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Behind the scenes at MERITUS – Experiences made by fellow colleagues

At MERITUS, strong personalities work together as a team. Each one of us has his or her own individual background and character. But we have one thing in common: We have the irrepressible will to bring about positive change. Our work is demanding and frequently under time pressure. This is what connects us. We are one team, we trust and rely on each other. Thus, we treat each other with respect and consideration.

A few fellow colleagues will give you insights into MERITUS and introduce themselves briefly.

Clifton Dowling Portrait

What was your professional career path before MERITUS?
I completed my career-integrated Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2010 followed by a Master’s degree in Finance in cooperation with the Robert Bosch GmbH at Steinbeis University in Stuttgart. As part of my double degree program I had the opportunity to receive a second MBA Master in Brazil. After my studies, I first worked for KPMG as a senior associate in controlling and process optimization. Afterwards I worked in various restructuring consultancies before I joined MERITUS as a Project Leader in August 2019.

Which tasks do you take on at MERITUS?
As Project Leader I am responsible for entire projects running smoothly. This results in two main tasks for me. First: operational performance improvement. Currently I am responsible for the holistic setup of a project in the Czech Republic. For this purpose, I have created a concept which I accompany on site during the implementation and make sure that all discussed specifications are met. In general, I am responsible for many organizational topics, and I am also the contact person for all lean and management issues. My second main task is the conceptual design and full support of IDW S6 expertises with a focus on integrated financial planning.

How do you picture your future at MERITUS?
In the near future I will increasingly take on my role as a mentor for consultants and senior consultants at MERITUS. This includes regular feedback meetings and the joint definition of individual development plans. In addition, I will be more responsible for the acquisition with focus on the banking sector and will build up my own network in this area.

In your opinion, what are the characteristics of working at MERITUS?
Working at MERITUS is characterized by high quality standards and working in interdisciplinary teams. This leads to excellent results in a short time. In addition, the way we work is characterized by the creation of hands-on concepts and their solution-oriented implementation.

What do you do outside work to create a balance?
To create a balance, I spend a lot of time with my family and keep fit by riding my racing bike. I also like to travel – especially to Brazil, South America, and the Maldives, partly because of my foreign MBA. Since I am very interested in soccer, I try to watch as many games as possible outside work.

What was your professional career path before MERITUS?
I started my professional career with a dual course of study in accounting, tax and business law at the DHBW in Stuttgart. My partnering company was Ernst & Young, where I worked in the Audit & Transaction Advisory Service. After that, I worked at FAS AG for two and a half years as a consultant before joining MERITUS in January 2020.

Why did you decide to join MERITUS?
I think companies with smaller structures are especially appealing. What I really like about MERITUS is, that I had a fair say to internal issues right from the beginning and that I can bring in my own ideas at any time. I can participate in different projects, that help both MERITUS and our clients. Having a hands-on mentality for a wide range of tasks is especially interesting to me. There are no rigid structures here and I am very free in my working methods.

In your opinion, what are the characteristics of working at MERITUS?
The work at MERITUS is especially characterized by a tremendous team spirit among colleagues and an open relationship to superiors. Flat hierarchies allow for discussions in direct contact with managing partners. Thanks to the close exchange with experienced seniors and frequent and direct feedback on my work I profit from a very steep learning curve.

Which tasks do you take on at MERITUS?
In my position no day is like the other, as working at MERITUS is very diverse. I take full responsibility for the assigned tasks and a lot of trust is placed in me. Ensuring high-level quality results, I can work quite independently in my project assignments. For example, I take over quarterly bank reports as well as first financial restructuring concepts.

How would you describe the corporate culture at MERITUS?
Everyone at MERITUS is striving for a 120% performance every day. Everything possible is done to create added value for the client – even if this may be very challenging at times. In contrast to other consulting companies, there is no need to be “slick or smooth”. If anything, MERITUS corporate culture is “open and direct”. We live a very open and honest relationship within MERITUS and towards our clients. A “customer first” attitude is always predominant, and we work very hard to advance in our projects successfully.

What do you do outside work to create a balance?
As a balance to my work I like to do sports like boxing or swimming and in the near future I would like to run a marathon.

What was your professional career path before MERITUS?
After studying industrial engineering at the University of Applied Science in Karlsruhe, I first worked for Daimler Evo Bus in the plant planning department. In April 2019 I decided to join MERITUS as a consultant.

Why did you decide to join MERITUS?
My professional as well as my personal development is very important to me. MERITUS attaches as much importance to it as I do and so I had the opportunity to combine both. This circumstance was, and still is, the decisive argument for me to work at MERITUS. And I was not disappointed: Already in my first week of work I got exciting insights into the daily project routine.

