Laura Hamilton, Supply Chain Manager, Rittal North America, LLC
We build our corporate culture on team spirit and this would not be possible if we did not put importance on building long-term relationships with our team. It is because of our talented team that we have seen continuous growth and will continue with a bright future. Our team is #RittalResilient #RittalStrong and together, We are Rittal!
Born and raised in Germany, Laura moved to the US shortly after graduating from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Laura was offered an opportunity with Rittal North America, in 2012. Moving to a different continent at a young age taught her to be independent and self-reliant, which helped her immensely in her professional and personal development.
Laura began her career at Rittal in Inventory Management. She was able to further her skill set through various roles in stock planning and inventory analysis, most recently as the Supply Chain Manager for Rittal. In her new role, she enjoys the challenge of maintaining a healthy balance between inventory reduction and material availability in a fast-changing economic environment. Laura likes hands-on data crunching just as much as big-picture strategic planning.
As a leader, Laura strives to empower and support her all-women team to the best of her ability.
Question and Answers
Q: What has been a significant highlight of working at Rittal?
- Experiencing first-hand that Rittal recognizes hard work and dedication and provides their employees opportunities for growth. Personally, I got to experience that when being offered an Expat position from Rittal GmbH & Co. KG back in 2012 and again when that position continued to grow in size and responsibility.
Q: What’s the coolest project you’re currently working on?
- I currently lead our efforts of implementing a (SIOP) process. Working with a cross-functional team to measure where we are and to anticipate where we are going to be in one, two, three months. It has been a very interesting challenge. Learning best-practices from our Rittal sister-companies and testing them for applicability in our environment has definitely been fun.
Q: Who/what inspires you?
- Innovation. Questioning the status quo and trying new ways to achieve goals. I’ve been with Rittal for several years now and feel like the drive to evolve is something that is being valued very much within the company.
Q: Do you have any advice for new hires?
- Ask questions. A new set of eyes sees things differently and can bring a fresh perspective to the table. Don’t hesitate to share your observations, we can learn from them.
Q: What does true leadership mean to you?
- In my opinion, true leaders empower their employees to be confident in their skills. They motivate and share their knowledge, they are accountable for their decisions and they get everyone to work towards a shared vision. President Ronald Reagan summarized that nicely, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
Q: What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
- I was recently promoted to Supply Chain Manager. The new responsibilities that come with the job definitely challenged me to think about how I want to be perceived as a leader and within the company. I think this introspection made me grow both personally and professionally.
Q: How do you balance your career and family?
- I enjoy cooking, both bringing some German home-cooking to my American family as well as learning to make some more traditional American meals. I enjoy having the in-laws and friends over for dinner or even just preparing a nice dinner for my husband. Moving to the U.S. in 2012 means that a lot of my immediate family remains in Germany. With the time change, it’s usually lunch breaks that are used to check in with family across the pond.
Q: What is the proudest moment in your professional career? Your personal life?
- Professionally - I have to say my most recent promotion has been my proudest moment.
- Personally - taking the leap to move to a different continent at the age of 21 and doing well here, both personally and in my career, has to be my proudest moment.
Q: What do you do for fun?
- I enjoy riding motorcycles with my husband. Currently still a passenger, but I am hoping to change that during the course of this summer.
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
- Hot summer days spent swimming in our garden pond with friends. Back then it felt like the summer break from school was endless.
Q: What is the best vacation you’ve ever had?
- May 2015, Las Vegas. My husband and I decided to elope and get married in Vegas, just the two of us. We did opt against Elvis as the wedding officiant though!