In a series of portraits, we give you an insight in the people behind Danoffice IT. You will get an insight in both the professionalism and personal aspect of our people, so you have a better understanding of those you trade with. Here is a portrait of Noel Jacobsen, Head of Warehouse.
Born Global. It is no coincidence that Noel is at the front of a global challenge in Danish IT. Danoffice IT has been global from the very beginning. Put a different way, we were Born Global. The same applies to Warehouse Manager, Noel Francis Jacobsen who has called the world his home since he was baby. Today, he helps manage and develop one of the strongest logistics and supply chain platforms in the industry, on a global scale. Meet a man who is passionate about Logistics and who is a Leader, both with capital L's.
Noel has worked in logistics his entire career and in logistics management for almost the same amount of time. Finding the right place is key both literally and figuratively. Noel’s mother is from Tanzania and his father is Danish, yet Noel grew up in Jordan, Nigeria, and other remote parts of the world. He traveled the world as a child and in his youth. In 1984, his family ended up in Denmark and as early as 1987, he started at the very job which began his logistics and management career and put him on his journey to the right place at Danoffice IT and the new Warehouse Solutions Center on Funen.
We are molded by our journey and Noel can attest to that. In 1987, he landed his first job in logistics and warehouse: “I had my first learning experience in the wine business. I took my first steps there for several years. I am very results-driven, and in that industry, everything is very measurable. If you have the systems in place, you can create the overview”, Noel says and goes on to add: “I was very quickly interested in the warehouse management itself and when I landed a job at the company, Vingården, which at that time carried everything from the schnapps Gammel Dansk to Absolut Vodka, I started to narrow in on my specialty. I got into the logistics part of it all and after finishing my business degree, I added a degree in information assistance, and shortly thereafter, I added several degrees in supply chain and management”. These are all things that follow Noel to this day, including a passion for wine.
How did your path lead you to Danoffice IT?
I was in the wine and liquor business for many years, but that journey ended in 2017 when my former employer went through several buy-outs and finally, all logistics in the group was outsourced to an external company. That was where the adventure ended and I was the last man standing with very few colleagues when the business closed. After this, I was headhunted by Milestone which was slated to start Facebook’s big project in Odense. This was an opportunity I could not pass up. Following that, I was brought into the grocery store chain, Lidl’s, logistics in Kolding while managing a large staff. The next step in my journey was seeing a post from Danoffice IT here in Svendborg. I reached out and the story has a happy ending.
What is most important in a modern warehouse today – the people or the systems?
People, without a doubt. They are the key to everything we can do. However, going back to the beginning of my career, I realized that the cooperation between the right people and the right program can create something very powerful. During my employment with Vingården several years ago, management noticed my know-how in this area and I was given my first task to systemize things. Then, when the company was sold to the Swedish conglomerate V&S, I was also put in charge of WMS and ERP as it related to warehouse management and staff management. As a result of this, I have learned things along the way. Today, we stand on the cusp of a large transition to operate our new Warehouse Solutions Center and in that, we combine five warehouses into three which means a large adjustment to new systems. The systems are an important help to us in this. We will have really strong systems that will support our individual roles and functions and in turn, we will make our dreams come true. The dream of a highly controlled center where everyone knows where they are supposed to be AND where we have a great work environment.
What type of leader can employees of Danoffice IT and edgemo expect you to be?
I am the type of person who will go the extra mile. I have always been told that I am very dutiful. There is a correlation to my time in V&S where I was first union leader and then subsequently, I was offered a management position. I follow the same principles. The focus on people is the common thread. I expect everyone to be dutiful, but also that we all work as a team. We must handle things together which means we also need direct and honest communication. Moreover, I have an excellent leader in Jacob Steen Jensen, our COO, who also has a great focus on people in his management style. Empathy, respect, diversity, and humility as a leader as well as an expectation that we acknowledge each other and remain respectful with each other when we disagree, in that we can agree to disagree.
We work to make a difference in the world – how do you feel that in your everyday work?
We feel this in many different ways. In my role, it becomes very specific when we bring in people to intern. These people may have had various challenges which have affected their ability to work in varying degrees. The three most recent kind and talented people I had as interns, I ended up hiring as permanent employees. This is something I am proud of – the fact that we assume responsibility. It is not just a lot of talk which is a testament to a healthy and strong culture in our organization.
What is your take on the process of Danoffice IT’s growth?
Things have been moving quickly just in the time I have been here. In 2019, our gross revenue was a quarter of what it was in 2022. That development is centrally anchored in our Warehouse Solutions Center [link]. We are constantly growing and we practice to become better at what we do every day. As a manager, this is evident to me in the transition to the new center. It is possible to pave while you drive, but only for a limited amount of time which is why I have talented team leaders at our sites to help me which in turn allows me to focus on management at the appropriate level. I need to be available to the individual person. It is especially clear in the transition from 5 to 3 centers that we need to be there for each other, and I want to give my team great kudos for their efforts. The future is bright and exciting!
Noel has not completely let go of the wine just yet. With his wife, he enjoys really good food and excellent wines which is their common hobby. “I love when we have friends over for dinner at a nicely decorated table where we have good food and wine and enjoy each other’s company,” he says. Noel can add retired soccer player and DJ to his resume on a private level. However, the soccer career ended due to a bad knee and he only spins vinyl in private settings. “Everything is centered around my homelife. Family and friends take up a lot of room and then I do also still love to travel the world, and of course visiting our daughter in Copenhagen as often as possible,” Noel Francis Jacobsen, concludes.