Working instead of travelling – being personally available for the customer


Alf Gericke and Sebastian Göb talk about their work in the Berlin and Frankfurt offices

Being personally available for the customer – isn’t that just a marketing slogan in times of digital media?

AG: Good communication is the most important thing in project controlling – that sounds trivial, but it’s still true. The personal contact is what counts, not a call or video conference via Skype or other media. I need to be on short call for a meeting outside the regular schedule.

SG: Of course I need to travel regularly, but working on the train or the airplane is not that effective. And no one can focus on a topic when regularly checking one’s watch. From my experience, being relaxed and having a reasonable amount of time is valued by customers. And in fact: It increases effectivity.

AG: Many of the constructors are not from our industry. They need us to be there, both as a specialist and in person. Having someone’s back not only means finalising airtight contracts but also encouraging large-scale investments and (un)popular decisions – against experienced partners and in case of unexpected problems.

SG: That’s what makes our job so interesting: Being right there in the action, taking part in important decisions. Our aim is to advance the project. That’s what doing a good job means to me.

Moving ahead as a
service provider

Apart from all the enthusiasm the customer expects us to be calm and in control at all times. How can you ensure this? 

SG: Sophisticated and reliable quality management procedures have been developed within BMP Cologne over the years. These help us on site.

AG: We stick with what we have developed in Cologne. Our high-level standards are proven. People are very different, depending on where they come from. Many municipalities have their own procedures. Besides legislation, you need to apply a lot of empathy and self-confidence here. It helps me a lot that I am from the region and that I speak the same language as the decision-makers. The mentality is quite different from Berlin, where people get down to business straight away. It’s a great job.

SG: I am a Cologne-bred staff member and as such in line with the company policy. But in Frankfurt we do things a little bit differently: setting a frame, defining a goal and then giving people their freedom, both planners and own staff. Our job is to mediate between interests. We prefer to work in real teams which act cooperatively, also with difficult questions.

Good service with good people

The Berlin branch with its 10 members of staff is established due to its excellent references. The Frankfurt branch has just been opened. What are your goals? 

SG: Tim Zawada and I have been working in dual leadership for the Rhein-Main branch since the beginning of 2016. We have employed seven staff members in the course of a few months. Due to this we are encouraged to proceed in this manner. My goals for the next months are to consolidate and to gain a good reputation. Therefore we need to stand out from our competitors and to work really closely with the client.

AG: As an architect, I like sophisticated design structures. My intention is to find such projects. Another field are international projects. The embassy buildings in Rome and New Delhi have been our first successful steps abroad. The international start-ups in Berlin are another interesting target group. They can benefit from our expertise and together with their innovative owners we can make things happen.

SG: We periodically need to travel, that’s clear. But being personally available is a clear signal: We are there, as project managers and in person. You can talk to us, we understand you.