Which tasks do you take on at MERITUS?
There is no real typical working day at MERITUS, as the daily routine is strongly dependent on the project you are working on. However, the tasks assigned to me are always very diverse and varied. At present for example, I am responsible for a structural benchmark of various customer sites, monitoring the project progress in a turnaround assignment or as simple as that, supporting my colleagues in their project work.

In your opinion, what are the characteristics of working at MERITUS?
The working atmosphere at MERITUS is characterized by determination and openness. You can work with your colleagues in a focused and performance-oriented way. But we also have a lot of fun together during and besides work. This is especially important to me because I spend a lot of my time with my colleagues. Managers also take part in joint activities and always have an open ear for private concerns.

Was there an experience at MERITUS that stuck in your head?
I remember the MERITUS Strategy Days particularly well. All seniors listen actively and respond to improvement suggestions and comments of each one of us. This gives everyone the opportunity to directly participate in the future development of MERITUS as a company.

What do you do outside work to create a balance?
I do sports and go running regularly. I also meet up with friends or spend time with my wife. And as for now, I’m also working on reading a book more often again.

How do you see your future at MERITUS?
I would like to continue to grow together with MERITUS and would like to develop both the company and myself.

What was your professional career path before MERITUS?
After my bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Mannheim I am currently doing a gap year to gain some more practical experience in controlling, finance, and consulting. In autumn I will start my master’s degree. Before joining MERITUS, I completed several internships for example in accounting, tax and auditing.

How did your first week at MERITUS look like?
In the first days of my onboarding week I got to know all employees and was able settle in all right. I also received a lot of input about the company and its working methods. The training sessions on important Powerpoint and Excel applications and on liquidity planning were very helpful. Overall, the first week was very useful and I still use my onboarding folder frequently.

Which tasks do you take over during your internship at MERITUS?
Right at the beginning I was integrated as a full team member in a project for a customer in the metal processing sector. First, I supported the colleagues in their tasks, but then I was quickly responsible for some smaller parts of the project. My tasks included market and competitive analyses and the presentation of results in form of PowerPoint charts, but also helping to find appropriate solutions for the client.

What characteristics do you value most in your colleagues?
I was warmly welcomed by everyone on my first day and fully integrated into the team. My colleagues always take the time to answer my questions and actively offer help, even if they themselves are very busy. I particularly like the fact that everyone at MERITUS is happy with their colleagues when they have achieved something extraordinary, be it professionally or privately. I do not take this for granted.

Which key learnings do you take with you from your internship at MERITUS?
From a professional point of view I have developed an understanding of how to analyze processes in a company and how to use this knowledge within a consulting project. For the first time, I was involved in the development of a solution for the customer from start to finish, which was very exciting for me. Thanks to the regular feedback from my superiors and colleagues, which is always honest and appreciative, I was also able to develop my skill enormously during my internship at MERITUS.

What advice would you give a newcomer to MERITUS?
Just ask questions! You don’t have to be afraid of asking questions here, as your colleagues support you at all times and questions are not perceived as negative or disturbing. After all, you can’t know everything at the beginning and MERITUS is all about learning and developing.

Dr. Jens Zimmermann, Managing Partner
Dr. soc. oec., Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing., zertifizierter ESUG-Berater

Dr. Jens Zimmermann begleitet seit 25 Jahren Unternehmen bei Sanierungen, Restrukturierungen und umfassenden Kostensenkungsprogrammen. Darüber hinaus ist er Experte in Supply-Chain-Optimierungen und Global Footprint-Themen.

Vor der Gründung von MERITUS war Dr. Jens Zimmermann acht Jahre im Vorstand der Staufen AG, wo er Restrukturierungs- und Lean-Management-Projekte verantwortete. Davor war er elf Jahre bei Droege & Comp., davon vier Jahre verantwortlicher Partner für das weltweite Competence Center Supply Chain Management.

„Im Rahmen der Absicherung der Lieferfähigkeit eines 1st Tier Lieferanten – im Zuge der Auswirkungen der Corona-Pandemie – habe ich MERITUS als stets kompetenten und verlässlichen Partner kennengelernt. Die Kollegen von MERITUS haben im Rahmen einer Task-Force durch hohen Einsatz innerhalb kurzer Zeit maßgeblich zur Aufrechterhaltung der Belieferung und zum Abbau des Lieferrückstandes beigetragen. Durch den professionellen und methodischen Einsatz von MERITUS konnten auch im Bereich Qualität messbare Erfolge realisiert werden.“

Simon Wurm – Value Stream Management