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What does Sarah Danker actually do?

Sarah Danker is in charge of inspecting goods in the incoming goods area of the Central Warehouse in Geisenfeld. In this interview, she talks about her interesting job at HANSA-FLEX and her experiences in a male-dominated field.

Est. reading time is 5 minutes

In this interview, Sarah Danker talks about her day-to-day work in logistics and her role as a woman in incoming goods inspections, and explains why she not only drives a forklift truck at work, but also in competitions.
 

How long have you been working at HANSA‑FLEX?

It will be ten years this year. I started out as a temporary worker for two months, was then taken on as a permanent employee and for the past four years I’ve been responsible for inspecting goods in the incoming goods area with my team of seven. We make sure that all goods are checked before they enter the automated store or rack storage system.
 

What appeals to you about warehouse logistics?

All the cogs have to mesh perfectly for the overall system to work smoothly. From our colleagues in incoming goods, who unload and pre-sort everything, right through to dispatch. You can tell that the processes are well-rehearsed when things have to move fast: if our colleagues in order picking are waiting for items, for example, we give priority to the relevant consignment and process it quickly.
 

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What do you do in the incoming goods inspection area?

We subject every pallet to a random check. For this purpose there are three different levels of scrutiny. We are most critical when checking items that are newly listed or for which there has been a complaint. Among other aspects, depending on the product we check the length, diameter, thread and functionality. If everything is okay, we apply stock labels to the goods and they are sent to the warehouse.
 

What are your tasks as team leader?

I make sure that the goods are processed in the correct order and act as a point of contact for the colleagues checking the goods. I deal with complaints and liaise with other departments such as Central Quality Assurance, the warehouse in Bremen and the Hydraulic Components division in Dresden. There are also tasks such as drawing up shift schedules and holiday planning. And last year I also gained my qualifications as an instructor in one of the many training courses that HANSA‑FLEX has made possible for me. And because I like to do hands-on stuff as a balance to the office work, I sometimes use the forklift truck to move the pallets around.
 

What do you like most about your job?

That you learn something new every day and don't follow a strict timetable. Of course, we have a portal where large consignments of goods are registered. But if a lorry suddenly appears with three pallets, you have to be flexible and react spontaneously. The same applies to complaints. Bremen notifies us and we carry out a thorough, 100% check directly in the warehouse. We use the inspection wall at the rear of the unloading area for this. It means we don't have to go back through the whole warehouse first. That saves time. The fact that we are digitalised also makes things faster and easier. In the past, I still had to scan in complaints about deliveries.

What’s it like to work in a male-dominated field?

I've never known it any other way. I was the only woman in my apprenticeship as a machine and plant operator and production mechanic. It's a shame that so few women work in this sector, but gender shouldn't play a role. I'm on an equal footing with my male colleagues. The fact that I knew how to use calipers, knew the most common standard dimensions and had already worked in the metalworking shop may also have helped.

Has it also helped that you’re good at driving a forklift truck?

That may be the case. I once used a mini forklift truck to stack tiny barrels on the forks. One of my biggest successes in the StaplerCup, apart from third place in the 2020 regional championships, was taking part in the 2023 German championships in Aschaffenburg. I got involved through my husband, who drives a forklift truck for a living and took part in a regional competition for the first time in 2013. I went along as a spectator and found it fascinating that you can also do a jigsaw puzzle or play basketball with a forklift. After that, I knew I wanted to do the same thing, so I got my forklift licence at HANSA‑FLEX in 2015. Since then, I've been actively involved in the StaplerCup myself. My husband became German Champion in 2022 and German Vice-Champion in 2023. So I have competition at home!
 

Why is HANSA‑FLEX the right employer for you?

We are a family and always support one another. This goes for everyone at HANSA‑FLEX - from the management to the apprentices. Whether at our summer party or the Donau Classic, in which vintage cars were driven around the company yard and the family got to know my place of work - you can tell that solidarity is very important in the company.
 

What qualities do you need to work in the warehouse?

An interest in new things, because you'll be working in all areas of the warehouse. And you can cancel your gym membership because you will easily manage 10,000 steps a day. Comfortable shoes are provided.
 

Learn more

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Worldwide success

Tim Ollendorf, Head of Business Development Management, talks about the increasing importance of international operations for HANSA-FLEX.