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On 24 July 2019 Michael Bos conducted an interview with Oliver Giaffreda, Team Leader Marketing Services at STOBAG AG, about the joint projects in the area of Operating- and Assembly Instructions for the United States.
How would you describe the Technical Editorial department at STOBAG before working with kothes?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): Basically, we’ve done very well in recent years within the scope of our capabilities and resources. Much has grown historically, which also brings challenges. We’re therefore aware that we need to use leverage here for the future.
How did your company come up with the idea of seeking support from an external service provider? What expectations did you have going into this?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): A STOBAG subsidiary is based in Canada. This location will really expand over the next few years and market activities will also intensify. From this location we also want to deliver to the US, and this also entails an overhaul of the technical documentation, as other laws and standards apply. We lacked this knowledge, and for this reason, the external partner had to possess strong expertise for this market and produce various sample instructions for us; also the ability to ensure knowledge transfer.
Can you describe your experience with this project? From your point of view, how did the cooperation develop from the first steps up to today?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): In kothes we’ve found an uncomplicated (and above all, very professional) partner who has consistently led us toward our goal. This gave us a good and reassuring feeling right from the start. The project team members quickly understood each other and developed an understanding of each other's requirements. The final result of the new manuals is impressive and brings us to a new level that meets both our expectations and goals.
If a good friend asked you for advice on what to look out for when choosing a service provider, what tips would you give them?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): Get to know the company and their abilities personally and finally go with your gut feeling.
What were the biggest obstacles with this project and how did you overcome them?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): On one hand, the coordination among all team members, since so many players were involved. On the other hand, it was also necessary to fill-in information gaps that were essential for the American market and the new manuals. Through continuous and targeted information-gathering under the guidance of kothes, we were able to implement everything.
What are you particularly proud of about this project?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): I’m definitely proud of the results and that we made a big step forward. But also that my gut feeling didn't let me down.
In which areas did kothes' support bring you the most significant added value for STOBAG?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): Creating the structure and content of legally-compliant documentation, as well as a new understanding and appreciation of what’s really important. Everyone involved benefited greatly and learned a lot from the various projects.
If you were to give our cooperation up until now a title, what would you call it?
Oliver Giaffreda (STOBAG): DREAM. TEAM. PERFORMANCE. We at STOBAG live this motto. For me it also describes the cooperation with kothes.
Mr. Giaffreda, thank you for the open discussion!