Lateral entry to SAP
David Barheine was first introduced to SAP when he worked for the Bundeswehr in his role as an optician and Head of Optics, and developed his SAP skills further when he moved into Purchasing in later life. The next step in his career was waiting for him at thyssenkrupp's Dynamic Components business unit at the organisation's site in Ilsenburg. David completed further training to become an SAP consultant and brings all his experience to bear in the exciting SAP projects he is part of at the successful automotive supplier.
After completing his studies to become an optician, David Barheine worked for the Bundeswehr as Head of Optics. This is where David's passion for SAP systems was ignited. "Switching to the SAP system while working for the Bundeswehr is what drove my desire to pursue further training in this area," reveals the now 38-year-old. “I take great pleasure in making life easier for others when it comes to SAP, being able to help, and making processes simpler. That’s why I moved into a role in Purchasing to create solutions to problems using SAP.”
First contact with thyssenkrupp at a careers’ fair
David's first impression of thyssenkrupp's Dynamic Components business unit was at a careers’ fair, organised by the Bundeswehr’s Careers’ Service. “This is where I made first contact with them and learned more about the organisation. I was able to really get stuck in and talk about my career trajectory” David recalls. I felt a real sense of belonging and shared understanding: David now works as an SAP Requirements Engineer for the “specialists for highly complex drive technologies” as part of their Material Management/Purchasing business unit.
Joining the company at its site in Ilsenburg, Saxony-Anhalt was a smooth but mostly hands-on process. “The department and I were able to plan my career trajectory during my first placement,” explains David. “As I was studying to become an SAP consultant - a career path I only became aware of thanks to the Bundeswehr's Careers’ Service - I was able to take part in on-site practical training at the plant itself.” I was later offered a permanent position at thyssenkrupp's Dynamic Components unit, and I now work as an SAP Applications Administrator within the purchasing department."
In his first year at thyssenkrupp, David gained valuable insights into various areas of SAP support and was able to rely upon his experienced colleagues. “This is where I really developed my understanding of SAP,” explains David enthusiastically. “I can always rely on my colleagues. We support one another as a team.”
Rolling out SAP S4 Hana
In the meantime, the SAP specialist also plays an active role in supporting larger projects. The most important of which: The SAP S4 Hana roll out - an ERP system (enterprise resource planning) that supports the planning and organisation of business processes. This is a large-scale project that allows little time for us to work on other projects, as David emphasises: “Rolling out S4 Hana is a huge project here at the moment. The four phases of implementation are planned to be carried out until late 2026. I should also say that we are still working on other smaller projects, but our current priority is Hana and the preparations that need to be made as part of the project.”
The main focus is on mapping the different requirements of the participating countries onto one system, and combining them so that we can guarantee a process that runs as smoothly as possible. David: “It’s about streamlining processes and their workflows. The users have to be prepared and trained on how to incorporate them into their work.
"Working together cohesively like a family does"
Here again, the focus is on teamwork. "This team and other teams beyond the work that we do collaborate very successfully," David says. "We work together cohesively in almost the same way as a family does". The teams work brilliantly together, even with other sites.”
Would David recommend his employer to a friend? Absolutely! “And I've already done just that. For the simple reasons that I think the working environment here suits me and that thyssenkrupp is a good employer.”
Click here to start your career as SAP Consultant!