The KAV team is constantly expanding; we are currently looking for employees for several positions. Henriette Hégli graduated as an economist and came to our company in July last year after a career as an executive and real estate salesperson. As project coordinator, she is responsible for preparing individual quotes. In order to be able to perform her task as optimally as possible, she took part in a freshman programme in the first few weeks of her start-up, in which she got to know in detail the individual work processes, the market for custom doors and windows and the KAV way of thinking.
How did you find KAV and what was interesting for you in this challenge?
I got to KAV thanks to a personal acquaintance. I graduated as an economist; I was the managing director of a Swiss-owned data processing company for more than a decade, where, of course, I also dealt a lot with finance (cash flow, liquidity), covering all areas of corporate management. Simply put, designing, creating, and tracking the “numbers” that form the basis of the company was a constant part of my daily routine tasks. Then I became the head of a real estate agency, where sales were clearly the focus. I met Károly Lovász, the company's managing director, in connection with a real estate purchase. In the summer of 2019 - today I say fatefully - we met again. That’s when I mentioned to him that real estate sales careers are on a downward curve, so I was thinking about a shift. Actually, I just signalled to him that I was open to anything that I was suited for, based on my qualifications. Two days later, he called to see if my search was still topical because he would love to see me at KAV as a project coordinator. This happened in June and not long after, in the third week of July, a new challenge in my life already began. Before the establishment of the employment relationship, Károly told me the history of the company in a personal conversation, showed what KAV is all about, and detailed what tasks would await me. I felt the momentum in me, the charm of the novelty, I knew I was supposed to be there. From the point of view of my suitability, we both knew that, thanks to my estate agency past, I knew how to interpret a real estate floor plan, I had my financial perspectives and the world of numbers was close to me. But on top of that - with a little exaggeration - I had to learn a new profession. It felt good that he believed in me Even now, I think back with a smile to one of his sentences, typically giving back his flippancy: if you’re not too much of a llama, it will be fine
How did KAV support this learning process?
In the first six weeks, an extremely complicated learning process, all the way from the basics, awaited me. It wasn’t a mistake to call it a freshman programme! They first presented the company and the business policy. Then I got to know the world of aluminium; the complete range of doors and windows made from this raw material; from the variety of aluminium entrance doors, such as revolving doors or wing-panelled door, to frameless sliding door systems to minimalist windows. I learned the profile systems of each supplier, the inexhaustible repository of technical information. I gained an insight into all the other fields related to doors and windows, such as the qualities and versatility of glass; automation; shading technology; accessories, namely door handles and grips; surface treatment procedures; information about production, the information required for quotations, as well as the specific software used for the calculation. I also had a factory visit, where I could learn about the manufacture of the products from a practical point of view. We even paid a personal visit to our suppliers. As you can see from all this, the learning programme revealed the entire professional palette. As project coordinator, my task is to calculate the price and prepare the quote for the customer. That is, presenting customer needs in numbers that designers put on paper. I had the skills to do this, but I also almost completely lacked the special professional background knowledge and technical insight I needed. That's exactly what I got through the freshman programme.
The quoting process is very unique at KAV. What is your speciality?
The quotation is the first complete document for the customer. In practice, this is the document that introduces our company and so it means a lot. Its uniqueness lies in its complexity; it is extremely fiddly. It includes all activities, movements, materials used, time the full service that our company undertakes in the event of placing an order, from the production of doors and windows to their installation. With its help, the customer can see the full detail what the realisation of the imagined doors and windows looks like in the light of the numbers. In the complexity of this calculation, the customer can enjoy the advantage that is one of the foundations of KAV's thinking, namely that we do not cause surprises, in other words we want to inform our prospective customer already at the "starting gate" that the quote contains all the necessary information, and there will be no change in the process later on. We are not those who’d announce somewhere at half-time that something has yet to be factored in. We work with a fair, transparent and comprehensive quote from the very beginning.
“We will find a solution to each and every problem” and “let go of what you have thought about your options so far” - these are the main buzzwords for KAV. How did you experience this approach at the company?
I think this can be simplified to the concepts of being there, being with him, listening to him. That is, we dedicate sufficient time to our potential customer; we listen to him, we pay attention to him, we understand what he wants. Individuality! We see, feel, get to know his personality, which is otherwise reflected in the style of the property under construction. From the ideas formulated, we already know “what he wants to be born”. Adding to this all our professional knowledge, pushing the boundaries of feasibility, we bring out the maximum outcome that gives the most complete response to his needs. This is how a solution is born that the customer did not even dare to dream of. Our basic approach is that if our capacity allows it and we think it fits the corporate image, we will not say no to any task. We like to say that we don’t know the impossible. And that’s how it is. In reality, it should be imagined like that when the project design material is packed with design creativity, amazingly unique ideas, lots of new professional ideas; three or four employees are immediately integrated into the process in order to crystallise its feasibility. All this, of course, takes place before a quote is sent out.
Which team are you part of?
This is a team in which each member and individual contributed to thinking I mentioned before. For me, the main motivation is to see, to face up to the fact that the company has a driving force, an owner who dares to dream big. Someone who strives, by promoting continuous development, to become better and better, for ever-higher quality, he aims to develop a company model that adds to the world in some way through its service. And he is surrounded by employees who, don’t go against this, but thoughtfully, giving all their professional knowledge and following the step-by-step mechanism, help to achieve the goals. It is very important that the healthy loyalty and acceptance of the owner allows the common opinion of the team to prevail in some cases. A serious, multi-person team is involved in each part of the process, from design, calculation, production preparation, procurement, production to construction and installation. And, of course, our very involved office background staff cannot be left out of all this. So the key is unity, the power of teamwork; it brings our results.
What do you like best here?
Freedom, independent work, and the opportunity to think independently and show creativity. In a word, I could also call it trust. Also, that if I’m out of my professional comfort zone,, I need help and advice, then it even comes from several sides immediately. We are a good team!