Project Manager

Christoph Neef

"Always on the move." Our project manager Christoph Neef.

My name is Christoph Neef and I am 30 years young. I have been working as a project manager at S&P in Stuttgart since the beginning of 2017. In addition to my role as Project Manager, I am now also responsible for Quality Management Standard. My almost seven-year career at S&P has given me great experiences and a variety of challenging tasks and projects to look back on. In short: it is and remains a super exciting time.

Christoph Neef in front of the S&P booth
Christoph at the S&P booth

I ended up at S&P through a very good friend, our current CTO Markus. I had already had some contact with the logistics sector beforehand through my management role (Logistics Technology Management). So it was nothing completely new to me. But anyone who knows logistics knows that it's not that easy to have a complete overview of the industry. And that's exactly what still excites me today, what drew me into the logistics sector back then. The diversity and complexity of individual processes and procedures in the warehouse as well as the constant new developments and innovative trends within the industry.

Every day anew: exciting, challenging and varied.

Christoph Neef with dog in a beer garden
Christoph the dog whisperer

"Ready, steady, go!" Well, my working day doesn't usually start quite as easily as it sounds. Before I get to my desk, I grab the dog leash and go for a walk with my two dogs. With fresh air and a cool head, there's one thing I definitely can't do without afterwards: a cup of coffee. In my position as a project manager, customers have top priority in my day-to-day business. Does a customer need support, have questions or uncertainties arisen or are there project-specific tasks that need to be completed at short notice and unscheduled?

The first answers to these questions usually come from my unread emails and Slack messages (Slack is one of our communication tools) or missed calls after work. In addition to the scheduled appointments in my calendar, I organize my day freely for the most part. Sometimes it's about structuring and working out new offers or writing a specification. On the other hand, topics such as conducting (market) research are also on the agenda. From time to time - at this point I have to smile a little myself - I also like to be available to our marketing team as a "photo model" for image material.

True to the motto "theory meets practice", I often travel to our customers' warehouses to carry out the commissioning of the system, for example. I think you can see quite clearly how exciting and varied the everyday life of a project manager is. And that doesn't just apply to the tasks involved. The customers and their employees are also very different. Different circumstances, different requirements, different characters and customer wishes make it necessary for project managers to constantly adapt to new and sometimes unknown conditions. This ultimately results in the qualities that I believe a project manager should have: organizational skills, strong communication skills and, above all, the person should always keep a cool head, even when things get a little stressful.

S&P as an employer

The friendly or almost family-like atmosphere makes S&P a special employer for me. The support in the team is simply great. Everyone has a lot on their plate in their everyday lives, but despite all that, everyone takes the time to support you. Virtually all colleagues help you and vice versa, of course. My personal highlight in my career was the go-live of my first own project. I think I speak from the soul of the majority of people who remember this moment. After hours, sometimes even days, of working out the specifications, implementing the associated task packages and going live, you are happy when everything is up and running. I think everyone can imagine what a great feeling that is for the entire project team. However, as work must not be neglected alongside pleasure, the successful go-live is celebrated with a toast - as is fitting after hard and successful work.

#Letstalkaboutyourhobby - Christoph in his free time

Christoph Neef in the forest
Christoph hiking

Of course, I'm not just a project manager, but in my free time I'm a motorcycle lover and dog whisperer. Because of my job, I spend most of my day indoors. I either sit at my desk and work on my PC or I'm on site at the customer's premises. And even there, most of the time is usually spent inside the four walls. As I love being out in nature and especially in the fresh air, I use almost every free minute to go hiking or for a walk with my wife and our Labrador mix Fritz and our terrier mix Emmy. Personally, it gives me a lot of energy, is a great distraction after stressful days and takes my mind off things. It's really incredible how quickly I can switch off. And when I'm not walking the dogs, I get on my motorcycle. It's the acceleration that puts a smile on my face every time. On the way to your destination, you also see lots of places and landscapes that - at least that's how I feel - you don't usually really notice and get to know when you're driving. A Chris Neef - I guess you could say in conclusion - is simply always on the move!