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TAF's King of Versatility

Considered the most versatile employee at TAF, Ondrej Stodola wears more hats than anyone else in the company. From the technical department to production, welding, certifications and IT, Ondrej is truly a jack of all trades, and seemingly, the master of all of them!

 

In our interview, Ondrej goes down the list of his roles in the company and how he unwinds when away from the factory.

 

1. Can you tell us about yourself and how/when you started with TAF?

 

My hometown is the city of Sternberk, which is located at the foot of the Jeseniky mountains in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic. TAF headquarters is only about 20km away.

 

My early interest was focused on automobiles. I attended the university in the Czech city of Pardubice, where I studied road vehicle construction in the Jan Perner Transport faculty. In 2005, the trajectory of my career changed when I responded to an advertisement by TAF, who were looking for an engineer. After applying for the job, and going through the selection process, I was hired by the company as its 24th employee.

 

2. You are well-known at TAF as the "king of versatility”, as your job responsibilities cross different departments and disciplines. Can you provide some insight on your activities?

 

My primary title is director of the technical department. In this role, I work together with my colleagues to prepare documentation for both the sales and production departments. A very interesting and rewarding part of my job is helping bring our customers’ ideas to life, as well as working on the development of new products. I am also responsible for preparation of the complete production process – from cutting materials to packaging the final products.

 

In 2018, I received international welding engineer certification. And since 2019, I’ve held the position of welding supervisor in the factory. I train welders to follow applicable legislation and to perform other tasks in the factory. 

 

I am also responsible for activities related to company and product certifications, new certifications, recertifications and registration of all certificates with the appropriate authorities.

 

Further responsibilities include ensuring that management of our production process is in strict accordance with EN 1090-1. The description of “production process management” can be misleading, though, as it is not so much about managing actual hands-on production in the factory, but all of the internal processes involved with its operation.

 

And last, but not least, I’m responsible for the corporate information system and all IT activities.

 

3. Which of your many responsibilities do you find the most fulfilling?

 

The most fulfilling part of my job is creating tailored technical solutions that strike a balance between meeting the requirements of each customer, while remaining within our production capabilities. I always feel a strong sense of accomplishment when the customer is satisfied, as well as our production team members. Everyone appreciates a job well done.

 

4. What key areas at TAF have seen impressive development during your tenure?

 

A major milestone has been the introduction of an enterprise-wide information system, which has brought together all internal documentation in one place. The implementation of this system has helped TAF meet the requirements of traceability within our production process to qualify for EN 1090 certification.

 

It has also provided a quick way of tracking individual orders and products, which makes the work of the sales department easier and, consequently, guaranteeing customers that compatibility with products used in their previous projects is maintained.

 

This system benefits our engineering department as well, since we are quickly able to confirm if and how a product was manufactured, and what changes were made to it over time.

 

5. What do you do in your spare time, such as sports, hobbies or other activities?

 

Since my work is mentally demanding, I relax with physical activities in my yard. They allow me to switch off my mind. I also like to spend my free time in the mountains, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.

 

In recent years, I’ve discovered the magic of Via Ferrata, which has provided me with new personal challenges. It combines the beauty of nature with overcoming demanding routes that take you through it. This activity also provides me with a good dose of adrenaline.

 

Although I love the mountains, I’m happy to trade my time there for wandering around the vineyards of South Moravia on foot and by bike.


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