How would you define the Heppner spirit?

As a family business, Heppner’s DNA is reflected in our daily work. In my opinion, the group’s strength lies precisely in its organisation, where each employee is in direct contact with senior management. I had the opportunity to work with Jean Schmitt during my early years at Heppner and, today, I am proud to be able to continue working alongside Jean-Thomas Schmitt. A case in point is the environmental transition project, where we enjoy considerable freedom of action in the regions thanks to Heppner’s intrapreneurial model. For example, the Le Mans agency, where I work, is very committed to sustainable transport and has taken delivery of new NGV lorries.

I feel very fortunate to work in a company whose values match my personal convictions. It is an extremely valuable source of cooperation that we are developing among all the teams, at all levels of the company.

What responsibilities do you have in your job?

As sales administration manager, my main responsibility is to support the sales team in drafting quotes. I act as the right-hand man of the sales representatives in the field, providing pricing studies that will then be proposed to prospects and customers. This requires performing data simulations that are consistent with our expenses, building pricing systems that are as attractive and competitive as possible compared with our competitors.

Management is also an indispensable part of my role, as I supervise the sales assistants to define priority tasks and coordinate deliverables. In urgent or sensitive cases, it is the responsibility of Sales Administration, in conjunction with the Sales Director, to prepare strategic simulations based on our mutual experience and our detailed knowledge of our customers.

If you had to summarise your job in 3 words, what would they be?

Team spirit: my job is above all a collective endeavour between people. The successes I achieve with my team are a direct outcome of cooperation and trust between the agency’s employees.

Professionalism: a necessary quality in many fields, professionalism is an integral part of my daily life. As sales administration manager, I am responsible for conveying Heppner’s image to our customers. The quotes we propose must reflect the quality ethic and the high standards we uphold at Heppner.

Responsiveness: you have to be on the front line, ready to respond to requests from the sales representatives, sometimes under extremely tight deadlines. This is what makes my job so stimulating, day after day.

What are the main skills that you must bring to the job?

Again, it all depends on each person’s experience and background, but, in my opinion, a good sales administration manager must have versatility, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and certain leadership skills. The image of the Swiss Army knife closely matches the reality in the field, where we produce tailor-made quotes that reflect the diversity of our customers and their challenges. This requires sound knowledge of the different business lines that make up the supply chain, coupled with the composure and confidence to respond to requests and defend recommendations. Finally, leadership allows the sales administration manager to impose processes and structure the team to give customers the best service and ensure operational excellence.

What is your background and why did you join Heppner?

After graduating with an advanced technical certificate in International Trade, I started my adventure at Heppner during my internship for the vocational degree in International Trade. It was an experience that left its mark on me, both in terms of the people I met and the quality of the training I received, during which I discovered many different businesses such as international chartering. These successive immersions laid the foundations for my current job, giving me a unique grounding in the field with a high added value. A few months later, I had the chance to join the group’s sales administration area as sales assistant. I worked in this position for seven years before being appointed Sales Administration Manager in 2018. I am extremely proud of my progression in the company and it shows that Heppner really does take internal promotion seriously.

This is my tenth year at Heppner and I still feel just as valued, with a strong sense of belonging. My superiors and my teams have great confidence in me, and this spurs me to take on new challenges each year.

What is the achievement you are most proud of within the group?

The successes we are proudest of are often those that enable us to discover new experiences, outside of our initial comfort zone. For five years, I organised customer receptions for my agency in Le Mans, which were attended by about a hundred people. As master of ceremonies for these encounters, I was able to go beyond my limits and think outside the box to make the event a success, year after year. Unfortunately, the health crisis has put this special mission on hold. Of course, I am looking forward to restarting them in the coming months, as soon as the situation allows.