My name is Christoph Münkel and I work as an Operations Manager Field Service at Rheinmetall. My main task is to plan and accompany assignments and ultimately ensure that our technicians in customer service successfully complete our orders. I also take care of project management, training ground support, deadlines and maintenance work as well as warranty processing.
However, in 2005 my career began with a traditional apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic at Rheinmetall Landsysteme in Unterlüß (Germany).
After that, I worked in production for about 1.5 years, where I was able to expand my experience and knowledge of armoured tracked vehicles.
Then, at the beginning of 2011, the "real life" began for me outside with our customers - my start in international customer service! After a briefing on the internal processes, I very quickly had my first international maintenance assignments. My assignments took me to Poland, Canada, Sweden, Portugal, Singapore and Indonesia, among other places.
Through my diverse assignments, I have learned to work independently and I don't let myself be disturbed by small things. Even in difficult situations, I can work out solutions to problems immediately. Of course, the complex malfunctions and failures that I deal with also further develop, expand and improve my technical knowledge in the field of maintenance and troubleshooting.
Through my stay in other (sometimes poorer) countries, I have come to appreciate life in Germany in a completely different way.
As a field technician, I constantly work in different places. From assignments in Germany, where the location can change weekly, to assignments abroad, where I am sometimes on the road for up to three months or even longer by arrangement.
For me, this always has positive sides. On days off or at the weekend, I have already been able to visit many interesting places, get to know the country and its people better and gain an impression of different cultures.
My aim is to constantly deliver 100% quality to our customers. I am pleased when customers are satisfied with the work of Rheinmetall Landsysteme's customer service, when follow-up orders are placed or when the security/availability of the armed forces is guaranteed. Of course, troop praise is always like a knightly accolade.
What I love most about my job is working independently. That's what makes the job so exciting. No day is like the other and sometimes you have to face unexpected challenges. I also see and experience very interesting things and get to know many people from very different cultures.
Certainly many aspects, but I will simply list a few:
- Certainly our products and our fleet of vehicles
- Working on very demanding vehicles, technically speaking, from the Bundeswehr and other international customers
- Varied deployments such as training military personnel, repairs under difficult conditions, e.g. at the training area or in the crisis area
- And the support of all colleagues in different projects of different departments, in tests or verifications of whole vehicles or individual components
- Performance-related remuneration, a company car and a very good selection of tools and equipment.
- Furthermore, I won’t forget the team in the office, which coordinates the operations before, during and after the deployments and also reacts quickly or finds solutions when problems arise
In my opinion, it is important that applicants want to work independently and very flexibly, both alone and in a team. They should be able to keep a "cool head" in difficult situations.
Willingness to travel (also outside Germany) is a very important aspect, too.
In addition, we are always the first point of contact for our customers on site and should try to offer the customers optimal solutions in the event of problems – which are usually complex. A professional appearance and a good basis of trust between the customer and us is essential.
Creative, forward-looking, multi-faceted. This is how Manuel Schroetke describes his job as a customer service technician at Rheinmetall. Find out what he experiences in his day-to-day work in this interview.
As a service technician, I am the link between Rheinmetall and our customers. Depending on the missions on site, we usually act in a team or alone to ensure the smooth functioning of tracked and wheeled vehicles as well as turret systems and weapon systems.
My area of responsibility includes the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. I am responsible for diagnosing, repairing, inspecting and maintaining the entire system. That means I take care of everything from the track and chassis to the turret and weapon system, including processing orders, ordering spare parts and preparing technical documentation. Our work locations are varied, from a well-equipped workshop to training ground support in the field. We also support with the training/education of military personnel.
The Puma is subject to constant upgrades and changes, so it is also important to consistently develop our own knowledge. Here, we are called in as competent specialists with the necessary understanding of the entire system and provide support, for example, in the acceptance of tests in various projects and also accompany trials and the verification of new systems.
I became aware of the Rheinmetall company during my active time as a soldier. I served in the Bundeswehr for a total of 8 years. As a soldier, I was deployed in the repair of armoured vehicles and was able to work with Rheinmetall, for example, during a foreign deployment as well as during command assignments to various operations in Germany. Since then, it was clear to me that I wanted to continue working in the armament sector. Therefore, I decided early on to tackle my first internship, which I completed at Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH after applying in 2015.
After that, it was clear to me that I wanted to focus on my goal of becoming a customer service technician in the field. After passing my master craftsman's certificate for agricultural machinery technology and a 6-month work-oriented training measure at Rheinmetall, my new vocation as a customer service technician already began for me when I left active service.
Due to my military history as a temporary soldier, I am familiar with the structures and the use of language within the German Bundeswehr. Both of these things still help me, be it in military properties as well as during missions abroad, where the Bundeswehr is also on site to some extent.
I have also learned to appreciate what it means to "live" comradeship. That forms a strong bond.
In my opinion, it is important to show patience and perseverance when looking for technical faults and finding solutions. Closely related to this is the competence to bring this out in the search for technical errors. In the end, discipline ensures a confident and self-assured appearance, creates trust and is thus indispensable for my work.
In contrast to many other companies, the experience gained by female and male soldiers is very much accepted and also seen at Rheinmetall. This knowledge can be brought into and applied within the company.
In general, Rheinmetall offers a lot of variety in the job. No day is like the other. When a job is done, no matter how exhausting and challenging it may have been, I look forward to the next working day because I enjoy what I do.
I myself have felt some sort of belonging since the beginning of my first internship. I also love working independently, where you can directly feel the visible effects and success of the result. In the end, it's the big picture that counts and that's the picture Rheinmetall has given me since the beginning. I am grateful to be able to make my contribution.