paris. I spend the two first weeks at the office together with the customer service specialist for getting a bigger understanding about their work and how they work together with the sales managers. I got the opportunity to sit beside several of the customer service specialists to see their work, ask questions and discuss the several steps from receiving the order from the customer until the customer receive their goods.

During the last two weeks of my visit I traveled around with two different sales managers to meet some of our customers in France. My first trip was a shorter trip to a converter outside Paris where I had the opportunity to take part in their meeting discussing how they can use our paper, ask questions and also get a tour in the production site which was really fun to see. I also travelled to a place outside Bordeaux called Arcachon and to a little village outside Strasbourg to meet customers. It was a great experience to follow the sales managers and see how they work together with our customers. For me it also was fun to visit other parts of France then just Paris, even if Paris in itself is an experience enough.

Outside work there has also been a lot of sightseeing. All the typical tourist places have been visited like the Eiffel tower, Sacré-Cœur, Palace of Versailles and Notre-Dame de Paris. But also there has been time for just walk around and see different places in Paris.

Left: Visited Sacré-Cœur, Middle: Me outside Notre-Dame de Paris, Right: The Eiffel tower

These four weeks in Paris has been really fun and I have learned a lot and that is thanks to all of the nice people that have taking care of me at the customer service center in Paris. Lastly, I think I speak for all trainees when I am sending a big thank you to all of you for your hospitality, the sightseeing tips and for sharing your experiences!

/ Eva & Lina