Having started as a trainee mechatronic technician, he now is on his way to becoming a manager: Daniel Rieder is a Process Manager, and his responsibilities in the After-Sales unit for passenger car technology at Mercedes-Benz include making sure that the vehicles are even more reliable and secure using Big Data. The father of two tells us why he loves technology, what he finds so fascinating about artificial intelligence (AI), and why there is no single recipe for success when it comes to management style.
Mr. Rieder, what role do large volumes of data play in the mobility of the future?
They play a role in lots of ways. At Mercedes-Benz, for example, we are in the process of integrating databased services even more closely into the After-Sales unit in order to make our products even more reliable and safe. We use information on complaints, for example, which is transmitted to us from the workshops around the world. This enables us to identify potential sources of error at an early stage. Using this as the basis, we can quickly develop solutions to further improve the quality of our products. Our aim is to offer the best products and services for our customers!
An interesting subject. How do you approach it?
I work very closely with other Big Data experts at Daimler. My team mainly deals with large volumes of data and how they can be analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI). My colleagues and others from the After-Sales unit for passenger car technology use these findings to simulate certain use cases. This allows us to compare various different solutions. I am always fascinated by the new opportunities this presents us with. There will be a lot more applications for AI at Daimler in the future. Another focus of my work is on the field of diagnostic data development. This means the information that we provide to workshops in order to help them maintain and repair vehicles.
I like the opportunities that artificial intelligence offers. At Daimler we are using it in more and more units.
What do you do?
Within After-Sales I am responsible for optimizing our diagnostic data development processes. I am the person to get in touch with if you are experiencing problems. I assist colleagues in our development teams who create the workshop diagnostics data. This data can be used to interpret the information provided by the vehicle's control unit when a particular error occurs. Through the diagnostics tool, the workshops then receive the exact information they require to quickly and efficiently repair any Mercedes-Benz passenger car. Of course, it helps that I know what matters in practice.
Because you started at Daimler as a trainee mechatronic technician, right? Why did you choose Daimler back then?
My father is an electrical engineer, and I have always been fascinated by his work with big machines. I knew from an early age that I also wanted to learn a technical profession. After graduating from school I applied to Daimler for vocational training as a mechatronic technician. I didn't need to think about it for long after I received the offer. I turned down two other training placements, by the way [laughs].
At Daimler the whole package was simply perfect right from the start. I have great colleagues.
What do you particularly like about Daimler?
The whole package was simply perfect right from the start: I have great colleagues. And of course it is exciting to be part of such a large, international group. Our brands stand for quality, and we are proud of our vehicles. At the same time, we are constantly growing in order to be at the forefront of fields such as electromobility and artificial intelligence. That is particularly appealing to me.
You are currently in the process of becoming a manager. That's quite a unique career path.
You're right. After my training I completed my vocational diploma and then studied Mechatronic Engineering at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. I was temporarily released from my employment for the duration of the course, although of course I spent my practical semester at the company and also wrote my dissertation here. My managers supported my career aspirations. At the same time, Daimler also offers a very good development and training program, as well as mentors who make it easy for new colleagues to get on board. There are a lot of opportunities available to people at the group. I recently took the next step in my career and successfully completed the management assessment. This means that I could be in charge of a team in the future.
At Daimler we are constantly growing in order to be at the forefront of electromobility and artificial intelligence.
How did Daimler help you prepare for this step?
Preparing for the assessment requires intense training. Firstly, there are the very practical matters such as what it comes down to when conducting meetings with employees. Another priority topic is management culture. Daimler has set itself clear objectives in this respect with its Leadership 20X initiative. This is about enabling employees to develop with their skills, and team spirit. For me personally, a good management style is about dealing with people as individuals. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success.
One last personal question: It's 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Where can you be found?
At that time I'm at home spending time with my wife and two children. We have a house and garden, and there's always something to do.
Daniel Rieder (31) Started working for Daimler in 2004 as a trainee mechatronic technician. Before starting his training as a mechatronic technician he also spent several months working in assembly in vehicle production. That was a valuable experience that also often benefits him in his current job as a Process Manager in the After-Sales unit for passenger car technology. In addition to the processes at Mercedes-Benz, Daniel Rieder also likes to keep himself fit – and sometimes invests the odd lunch break in running.