For this month’s blog we spoke to Daniela Slavova, Inventory and Demand Planner at AES’ Eurasia Service Centre in Sofia. Daniela tells us what it has been like working at AES and how she has developed in that time.

06.01.2020

My career at AES Bulgaria started 14 years ago as administration support to the construction team for the Galabovo coal-fired power plant, the most modern plant in the Balkan region.

I remember on my first day, when I entered the office, we were only four colleagues and the ground-breaking ceremony was just a plan for the future. Apart from office management work, it was a valuable experience for me to lead a project for selecting and implementing a documentation management system as well as organizing spare parts purchases and managing the budget for the construction mitigation project.

Eight years ago, I moved to warehouse management to fill some gaps. My initial focus was on physical sorting and reordering spares by categories, deleting duplicate material records and improving daily warehouse processes.

In 2013 I had the chance to participate in a global project for inventory data migration, which enriched and enhanced my knowledge in change management. The following year I discovered opportunities for inventory optimization, which turned into my passion.

Following an advanced process improvement training and gaining the local management support, I initiated an inventory optimization project at AES Galabovo. It was a success and the project was recognized at Strategic Business Unit (SBU) level and was selected to participate in AES’ innovation congress in 2015.

After that, my inventory and demand planning responsibilities were expanded to AES’ businesses in Jordan and Northern Ireland, which was a great experience of working in a multicultural environment. In the last three years our business in Jordan has developed the best demand-planning culture and inventory-level performance results within Europe as a result of our joint efforts. This story makes me believe that my work at AES has been a continuous development journey rather than a destination.

Why stay at AES?

Because AES is a values-based company and we live those values every single day in everything we do. The company has always had high expectations on delivering results through embedding safety, integrity, agility, excellence and fun in our everyday work. The company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy is something that makes me proud to be part of the team, as I see how AES’ social responsibility activities make a lasting difference for the communities we serve.

What is like working at AES?

AES encourages embracing and understanding differences that could be based on culture, gender, race, experience, etc. and creates a sense of belonging and appreciation at the workplace for myself and my colleagues. AES is a multicultural and multinational company in which everyone can benefit from the different approaches, patterns and mentalities, building on best practices.

What is the difference between AES and other companies in Bulgaria?

Initially when I joined AES, I viewed it like any other job. What made me stay for such a long time were the values embedded in the company’s culture and the development opportunities. Excellence and agility have continuously been a part of my approach. I would be lying if I said that there haven’t been situations that took me out of my comfort zone when I faced some resistance during the inventory optimization efforts. And it was those challenges that made me discover my potential. Of course, I recognize the talent management policy of the company that creates an environment for development and a global career.

What inspires you in your work?

AES’ values are a great inspiration. New challenges are what drives me further.

Do you think that AES helped you to improve professionally?

I think that I’ve become a more tolerant and more patient inventory and demand planner who can make use of people’s differences and by making compromises. It’s not about what I can achieve alone, but what we as a team with various skills and experiences can do. The company’s long-term leadership program has been very good basis to build on practical experience.

Looking back on your 14 years at AES, was it a wise decision to join the company?

AES gave me opportunities for professional and personal growth. I had the chance to attend numerous training sessions, and the company’s recognition of my efforts encouraged me to improve my professional qualifications by getting a certificate in production and inventory management from ASCM (Association for Supply Chain Management) based in US. In a personal aspect I’ve moved to a new location and changed my home and social environment for good. All this makes me feel privileged to be a part of AES’ team.