She is a chemist who became interested in programming. Who realised that her knowledge and experience in manufacturing could be applied to many other industries, many other companies. Lydia Söderlund is a consultant at Plantvision and currently works as a developer of production planning solutions.
"I noticed that I enjoyed working in Excel when I was studying chemistry, and this interest developed when I got a job in a life science company as a production planner. That's when I first came into contact with programming, by making macros in VBA, and I discovered that it suited me so well. I love problem solving where you get to be creative and have to think logically, and that's exactly what you do when you program." says Lydia.
When she started taking a distance learning course in C#, she thought of Plantvision, which she had been in contact with previously through a collaboration. Then she found herself on the side of the customer, now she was wondering if Plantvision could be her next employer.
"I knew there were a lot of people with chemistry backgrounds at PlantVision and when I went to check for vacancies, there was an ad for a production planning application engineer. It felt like a position tailor-made for me and I immediately felt that I really wanted that job." she says.
She highlights that developing her own skills and competences has been important for her in choosing her next workplace. Something she feels she has really been able to do at Plantvision.
"Developing in the workplace is very important to me and I have really been able to do that during my first time as a consultant at PlantVision! Among other things, I have learned the basics of SQL Server, Power BI, and I have immersed myself even more in the smart features of Excel and our planning software. Another important part is the flexibility. I schedule my own work days and have the opportunity to work remotely, which means I have more time for my interests - dog training and farming."
Lydia currently works in the Supply Chain & Production team and in her work she helps our customers with technical solutions for more efficient production planning.
"I work with production planning tools and things around that, linked to that. It can be anything from helping a new customer map their production process from scratch to implement a planning tool, but it can also be helping existing customers with tools to complement the way they work, such as visualisations of late orders, stock balances, weekly planning and different types of reports. I also get to fix bugs and have been involved in training planners on the planning tool to teach them how to use it in the most effective way." she explains.
Given her background as a chemist, she has worked on the production floor, in the analysis department, in the development department and also as a production planner. These experiences have enabled her to put herself in the customer's shoes when it comes to production planning challenges. Something she has really benefited from in her role at PlantVision.
The work as a consultant is varied, which suits Lydia.
"The best thing about my job is the variety of tasks. I also get to interact with a lot of different people through our customers, and during my first 3 months I got to go to places in Sweden I've never been to before, and get an insight into industries I hadn't even considered. I get energized by helping people make their lives easier, and in my job I get to combine that with the best thing I know; creative problem solving!"
"I notice a big difference from working on something I really enjoy, I thought chemistry was interesting and fun too, but this is something I'm really interested in. It's really something I think people should take away, that even if you've spent a lot of time on an education and career in a field, dare to change industries and go for what you're interested in. For me, it led to that fun thing that I used to only get to do occasionally, is now what I work on every day."
Looking to the future, Lydia is confident, she wants to aim high.
"I want to become an expert at what I do and have a big toolbox to dig into when I run into problems, and Plantvision has given me a good start on that."