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Silke – Stock controller, Italy
Even though Silke grew up with IKEA, she never imagined that one day she would work there. It was by chance that she got to know about the IKEA trainee program in Germany and the potential opportunities to move to IKEA Italy in the future. “After graduating, I had an interview with IKEA and was told that they were planning to open up a store in Rome and wondered if I would I like to be involved. I answered, ‘So where’s the plane?”

After a years training program as stock controller and several different jobs covering for co-workers in stores around Germany, Silke finally got ‘her’ store. It was in the Ludwigsburg store that she gained invaluable experience and had the opportunity to create her own team. Even then Silke did not lose sight of her goals. “Throughout those years, whenever someone asked me where I wanted to end up, I always said ‘Rome’,” she laughs.

After four years, IKEA Rome was finally ready for the build-up process. IKEA Germany recognised Silke’s desire to move and in September 1999 she started a job as stock controller in Rome. The beginning was both exhilarating and challenging. “It was a daily adventure, but we had a great team and we were making fantastic sales which exceeded all expectations,” she recalls.

Silke finds her role as stock controller a continuous learning process. “Every day I do something new and what I do today is very different from what I did 10 years ago in the same role,” she explains.

The most important skill required for her job is an ability to analyse and solve problems. “The main goal is to assure the correct products in the correct quantity at the right time,” she says. “I therefore look at inventories and have to understand what the problems are and find a solution. We also spend a lot of time controlling the order process itself and support the sales people who use the system” she explains.

Silke always believed that she would find her ‘prince charming’ in Rome. By coincidence, IKEA played a central role in this when the Genoa warehouse manager was relocated to Rome. Silke and the warehouse manager immediately became a couple and today they are married and have a daughter. As parents, Silke and her husband are real believers in the IKEA policy of achieving a good balance between your work and personal life.

Speaking happily from her home in Rome, she sums up her thoughts on the IKEA culture: “IKEA gives you lots of room, but it also expects you to use your initiative. It is personality that counts, not appearances, qualifications or titles.”
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