NORDLAND INSIDER – Sabine Wenzel – International Project Manager for Foot Locker and Co.

Sabine Wenzel

Ahrensburg, 23 August 2019. Around the world for 80 projects – in a nutshell, that’s how one could sum up the turbulent working life of Sabine Wenzel, Senior Project Manager International at NORDLAND. Acting as a direct interface between customers, team NORDLAND and external service providers, Sabine is responsible for supervising and coordinating the projects assigned to her, from quality management to implementation and completion.

In recent years, along with NORDLAND’s increasingly internationally-oriented corporate strategy, both the customer profile and practical requirements in her area of responsibility have changed quite significantly:  Working in a multinational, interdisciplinary team demands a personality with international skills and clear managerial competencies, as well as distinctive communication skills and a pronounced talent for organisation. Sabine’s excellent multi-lingual skills –  in addition to her native German, she is fluent in English and Swedish, and (to quote Sabine) “not half bad” in French –  are the key prerequisite for ensuring smooth communication when working as part of an international team.

For Sabine, the particular challenge of her job is the colourful mix of experience, wide-ranging professional knowledge and managerial skills needed for her demanding tasks:  “Acting with self-confidence and competence on an international level requires both the knowledge of and a good feel for international correlations, cultural differences, and any possible resulting barriers. For us, knowing the legal provisions applicable in the respective assignment country is quite often just as important as knowing the relevant standards and technical codes, which makes the standardisation of work quality, communication, reports and documents considerably more demanding; for instance, when I tell someone “now this is really important and urgent”, the message – in terms of timing and setting priorities – is conceived quite differently by people with different nationalities…however, the essential point is that both the underlying objectives and values are congruent and understood by everyone involved in the project. It is our job to reconcile their respective interests and implement the project in accordance with NORDLAND’s high quality standards!”

Maintaining such a close and intensive communication with all project participants during the course of each rollout gives Sabine the feeling that she is always “right there on site where the action is” – and, meanwhile, she is not only familiar with all the tricky technical issues and idiosyncrasies of countless different countries, but she also knows the telephone numbers of the best technicians on site by heart – and this (nearly) worldwide. Whether she is working on a project in New Delhi/India or in Neustadt in Holstein/Germany – Sabine and her team find a solution for every problem. And she simply loves her job: “Since starting my job in 2011, we have developed into one of the most efficient and top-performing, independent suppliers in Europe. In addition to NORDLAND’s expanding new business, it is, in particular, the fact that our many long-standing customers continue to entrust us with their various projects that makes me extremely proud, as it proves that we have done a really good job – and continue to do so!”

For example, NORDLAND has been maintaining close business relations with Foot Locker and Runners Point – the specialists for sneakers and running shoes – and, in cooperation with different supporting creative agencies, has been the companies’ Full-Service partner in terms of conceptual support and implementation of various Digital Signage concepts for years – by now even Europe-wide: “We won this project during my first year at NORDLAND – and we are still working for this customer with the same enthusiasm as we did back then. Through supporting the Runners Point /Sidestep advertising network in around 170 D-A-CH branches for many years, we basically grew into the field of Digital Signage together, and, following the enterprise’s acquisition of the multi-brand retailer Foot Locker in 2017, once again successfully proved our performance capabilities as a system integrator and service partner for a European communication concept, which we have integrated in 55 flag stores throughout Europe. If this isn’t fun, than I don’t know what is…“

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