What Dirk Pühl appreciates about his employer Da Vinci Engineering
Worked for an HR service provider for almost fifteen years, but still not accepted an offer from the industry? Dirk Pühl nods and wonders a little about the question. After all, he’s not employed by some company or other, but by Da Vinci Engineering, the well-known engineering services provider in the south west. The 45-year-old has been working for the family-run company since 2009, and he likes doing so. “At Da Vinci I’m always a person, not just a number like you are in a large corporate group,” says Dirk Pühl. He is familiar with the conditions in the industry after working for a large corporate group for a long time.
Instead of training and research – the automotive industry
Dirk Pühl studied mathematics. He started his career in the automotive industry in Ingolstadt in 2006. “Originally, I wanted to go into training and research after my studies,” he says. However, it quickly became clear that the financial opportunities were limited there. “I then decided that I would rather work in the automotive industry, also because it’s a really exciting area to work in.”
Yet, like many young professionals in the automotive industry, the financial crisis of 2009 hit the young engineer hard. Suddenly his livelihood was in question. The same work for less money – it wasn't just Dirk Pühl who heard this suggestion at the time. Especially at a time in his life when he was thinking about starting a family. The young engineer took action and started looking for a new employer.
Local café becomes the assessment centre
Da Vinci Engineering was employing only the best candidates and contacted Dirk Pühl. “It was clear from our first telephone conversation that it was a good match for both sides,” he remembers. He first met with Managing Director Massimiliano Cava, who everyone calls Max, in the café around the corner instead of an assessment centre. “From there we drove straight to Untertürkheim and Daimler, so that I could get to know my future workplace,” smiles Dirk Pühl.
He still works there as an engineer on behalf of Da Vinci Engineering. Together with his colleagues who were also sent there, he sits next the customer’s employees. What sets them apart? “If we need new office supplies, we simply call the Da Vinci head office and get them the next day,” he says giving an example. His colleagues in the neighbouring offices have to wait somewhat longer, until several managers have approved the new hole punch.
He has now been working for Da Vinci Engineering for almost fifteen years. “I haven’t regretted my decision for a single day,” says Dirk Pühl, even though his employer is no longer comparable with the company from 2009. More than 600 employees are now employed, rather than 70. “We used to see our boss Max more often in those days,” regrets Dirk Pühl. Yet even with the new structures, the communication channels are still short.
"At Da Vinci I am not just a number like you are in a big company, but always a person".
Dirk Pühl,project manager, at Da Vinci since 2009
Personal development is important
Dirk Pühl has also had the opportunity to develop in recent years. He oversees five projects for customers from different areas. He is in close contact with client employees, supplier employees and his own colleagues every day. “Unlike in industry, you have a lot of opportunities to grow professionally within a short space of time with a service provider,” he says. He also trains his colleagues. He’s convinced that he would never have had these options if he worked in industry. “Perhaps I would earn a little more there, but I would never have been given the opportunities that Da Vinci has offered me all these years.”
Dirk Pühl has now been promoted to team leader, and manages a team with seven colleagues. This is why, in addition to his work on-site with customers, he looks after a lot of organisational activities. Visits to the Da Vinci head office at Marienplatz in Stuttgart are often on the agenda. However, his company car makes the journey easier. “I greatly appreciate the flexibility in my job,” says the father of three. “Anyone who has a family knows that there is always something to organise in everyday life.” At Da Vinci Engineering, we understand the concerns and needs of parents. “I can organise my work in such a way that I can take my children to kindergarten or pick them up on certain days.”
The choice is yours
Our summer and Christmas parties are also arranged as family get-togethers. Obviously, Dirk Pühl’s family also attends. At Da Vinci Engineering, there are not only things to do in the summer or just before Christmas. Whether it’s a ski trip, a visit to the Cannstatter Wasen festival, going bowling together or attending a language course, there is much on offer for employees. There is no compulsion, but everyone can join in if they want to. “The activities are a tremendous boost to team spirit,” explains Dirk Pühl.
His conclusion after being a part of this community for almost fifteen years? “I still really enjoy working for Da Vinci Engineering. I can’t imagine a better employer.” His boss, Max, will be happy to hear that, and particularly that the industry’s attempts to headhunt Dirk Pühl came to nothing.