Interview with Mr. Claudio Baldi-Hegi; Global Vendor Quality Manager from Buenos Aires
We asked Mr. Baldi-Heigi from Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co. KG Argentina about the challenges and pleasures of being a Quality Manager and his experience with cultural differences.
The importance and challenges of Quality Management rockets due to globalization, outsourcing, a higher complexity and steady changes in customer needs. But with which topics does Quality Management exactly deal with and what soft skills do students need to become a Quality Manager? Mr. Claudio Baldi-Hegi who works as a Global Vendor for Quality Management in Argentina shared his business experience in Quality Management and cultural experience between Europe and Latin America in the following interview.
Mr. Baldi-Hegi, what is your personal experience regarding cultural differences between Germans and Argentines and their work habits?
Naturally behavior is different due to different cultures. While Latin Culture is passionate about what they do in the EU, there are strict rules regarding management behavior. Everything is more structured in Germany and in the EU.
What are, in your opinion, the main purposes of Quality Management Systems?
To ensure that the provided product or service will be delivered according to customer expectations, product and service specifications. Which means, for example, size, composition, formula and weight, among other attributes, always comply with the product specification. Therefore, environment, production facilities, equipment and raw materials need to be tested. Respective training should be provided for those involved in the process, which includes e.g. decision making, manufacturing or services. A set of tools can provide information regarding the performance of internal processes.
Quality Management needs a lot of documentation. Would you say that this is related to the company size- the bigger the company, the more documentation?
Not necessarily. Even small companies need Quality Management Systems in place. These systems are independent of the company size. I would say that the amount of paper documentation depends on the production level and is not more complicated but more comprehensive. In fact, the essence of a Quality Management System is the same in all companies. Furthermore, the amount of paper documentation depends on the technology level to process data.
Why are companies´ supply chain strategies so important nowadays?
It is important to ensure a supply chain strategy tailored to the product which ensures ‘on time’ delivery. The Strategies are always aimed delivering products and services to customers and markets in the best possible way.
Can you give me an example?
Yes, sure: It can make a difference between using a truck or an airplane. A truck takes longer time and you may not have the same temperature during the entire transport. Besides that, goods might get broken pretty fast. In contrast, in an airplane you will have the right temperature, transport time is shorter and there is a lower risk of goods being broken. This is, however, the most expensive means of transport, and even worse, quality attributes may be modified, which might not be recognized by companies until the product reaches the customer.
What do you like most about your job? What are the aspects of Quality Management that provide satisfaction in your daily work?
What I like most about my job is to see, on the one hand, processes completed and customer satisfaction, and, on the other hand, to get stakeholders to understand that Quality Systems are designed to help them.
Which aspects could be better or what don’t you like?
Well, there is always room for improvement. In my opinion, quality is produced at every single stage from planning to the final delivery of goods and services. Ensuring that this in fact takes place could definitely be improved upon. Processes also need to be assessed in a critical way in order to see where there is room for improvement.
What are the challenges of a Quality Manager?
First of all, people need to understand the importance of Quality Management Systems (QMS) in place and being implemented. Secondly, people need to accept QMS as they have to work in compliance with the rules. It is important to ensure the right work behavior. Finally, quality is about minimizing and avoiding risks in order to make the most of our processes.
Could you please describe the typical characteristics of a Quality Manager, e.g. with personal strengths, weaknesses or certain skills?
A Quality Manager needs to be and think analytically and it is important to stick to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and timelines. Being skeptical about the output is always helpful. An ambitious and demanding personality is recommended.
And finally, what is your advice for our students at the European Management School?
I would recommend to you: continue learning! Understand the market needs, their processes are constantly changing and developing.
If you stop learning after your studies, you won’t make it far in your life.
So try to develop yourself as much and as far as you can. Learning is an endless journey to finding excellence.
Mr. Baldi-Hegi, thank you very much for taking the time to talk about your profession
Short biography: Mr. Claudio Baldi-Hegi is working as a Global Vendor Quality Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a six year period studying for a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (which is the normal duration in Argentina for a Bachelor’s degree), he decided to pursue a Master of Science for an additional two years in Quality Management Systems, both at the Buenos Aires University. Mr. Baldi-Hegi has two children who are 18 and 16 years old.
In total he has 20-years work experience in different global pharmaceutical companies such as F. Hoffmann-La Roche A, Hoechst GmbH and Aventis Pharma AG.
For the past 4 years he has been working at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co. KG in Buenos Aires, Ingelheim and Biberach an der Riß. LinkedIn-Profil.