Kathryn Huber Product Manager of Digital Innovations

Careers at Kloeckner: Product Manager

04.02.2019
Kathryn Huber Product Manager of Digital Innovations

Kathryn Huber’s position as the Product Manager of Digital Innovations at Kloeckner Metals has given her the opportunity to create digital products that are revolutionizing the industry. In this role, she works between the IT department at Kloeckner Metals’ corporate office and the KCI team in Berlin. She manages the Part Manager portal and is responsible for making sure things run smoothly day to day, as well as coming up with any new features that benefit the customer. In doing this she coordinates with IT to discuss how new features will work with Steel 2, and also with KCI to figure out how things need to be laid out on the web portal and how it needs to function to be user-friendly for the customer.

 “The best way I can describe what I do is, it is like being a mediator between IT and the tech developers to keep everything on schedule and make sure we are doing everything right for the customer,” Kathryn said. “I always thought the digital department sounded intriguing when they started it a few years ago. I thought of it as a way to work on the more technical side of things without needing to have a background in IT. So when I saw there was a job opening for digital for Product Manager, I thought the job description sounded like something I wanted to do, so I decided to go for it. After interviewing, I was happy to find out that they thought I was a good fit for the job.”

Kathryn’s experience demonstrates that career development at Kloeckner doesn’t always follow a straight line. With so many opportunities across Kloeckner at so many different locations, there is always the prospect of trying something new and exciting. You may find that you are perfectly suited to the new role, as Kathryn has.

“I’ve always felt that it is not an issue to express interest in a different department and to try something new,” Kathryn said. “Having that comfort level has definitely made it easier to try new things.”

When Kathryn first started at Kloeckner shortly after graduating from college in 2012, she began in the purchasing department. After indexing test reports for five months, she was promoted to be one of the buyers in purchasing. She did that for four years, getting to know the various ins and outs of the steel business. Then in 2015, she moved from Atlanta to the Pompano Beach branch to pursue an opportunity in sales. Three years later, she moved back to Atlanta to take the position as Product Manager of Digitalization.

“My managers have always been great no matter what position I’ve been in,” Kathryn said. “They have always been understanding when I have approached them about having an interest in pursuing another position within the company and that has played a big part in me being able to pursue the career I have built here at Kloeckner.”

Kathryn uses the various skills learned in these previous positions to succeed in her new role. Of particular importance, she thinks, is her knowledge of the steel business and ability to see things from the perspective of the customer. In addition to her experience working at the branch level, she was able to go to steel school and also go to the mill to learn how the material is processed. She thinks that the ability to go out and see the physical processes involved in the steel business has been invaluable.

“I can’t imagine somebody being in this particular role without having a total understanding of how the business works, from the material getting produced at the mill, knowing what it takes to get the material to the branch (on time), and then finally how it gets from the branch to the customer,” Kathryn said. “Seeing the mill’s process first hand, along with having sales experience dealing directly with the customer, and knowing what it takes to load a truck and get it to a customer puts a lot of things into perspective that I probably wouldn’t have been able to learn or understand otherwise.”

The ability to pursue different roles within Kloeckner does more than make for a well-rounded skill set. It also allows employees to explore their interests and expand their career opportunities without ever having to leave Kloeckner. A person can come to Kloeckner with an interest in one aspect of the business, say finance, and end up working in something completely different like IT. Kathryn thinks that the support and training she has received throughout her career has helped to really make Kloeckner feel like a family. She also just enjoys the close-knit group of people that she gets to work with.

“It seems common for people fresh out of college to change jobs two or three times and I guess I’ve gotten lucky to find a place where I didn’t feel I had to do that,” Kathryn said. “I came here and I immediately felt at home, and I’ve felt that way ever since.”

Christopher Myers
Kathryn Huber Product Manager of Digital Innovations
Recent News Posts
06.25.2019

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree...

06.18.2019

By Steven Nghe For those companies that are frequently making...

More posts
Subscribe To Our Blog

Get a quote

quote

X

Outdated or Unsupported Browser Detected

We built Kloeckner Metals using the latest techniques and technologies. This makes Kloeckner Metals faster and easier to use. Unfortunately, your browser doesn't support those technologies.

Download the latest version of one of these great browsers and you'll be on your way:

Do Not Remind Me Later