Women @KraussMaffei: Cordula Wieland
| Ana Laura Vera
We present strong women at KraussMaffei
Currently, Cordula Wieland holds the position of Head of Expert Sales and Key Account Management for Technical Appliances. She leads a team of experienced sales experts who collaborate with global sales and customers in addressing complex IMM application issues. She embarked on her journey 9 years ago as a Product and Technology Manager, overseeing small injection molding machines and process technologies.
What motivated you to join the company, and how has your experience been so far?
With KraussMaffei, I wanted to return to my technical roots. I wanted to concentrate more on the technical side of product management, with a clear internal and external consulting function for specific projects. Therefore KM is the perfect platform.
As a product manager, what has been your most significant contribution to product development at KraussMaffei?
The first little steps I took with the facelift of our CX series. At that time, I was quite inexperienced in that technical field. Thanks to my mentor Götz, I had a steep learning curve and was able to build up a great network within KM. And I still benefit from that knowledge today. After an excellent training within KraussMaffei, it was time to stand on my own two feet. I focused on becoming an expert in processing thermoset materials and silicones. That is the field that holds my heart to this day. The company gave me the chance to dive into the subject, define a wider footprint for that field, and develop functions like APCplus for crosslinking materials. That was an intense time. I was able to work with many impressive people – employees, partners and customers. And I learned more and more with nearly every meeting. So I guess I am still the face of KM in terms of silicone processing outside of our company, although now I am in a pure sales role and handle the full injection molding portfolio.
You now lead Expert Sales for Technical Appliances. What challenges have you faced in this role, and how have you overcome them?
I love working with people, so the decision to move to sales was easy, and it was a big opportunity for me to start with a small sales team. At first, l had to get familiar with our internal offerings and order processes, which in itself was a really challenging task. Next I had to learn when to intervene and when to let go. In the end, it is still a journey for me and I try to stay authentic. I trust in my team and share my ideas openly with the management.
As the sales representative for the "Switch to SilcoSet" campaign, what strategies did you use to promote liquid silicone rubber, and how was it received by customers?
We had a solid budget, I was allowed to develop some technical features and start a marketing and social media campaign, including promotional videos, success stories, roadshows, as well as IMM demonstrations at open houses and some exhibitions like Chinaplas, NPE, K-Show, Fakuma, SwissPlastics and more — we played the full game! With those tools, we were able to convince our customers much easier. It was also a door-opener to mold makers, material suppliers, and periphery suppliers. Even external people started to share their knowledge with us, and thanks to that I was able to respond with “expert know-how" in customer meetings. Additionally, our application engineers did an enormous job in that field. In the end, it's all about people, the team, and networking!
As a modern woman, how do you balance your personal and professional life? Do you have any advice for other women aspiring to have a successful career while enjoying a balanced life?
It's easy if you love what you are doing – then the line between work and life just flows. In challenging times, like right now, it feels much more like hard work. Sometimes I still struggle with the balance, especially because I want to be a good team leader. My main recommendation is to prioritize. Keep your friendships, although you have limited time. Only do what you love to do. Live intensely and don't obsess about tomorrow.
What are your plans for your future career at KraussMaffei after your maternity leave? Do you have any specific goals you would like to achieve?
I don't have specific plans for the future. I imagine all parents are smiling now, as it is hard to make any plans with a newborn baby! So, I will simply enjoy the next part in my life, and then I will see what comes next. Due to the fact I love working, I can imagine being back maybe after one year, but this will be decided by our baby girl.
Finally, how would you describe the culture and work environment at KraussMaffei? What aspects have made you feel valued and supported as a professional?
When I started at KM, I was young and of course one of the few women with a technical background. I had the feeling that some colleagues and even customers wanted test my knowledge. It was a bit like a game show. But I realized if I can only win the game all doors will be open - this way I had gained a lot of trust. That still hasn’t changed. KM is not only an employer for me – it has become a part of my life! And it is a great touchpoint to develop myself further, meet interesting people all around the world, and make friends.
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