Our month at Barcelona sales office
Expectant and curious we (Therece, Emelie and her family) flew to Barcelona, without hardly knowing any Spanish or Catalan. This was the first time for both of us to visit mainland Spain. While talking on our way there we realized that we could only manage to order a beer and ask for the note on a tapas bar. We would survive but there was definitely room for progress.
Arriving on Sunday afternoon the 28th of April we realized that everything was closed. We happily found the address to our apartment but no one was there to let us in. We found an expensive kiosk in the neighborhood where we bought some crisps, candy and drinks, and then it was just to sit down in the staircase and start waiting. Luckily, the iPad was full in battery so Emelie’s four-year-old daughter could enjoy some movies while we were calling the agency we rented the apartment from. The reply was:
Our openings hours is Monday to Friday between nine a clock and… Click
At the sales office of BillerudKorsnäs there are twelve helpful and lovely customer service specialist and sales managers working. One of them, Roser, answered directly when we called her and came rescued us and helped us to book rooms at a hotel across the street.
On Monday, we got the keys to our apartment and thereafter a bit nervous we went to the sales office for the first time. Entering the sales office we were warmly welcomed with Spanish cheek kisses, laughing and all nervousness disappeared directly. We went out for a great Spanish lunch to get to know each other. By then we were hungry, it takes a few days to adapt to Spanish mealtimes, with lunch at earliest 2 pm, and dinner 9 pm.
The crew at the Barcelona sales office from the left, over row: Nuria, Ricard, Ana, Meri, Abi, Emelie, and Pep. The under row; Jose-Luis, Therece, Silvia, Roser, Borja and Adrien.
The following weeks we spent time with each one of the Customer Service Specialists to see their daily work with our customers and our mills. Thank you very much for taking your time showing us so many things, we have learned so much from you.
We also got the opportunity to follow Pep to our terminal in Perpignan, France, to learn more about logistics. Every morning at our daily pulse meeting at the sales office, we had been discussing the situation in Perpignan where a train rail was damaged causing delays for our products. Now we got see what actually had happened and understand the difficulties all people involved were struggling with to solve this as fast as possible.
Visiting our terminal in Perpignan.
During the month we also participated in logistic meetings and we met all sales managers who gave presentations about their different segments.
During evenings and weekends, you never get bored in Barcelona. Beach, mountains, graffiti, historical and fascinated buildings, parks, lovely food and yummy fika. It´s easy to travel around in and outside the city.
We have visited Parc Guell, Barcelona Zoo, Parc de la Ciutadella, Tibidabo, Sagrada Familia, Aquarium, Magic fountain, National art museum and the Mountain Montserrat. Family and friends also enjoyed to visit. We got the feedback that it’s more fun to visit us in Barcelona than in Gävle (That is off course a very good rating).
For customer visits, the sales managers for the different segments chose the friendliest ones for us: Groupo consist, MimCord, Bolsera Bags, Tronchetti and Gil Escoin. We saw sack, bag, cord and yard production and a tissue mill where we met very passionate customers that were eager to show us their manufacturing and willing to answer all our questions.
Now we have almost reached the end of our trainee year full of experiences regarding the whole supply chain. From the growth of the plant in autumn, through the production and the stock to our converters in the world. Fascinated to see how the plant in the forest can become a strong twinned handle, a cement sack or a toilet paper.
Flying home from Barcelona with a new understanding of our company, new friends, more Spanish words and so many fun experiences that we will remember our whole life.
Thanks for this time Barcelona, we will see you again!
//Emelie & Therece