IT Consultant Stefanie

“The reason I joined ALDI SOUTH back then was because of just that – it’s ALDI.”

Stefanie works as an IT Consultant in the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) team. EDI makes it easy to transmit warehouse purchase orders to suppliers electronically, for example. In this interview, she talks about her everyday work life and explains why she chose ALDI SOUTH as her employer seven years ago.

Before you take us through a day in your job, could you introduce yourself briefly and tell us how long you’ve been at ALDI SOUTH IT?

Stefanie: Hi, I’m Stefanie, I live in Cologne and I work as an IT Consultant in the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) team. EDI makes it possible for data to be shared between companies in a standardised, machine-readable format. For example, EDI means that purchase orders from the warehouse can be transmitted to suppliers electronically instead of by fax or telephone. I’ve been part of the team since 2016. And in my seven years at ALDI SOUTH, a lot has changed for me, as I have been on parental leave twice during this time. This also brought about changes in my daily work routine: I now only work part-time for 3.5 days a week. Before joining ALDI, I worked with SAP and was responsible for implementing system connections, among other things.

What does a typical work day look like for you as an IT Consultant – if there is a typical day at all?

Stefanie: I work in the operations area of the EDI team. This means that the first thing I do in the morning is perform a health check for our application and server. Our system is used to send orders out to suppliers – and these orders are usually time-critical, such as for fresh meat, so everything has to run smoothly here. During the health check, some of the things I look for are whether our web application is available, whether there are any server errors or whether our server needs to be rebooted. If something is wrong, I take care of the troubleshooting.

Then there are also some meetings to attend. On Tuesdays, for example, we always meet in the office for our weekly meeting. In addition, we regularly talk to our contact partners in the individual countries, for example about any upcoming requirements and the current “pain points”. Through EDI, messages for the purpose of identifying an item are exchanged in a special format, with different combinations of letters and numbers – “qualifiers”, as we call them. For this reason, we make sure we standardise the messages so that really all service providers can read them and share them with us.

What would you say makes your role as an IT Consultant in the EDI team special?

Stefanie: It’s definitely the interdisciplinary aspect. We are constantly in contact with other business units, which means we gain insight into a lot of other areas and learn about their processes. That’s something I find very exciting. In addition, the fact that we are integrated into the merchandise management processes means we can take on a consulting role for the business units.

What do you want to achieve at ALDI SOUTH? What drives you, what gets you out of bed in the morning?

Stefanie: I really want to do my part to ensure we can continue to offer good products at good prices. And the better our EDI works, the better we can be at doing this. The reason I joined ALDI SOUTH back then was because of just that – it’s ALDI. Because I’ve always shopped here and also like to buy organic food at a good price, for myself. And I can do that at ALDI SOUTH.

What has been your most exciting project so far?

Stefanie: A highlight for me was the project that got me promoted, so to speak :-) I organised the “EDI International Workshop Week”, a kind of internal professional conference. It brought together two to three representatives from the respective countries as well as contact partners from international IT and various service providers. We spent a week looking at how we could optimise our processes. There were 37 people there altogether – from the USA, Austria, the UK and other countries. It wasn’t easy to get everyone together in one place at the same time, but in the end the week was a total success and we put together 40 task packages.

What would you say makes ALDI SOUTH IT unique as an employer? Try and tell us in just three words.

Stefanie: Open, interdisciplinary, structured.

What challenges do you face as part of your everyday work?

Stefanie: I do sometimes find all the different abbreviations in the ALDI world challenging. You first have to know them all :-) And part of this involves gathering information yourself and being proactive.

What should anyone looking to start a career as an IT Consultant at ALDI SOUTH IT bring to the table? Are there any candidates for whom ALDI SOUTH IT might not be the best fit?

Stefanie: Any applicants should definitely be open-minded. They should be able to approach people and interact with them. Especially in the new, digital world, we shouldn’t be afraid to call colleagues via MS Teams and actively seek contact instead of just spending time in your own “tunnel”.

What do you associate with “Reprogram retail”?

Stefanie: For me, it means combining our core business with my day-to-day work. Because, if we didn’t use EDI to send the messages along the merchandise management system, the warehouses would not be able to order goods effectively and efficiently.

Thanks for talking to us, Stefanie!

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