Managing Director / Geschäftsführerin (RAS) | Rhenus Archiv Services GmbH
Nominated in the Category: Digital Transformation
Short description of the company
The Rhenus Group is comprised of 30,000 employees in the field of logistics and operates worldwide with a deeply rooted tradition in Germany. The Rhenus Office Systems, with 3,000 employees, contains multiple business units providing services focusing on paper logistics: Scanning (Rhenus Document Services), Destruction (Rhenus Data Office), Archiving (Rhenus Archive Services) and Mailroom Services (Rhenus Mailroom Services). Claudia has revolutionized the Rhenus Archive Services (RAS) to include a digital hub intent on completing the transition from paper to digital logistics. While units traditionally operate independently, Claudia’s initiative is a portal enabling cross-divisional booking of the existing product portfolio. Claudia has expanded RAS to 600 employees with a modern workforce capable of propelling Rhenus through the increasing complexities of the digital era.
The premier product of the RAS is an innovative digital archive with automatic classification and extraction functionality. This provides value by integrating information from hybrid processes - paper and digital data. The first application is in the healthcare sector, optimizing revenue in hospitals. Unstructured data such as digital data from a lab, diagnostics, or paper forms are scanned, made readable, automatically classified, and extracted into relevant information. In order to collect information from third party systems, Rhenus provides dynamic, cutting edge solutions. By combining existing traditional services with robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the product has been outperforming competitive products across many categorical evaluations. The end result is a flexible basis of tools for a variety of digital processes for both Rhenus and external customers.
How does digitization shape your/her career?
Claudia began as an executive assistant at the Rhenus Group more than twelve years ago. She maneuvered her way up the hierarchy, from Head of Project Management to Branch Manager to Managing Director, while simultaneously starting a family and raising two children. Three years ago, she was positioned as the managing director of Rhenus Archive Services, a paper-based business unit that archives files. Rather than being an object within digital transformation, she saw the opportunity to initiate and enable the digitization of RAS. Her vision was to achieve a transformation from paper logistics to an intelligent informational handler.
Thus, Claudia founded a digital hub and IT strategy that began to renew the Rhenus business model. By working towards hybrid and digital processes for clients, the new platform and microservice approach integrates existing business and neighboring units as well as innovative services from external partners. The portal presents a flexible and holistic product portfolio, the result of Claudia’s forward thinking and recognition of the increasing importance of digitization.
A glance at the organization chart of Rhenus reveals that Claudia is the only female leader among male peers above and next to her. As the main initiator and motivator for digitization across multiple units, Claudia pursued the unique opportunity to disrupt the traditional patriarchal kingdoms. Realizing that transparency and cooperation among departments produces better communication and more efficient solutions, Claudia endured significant resistance in order to transform Rhenus and create a new model for others to build upon in the future.
What makes you/her a digital female leader?
Claudia created a digital hub in Berlin two years ago and subsequently composed a highly interdisciplinary team of personas with varying backgrounds and seniority levels. Specialists in IT, Biotechnology, Marketing, Strategy, and Design thinking with different cultural backgrounds share a single working space and common vision: creating a digital strategy that transforms the business area. Digital Force Meetings bring together IT-Team leads of departments spread across Germany with a company culture that rejects the formal “Sie” and traditional hierarchies. Instead, every individual addresses another by first name, regardless of seniority.
The work environment within the digital hub promotes freedom of thought and creation of ideas. Claudia encourages employees to participate in both internal and external trainings, workshops, and certifications. For example, enabling the central project management to acquire a Design Thinking Coach certification has helped to implement an innovative, user-centric, agile and collaborative mindset across multiple departments. She also intentionally hired individuals from agile, startup backgrounds in order to add contrasting views from the typical corporate mindset. Despite her role as managing director, Claudia is open to conflicting opinions from all employees, believing that a wealth of perspectives leads to the most creative and efficient solutions. Employees are considered holistically and emboldened to develop their personal lives alongside their careers; multiple branch management positions have been filled with women, many of whom are also mothers. By promoting diversity, advocating for women’s development and opportunities, and advancing a productive work environment, Claudia tirelessly exemplifies the qualities of a Digital Female Leader.
What does leadership mean to you/her?
Creating environments and teams that enable each individual to enjoy work while learning, performing and contributing at peak performance.
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