Anna Kotermanska in the Digilock Europe warehouse.
'We should not forget that there is way more to logistics and supply chain, than moving and lifting boxes.’
Nieuw Vennep- The logistics sector has traditionally been associated with physical work and therefore historically became a sector dominated by men. On a global scale this has been changing and women are playing a bigger role in the usually considered masculine sector. Anna Kotermanska (37) has been working at Digilock as the Europe Warehouse and Logistics Manager for over seven years now. In this article she shares her career story and what she has learned along her journey.
“I probably could best describe my role, over all the years at Digilock, as a complete journey,” Kotermanska says about the start of her logistics career at Digilock’s European headquarters.
Anna immediately saw great opportunities when starting with Digilock. “Back in 2013 the company had 3 employees, a huge growth potential and hiring opportunity. To me it was an opportunity to start from scratch. I could hire all my team members and have influence on how our EU operations would run”, Anna reminisces.
At first Anna came across a few challenges she had to tackle. “The biggest challenge was to ensure smoothly running operations with minimal resources, as well as getting back on track with inventory accuracy. By that time Digilock was a fast-growing startup in Europe. This meant that continuous improvement, and ability to quickly adjust to changes, was key to success. The freedom, faith and support that I got over the years from our Vice President, Julie Advocate, also contributed a great deal to make things better at our location.”
‘Managers are truly useless without their team’- Anna Kotermanska
In the midst of a global pandemic, fast changing international politics, natural disasters, and challenging economic conditions the 37 year old Warehouse and Logistics manager is especially thankful for her team. “For our Europe Team, although I believe the same counts for everyone else in the world today, it is important to ensure safety and continuously running operations during Covid-19 pandemic. Online communication only can be quite challenging at some points. But overall, I am proud that my team keeps giving 100% of themselves every single day. Everyone is coming to work with a big smile and great mindset. Hopefully very soon we can all get back to our normal lives and see all our colleagues at the office again. Locally and across the globe.”
Teamwork seems to be an important success factor in Kotermanska’s career. “Working with people of different nationalities, backgrounds, points of view and ambitions, is a great challenge but also a fantastic learning experience. It helps you develop as a person and manager. Additionally, let’s face it, managers are truly useless without their team and that is the biggest lesson to learn over time.”
Be on top of the game
About her experiences in the logistics world Anna says, “logistics remains a very dynamic working environment, where you always need to be on top of the game. There are no boring days, you can never learn ‘it all’ and that is exactly what I enjoy about my job. I personally learned to see obstacles more as challenges and I believe there is always a solution to each issue that you may come across at work – it could just take bit more time than expected.”
Even though the number of women in leading position in the Logistics sector are slowly going up, Anna is optimistic. “Although logistics is still dominated by men there is plenty of space and opportunity for women to grow. We should not forget that there is way more to logistics and supply chain, than moving and lifting boxes. Be yourself, stay positive, confident and go for it! Many more employers nowadays realize the value of different points of view women bring to the table. I am very happy I got a chance to join the Digilock family and could see all the growth and development of our company over the past years. I think we are the best proof of it, with many women occupying leading positions and doing a great job out there. Besides, how cool is it to see a lady driving a full-size trailer?” Anna concludes.