In Conversation with

Torsten Förster

Torsten Förster has accompanied Siegfried in different functions for several years. He was appointed Multi Site-Head for the Zofingen and Hameln sites with effect from 1 June 2018.

You have been with Siegfried for a few years and worked in various positions. Which positions did you hold in your time with Siegfried? 

During the acquisition phase of Hameln Pharma and Hameln rds by Siegfried, I worked in Hameln as a consultant and interim site head. Following the acquisition by Siegfried at the end of 2014, I monitored the Post Merger Integration (PMI) process until the beginning of 2016. Toward the end of 2017 I again joined Siegfried, this time as interim site head for the Zofingen site. With effect from 1 June 2018, I changed from a consulting position to permanent employment with Siegfried, and I am extremely pleased to now be a permanent member of the team. 

What is your function at Siegfried? What are your responsibilities? 

I am Multi-Site Head of two sites, Hameln and Zofingen, and in this function I am responsible for these two sites. 

Do you have a typical workday? 

There are certain routines and recurring activities. Daily, I ensure that the core process runs and performance indicators are on track. Should this not be the case, I consult with the responsible person and, if necessary, determine what action is required. Naturally, there are established processes, such as sales and operations planning, budget planning and performance management, in addition to many and different kinds of meetings.

The larger part of my work, however, arises spontaneously in connection with ­ongoing procedures. This adds spice and ­variety to my work. The range of topics I am concerned with is large. 

What is your favorite activity? 

I most enjoy activities with a forward-looking orientation, such as performance optimization and process improvements. I am convinced that one can make a big difference thanks to many small improvements and adjustments. 

How did your professional career develop? 

In 1988, I graduated in mechanical engineering in Wupperthal and continued to study industrial engineering part-time in Bochum. 

“I most enjoy activities with a forward-looking ­orientation, such as performance optimization and ­process improvements. I am convinced that one can make a big difference thanks to many small improvements and adjustments.”

 

Subsequently, I worked in the metal and plastics processing industry for 22 years, for ten years as production manager for sanitation fittings and then as plant manager in the automobile industry. The culture in the supplier business is completely different to that of an OEM (original equipment manufacturer). You have to be more flexible, and cost pressure and demands are much higher. Conversely, you can make a bigger difference owing to the more manageable size. There are lots of parallels with the mentality at Siegfried. 

In 2010 I took on employment with a consulting company specializing in restructuring businesses. This is a field where concepts are put into practice immediately. I intentionally chose this type of consulting because in my career I worked a great deal with change management and restructuring. You get the opportunity to make a difference and put your stamp on something. In this new function I learned that I have a lot to contribute to areas and industries that I am not familiar with by transferring my ­experience and my knowledge to other fields. While working as a consultant I dealt with an off-shore company in wind energy, with medical products, parquet flooring and special-purpose vehicles. 

In 2013 I was appointed restructuring consultant at Hameln Pharma, where I was able to contribute my knowledge of process-related issues. Technical issues represented only a minor part. My principle is to listen closely, form my own opinion, and only then take a decision.

Following my time as site head in Hameln, I returned to consulting, and it is certainly not a coincidence that I was asked to take on my current position in Zofingen. 

What about Siegfried appealed or appeals to you? 

I came into contact with Siegfried’s strategy team when the due diligence process at Hameln began. Right from the start I felt comfortable with the team. My impression of Siegfried as a company was good; the due diligence process was carried out smoothly, as was the subsequent PMI. Our cooperation has always been on an equal footing.

This positive impression coupled with Siegfried’s success story and its growth convinced me. I can identify with the company, and it employs good people.

Who is the private Torsten Förster? What are your hobbies, and what do you do for your work-life-balance?

I was born in Gevelsberg near Dortmund, Germany. I have lived there most of my life, and I represent the type of person that come from there. I can be pretty frank and forthright, and I consider myself to be pragmatic and predictable. My girlfriend and I moved to Hannover in 2017. 

On weekends, I enjoy taking time to relax, to enjoy a good meal and do sports, be it jogging, the gym or skiing and diving when on vacation. 

My work-life-balance is well-adjusted. I am convinced that is also due to the fact that I enjoy my job. 

Do you have any lifelong dreams that you would like to fulfil? 

No, I don’t have any. I am happy and grateful to be healthy. In this regard I am very humble, because I know that it cannot be taken for granted. That is why my motto is to make the best of my life at all times. 

What was the best moment in your life? 

In recent times, it was a tandem parachute jump which inspired and fascinated me. 

 

“My impression of Siegfried as a company was good; the due diligence process was carried out smoothly, as was the subsequent PMI. Our cooperation was always on an equal footing.”