Since March 2019, Oliver Genz is Skeleton's Head of Quality. He brought over 20 years of experience working in large corporations to build processes resulting in better products and higher customer satisfaction. Here he tells us more about his role and his background.

 

  • Can you please tell us more about your background and previous experiences?

 

    • I studied Chemistry and then investigated the ionic and electronic current response on potential changes in conducting polymers based on the electrolyte for my PhD thesis. That’s similar to what happens during the charging and discharging of Ultracapacitors. My first job in the industry brought me to New York State for 4 years where I worked for Siemens Microelectronics as Process Engineer, developing processes for memory chip manufacturing. This was actually a great opportunity not only for technical learning but as well cooperating with people from the whole world with their different mentalities and approaches. Back in Germany, I continued in the area of process engineering for several years before moving to Quality Management. After the Siemens memory business closed down in 2009, I worked for almost ten years for Roche Diagnostics in Supplier Quality. This gave me the opportunity to audit numerous companies of different sizes worldwide and thus see a lot of different approaches for running the processes leading to high-quality products.         

 

  • You have worked for almost 10 years for Roche, a major global corporation. What motivated you to join a smaller but fast-growing company like Skeleton?

 

    • It was the opportunity to bring the experiences I made working for more than 20 years in large corporations into building the processes of an evolving company. Building a Quality Management System fitting to a small company and at the same time setting the foundation for evolving to a large-scale manufacturer is a challenge one doesn’t get each day. 

 

  • What is the role of a Head of Quality and why such a role is critical at Skeleton?
    • As Head of Quality I represent the voice of the customer. I lead a team focusing on all aspects helping to create a product with the expected quality. This starts with the build-up and approval of the quality management system, i.e. the set of processes ensuring the product quality. We guide and challenge the organization to adhere to the processes and assess the risks and results. And in case something goes wrong after all we drive the problem solving to regain customer satisfaction. So now why is this role critical? We can only establish as a sustainable supplier of high-quality products if we on one hand manage to work consistently but on the other hand continuously improve and adapt our way of working to the goals and boundary conditions.

 

  • What are the main skills needed to work in quality?

 

    • I think this depends on the specific position, as quality is a wide field. Quality inspection requires mainly high diligence. In quality engineering, I would say it’s excellent analytical thinking, the power of comprehension, and the ability to work together with a lot of interfaces. And it’s always good to have a sound background in quality methodologies and moderation skills. And last but not least the ability to use common sense, as in the end that’s what Quality Management Standards are built upon. 

 

  • What are the achievements you are the proudest of since you joined Skeleton?

 

    • On the surface, this might be that we managed to develop an IATF 16949 compliant QMS and passed the certification audits under the difficult conditions of the pandemic situation. But most rewarding are the little wins when based on your input you see a change of people’s mindset or way of working and this ideally already resulted in a better product or to higher customer satisfaction. 

 

  • What are your main areas of interest and what do you like to do outside work?

 

    • I’m most interested in nature and the environment. So I like to spend my time outside with my family and dog either hiking or working in our garden.