Life at Avery Dennison

Arnela Hodzic-Isakovic, Quality Engineer, Germany

Years with AD
Work Ethic

What attracted you to your chosen work? 

My story began many years ago when I chose mechanical engineering as my career orientation. Through time, I have collected various experiences within this field, most of them surrounding the automotive sector, one of the world's leading industries. 

While working in the automotive industry, I have developed my planning skills as well as learned to take more risks and chances. With my already ingrained desire to optimize processes, I entered the field of Lean Management, and after years of working in the field and coordinating several big projects, I noticed that something was missing in my career. To expand my circle of influence, I found that I desired more in-depth experience in Quality Management and further international experience. 

Based on this revelation, I decided to make a move to a different country (Germany), choosing to be 1,500km away from where I’m originally from, and find my current job at Avery Dennison Smartrac, as a Quality Engineer. Now, I am a member of the Quality Team, and I have had the opportunity to improve processes from the very beginning in the field of quality.

What skills did you develop early that are still useful today?

The main two are strategic planning and good organization. Within the field of Lean Management, I had an opportunity to help in the creation of business strategies for organizations. Strategic planning typically represents mid- to long-term goals with a life span of three to five years. Implementing policy deployment in a company, such as Hoshin Kanri helps to be on track through many years. It can help managers with everyday decision-making that better aligns with business strategy.

How have you grown in your career at Avery Dennison?

Since starting at Avery Dennison, I have learned several new quality tools, and how to implement statistical process control. Now, I am in the phase of learning D-FMEA and P-FMEA according to the new AIAG-VDA standard. I am very happy to be here, to be part of AD Smartrac family and to grow together with the company.

From my mentors I have learned the best practices surrounding many of the topics I manage on a day to day basis.

What's the biggest stretch opportunity you've taken on?

The biggest stretch opportunity was working in the Lean Management field as a Trainer. From that experience, I gained knowledge regarding how to coordinate at all levels of an organization and to provide knowledge. Also, in this role, I have learned what is important to do in projects, how to respond when it comes to problems, and how to use my learnings in everyday life.

What role has mentorship played in your career?

From my mentors I have learned the best practices surrounding many of the topics I manage on a day to day basis.

Life at Avery Dennison

As you think about the next steps in your career, what are the most important actions you plan to take?

I am going to be a Lean Six Sigma Expert. It is important to use qualitative and quantitative techniques or tools to drive process improvement. Such tools include statistical process control (SPC), control charts, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), and value stream mapping. With all of the Lean tools, it’s possible to make the workplace better. An organized workplace, reduced waste, material flow without WIP, no customers complaints and zero mistakes within production lines are just some of the goals.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I enjoy working on developing projects. They give me the opportunity to grow and to see things from different perspectives. At the beginning of my career, I was involved in project implementation not long before continuing with SOP, starting with pre-series, and now I can confidently engage with the prototyping phase, and increase efficiency in the process from the very beginning.


Interested in working for Avery Dennison? Visit our job board to view and apply to open positions.