Careers at Kloeckner
Being a global company, Kloeckner provides many opportunities for its employees to travel the world as part of their job. One such opportunity is being pursued by J. Paul Javier, who was recently chosen to participate in a project that will see him spending time in Germany. The project is the KCI Digital Experience, which designs digital tools and services for the metals industry.
Paul currently works in the Los Angeles branch, where he has done a variety of jobs during his three years with Kloeckner. He started as a sales assistant and quickly moved up to inside sales. He then moved to outside sales and now is involved in the sourcing and procurement process as well as still handling architectural sales. Paul intends to bring this experience to bear on this new digital project.
“The main thing they wanted was somebody who is well versed in the market, especially the U.S. market,” Paul says of the KCI Digital Experience. “As far as the digital platform, I feel that I’m very well versed. Anything with Kloeckner, as far as any innovations they want to move toward, I’m definitely interested in.”
The opportunity to tackle new projects is a benefit that not all companies offer. At an international company like Kloeckner, said opportunities can take an employee halfway around the world. Paul is very excited about the chance to learn about a new culture, and a new style of management and doing business. Paul is also brushing up on his German to get ready for the experience.
“I’m a big traveler. I like going to other places, and I like experiencing other cultures,” Paul says. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have an opportunity like this to actually go overseas and have Kloeckner be very adamant and positive about it.”
The project will also take Paul to Atlanta, where he will work on new technologies that are keeping Kloeckner on the cutting edge of the digital frontier. He will work on new tools like the Part Manager, as well as offerings that are still under development.
“To be a part of that is something very exciting,” Paul says. “Seeing where I can help and implement some of the extras that I have in my head to make the system better is a very rewarding job.”
Kloeckner is always trying to find new ways to challenge its employees and offer them opportunities for growth. Within branches, cross training and advancement opportunities keep employees intellectually stimulated. Between branches on the national and international level, there is more opportunity for growth. While it is all one company, each branch is somewhat unique. The ability to interact with other branches allows employees to be exposed to different ways of doing things, and different styles of management.
“Work can get monotonous, and I know some people can get in a hole and get bored. I feel that Kloeckner has done a good job of keeping everyone mentally on their toes, especially from our management challenging us to really make our position our own, and run it like our own little business,” Paul says. “Having that confidence from our management keeps us very in tune and happy with our jobs.”
Paul says that having such ownership is the difference between being an active force in your work and simply being a paper pusher. He thinks that allowing employees the ability to make important calls has many positive effects. He says that it motivates employees, who know that the quality of their work reflects directly back on them.
“When I think differently from Management, I feel like I can speak up because they have given me that freedom and confidence,” Paul says. “We talk about it, and sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I’m right. I think it is very rare in companies, and I think it is extremely rare in the metals business.”
Paul has also been impressed with the level of support he received from his branch in pursuing this KCI Digital Experience project. Paul being gone for a month and a half will be a hit to the Los Angeles Branch, but his manager understands the exposure this will give Paul and has given Paul his full blessing.
“The feedback I get from my manager is that he just wants me to succeed, period,” Paul says. “He wants everyone that is working under him to succeed.”
This support is important to Paul, who is excited about this and future opportunities with Kloeckner. He encourages anyone considering a career with Kloeckner to go for it.
“Kloeckner right now, in the U.S. especially, is growing tremendously,” Paul says. “The benefits are great, the people are great, the management is great, and I feel completely supported.”