Success stories /
Success stories - Liubov Berezova

Liubov Berezova, Coordinator at the Central Quality Management Department, Eastern Europe office ITG (Hamburg, Germany)

Liubov, what new horizons were opened for you by the working in the Central Quality Management Department?

Today, there are five factories in the Eastern Europe region and the factories that produce other tobacco products (OTP) are in my area of responsibility. As for the cigarette products, everything is familiar, and what is more important is that I have a very good relationship with my colleagues; however, the other tobacco products are an entirely new category to me, and I have been studying it with great interest.The snus is a relatively new product, which is produced using a completely different technology of tobacco preparation. A lot of attention is given to microbiology as the moisture content in the finished product is very high. You may not believe it, but when you enter the workshop, you should wash your hands and treat them with alcohol, as the requirements for the product quality and safety are very serious.

Which project of those you are now working onwould you say is the most interesting?

Probably, the most interesting is the project related tothe snus. This new product has recently been gaining popularity rapidly, and the volume of its production is growing tremendously. Over the last 10 years, the factory has increased its output by dozens of times. At the beginning of the factory work in Skruf, the quality standards and the catalogue of the product appearance defects were developed, but today, they are no longer developed to perfection and requirevision and improvement. As you know, a new catalogue of the defects of the cigarette product appearance was issued last year. It was created on the basis of the data of the consumer opinion survey concerning the defects they consider the most critical and unacceptable. A similar surveywas also conducted regarding the snus. And on the basis of the results of that research, we are now working on anothercatalogue of the appearance defects.

How quickly did you adapt to your new job and the new team?

Probably, the most difficult aspect was not the adaptation to the new work but to the foreign city.Moreover, at the beginning, I was there alone, without my family. It was rather difficult, but I endured it and everything came to normal. As far as the office is concerned, I have known my colleagues for a very long time, our relationships have been established for many years, so there wereno barriers. They welcomed me very nicely and warm-heartedly, with flowers, and the word "Liuba" laid out with letters on the table.
Certainly, the new OTP direction requires a lot of effort from me– alot of new information and new people. I have never met these colleagues at the factories, but we are buildingour relationships gradually. This year, I have quite a busy schedule of business trips – I have to visit all the factories, to get acquainted with the employees, processes, standards and specifics of the products. Then, I shall visit the factories in Holland and Ireland, manufacturing the products of the MYO and RYO categories. And I am happy about this,after all, anythingnew is always interesting.