How did I get here? – Part 4

Varadero, Cuba

Recap from part 3 – In February 1994 I joined Southco Inc, for 15 amazing years

A huge life changing event, global travel and getting involved in technology.

1998 was the year of life change events – I grabbed the opportunity of a lifetime. With the help of Southco, I moved from England to the USA.

Who would have thought it! From humble beginnings, here I was starting a new chapter in my life in Pennsylvania.

My task was to help Southco in their Supply Chain and Operations Management activities.

Collaborating with Sales, Quality Management, Engineering, IT and of course manufacturing – making new friends and building long lasting relationships.

During the next 10 years, Southco grew and I grew with them.

Southco gave me so many opportunities.

Helping set up an automated warehouse and distribution center near the Philadelphia airport will always be one of my proudest achievements – A small team of fantastic people who all had the same desire – we created something quite special.

As Southco grew, and started on a journey of mergers/acquisitions, my career started to take on a new life.

Being involved in helping integrate these organizations into the Southco family will always be something I am proud of. Taking us around the USA, back to England, to Sweden and also to Hong Kong and China.

As I write this and reflect on my career highlights, I remember some key things.

None of what was achieved would be possible without teamwork. None of it would have been possible without the vision from our CEO and board at Southco.

We worked countless hours, holidays, went live on holidays with our integrations – and we were all happy to be part of the growth of this great company.

Whilst still in growth / acquisition mode, we realized that our computer systems needed to be upgraded / changed.

Enter SAP® – I was chosen to be on the SAP® core implementation team – yet another amazing chapter in my career at Southco. Moving forward with technology, becoming involved in something that would change my career for a 3rd time.

We chose Sweden as our “pilot” location – and so after having spent time in Eskilstuna during our acquisition, I was going back to help implement SAP® with a great team of people.

Yet another success for Southco.

In April 2007 another huge life changing event happened – I became a US citizen… my Southco family made it memorable! 

You may be wondering at this point why I chose to leave Southco.

I had learned so much at Southco, I had grown as a person, and for that I am forever grateful.

But sometimes, like making the choice to leave home, you have to venture further afield and test yourself.

In April 2008 I left Southco and joined SAP®. My desire to work with other teams and to help build customer Centers of Excellence had grown at Southco, and at SAP® I had the opportunity to join a small team in the Newtown Square campus.

Helping customers improve the relationship between IT and the business. Aligning with the ITIL principles and integrating SAP tools and processes… I had so much to learn!

Helping customers become best in class, supporting their business and users was something that I enjoyed immensely.

Getting involved in RunSAP, then Solution Manager – my career was again changing direction, from functional activities to the support of the ERP.

SAP® is an ever-evolving company, and to be part of the change we have to be ready to take on new challenges.

In 2012 I moved to a new team in what was then known as Active Global Support (AGS). More things to learn – getting involved in escalations / de-escalations and becoming an expert in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). Traveling around North America to help customer Centers of Excellence implement and use SAP® Solution Manager. It was very rewarding to see customers grow and mature. 

Whilst doing this, I interacted with other teams, and in 2014 I moved to the SAP® RIG – helping develop the SAP® CCOE (Customer Center of Excellence) program. This was something I had always wanted to be involved with. We would help measure the maturity of our customers support and provide them with roadmaps to improve and become best in class. Working closely with our German team, we integrated Quality Management and Design Thinking into our CCOE activities. 

My experiences with IMI and Southco, combined with what I learned at SAP® have held me in good stead as I continue to grow.

It is important to me to continue to learn new things, grow and use that experience to help others.

In 2017 it was time to move on again. This time it was a huge gamble and change. Taking all my experiences and knowledge, to help a new startup company grow in North America.

I joined Inventy.

This is my 4th career job, and I am proud of each one I have had.

I am still connected to the SAP® family working to help SAP® customers in their digital transformations.

Our software, PERFORMER FOR SAP® is THE value management platform for SAP® solutions.

To help SAP® customers navigate all the changes from their ECC to SAP® S/4HANA

More challenges are ahead as we ramp up with partners and customers to move them forward as SAP® work to move all customers to SAP® S/4HANA by 2025.

In closing, I want to leave you with a few thoughts about how we can grow as people and become successful in our careers.

Listen well to those with lots of experience, for they hold the key to how we can continue to evolve and keep moving forward.

Don’t “burn bridges” your past experiences and colleagues may be able to help you in the future.

Don’t accept the status quo – always challenge yourself on how you can become better.

If you have the desire, and are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything!

My beginnings may not have been conventional, and they cannot be changed. But using those experiences have helped me get here today.

Footnote:

Thank you to so many people who have mentored me, and all those that have been part of my career.

Thank you to IMI for believing in me.

Thank you to Southco for allowing me to grow.

Thank you to SAP for challenging me to be better.

And thank you to Inventy for giving me the opportunity to bring my experience to this innovative cool company.

Published by laurah66

Born and raised in England - moved to the US in 1998 - traveled all over. Animal lover, love to knit, write. Enjoy music, cooking, and since 2021 I have changed my lifestyle to include exercise as a priority in my life. I believe in humanity

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