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Interview with Debra Garls
In this week’s blog, we at SEAL Systems had a virtual chat with the ever-insightful Debra Garls, our SAP Account Manager for the Americas. In this interview, we talked about her favorite SEAL Systems solutions and memories during her time at the company.
Your work anniversary is coming up soon. How many years have you worked at SEAL Systems?
Debra Garls (DG): Right at four years.
Can you believe you have been with SEAL for four years?
DG: No, and yes. No, I can’t believe I have been working for SEAL Systems for four years because the time has gone by so quickly. I have learned so much. I also moved from Business Development to SAP Account Management a couple of years ago. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that process taking less than four years. It takes that kind of time just to understand how much there is to learn at SEAL Systems.
What is a SEAL Systems solution that you enjoy talking about and/or selling?
DG: I like selling all our products because my goal is to help our clients meet their business challenges. I like to give our clients solutions that help make their lives easier and their business processes more efficient. Whether it is Paperless Production, Output Management, or our Corporate Conversion Server, I try to get a good understanding of the problem and the requirements before recommending a solution.
I should own up and admit I do have a favorite – our Paperless Production solution. I like Paperless Production because it takes the activity of producing production work orders to the next level. It moves production work orders out of a paper-based process and into the 21st century. Paperless Production is more efficient and greener. It’s a win-win.
What do you wish more people knew about SEAL Systems?
DG: I wish more people knew about SEAL Systems. That is wish number one. We are a small company and more people knowing about SEAL Systems would be wonderful. I would also like people to understand that we are an enterprise-wide solution. We can help corporations meet their document challenges in many different areas. For example, a company might start out with automating maintenance work orders then build on the base technology. Maybe add production work orders or purchase orders? We can help secure sensitive human resource information by adding a PIN or requiring a person to use OCR to print a document. We can do all of this and more. We really do span the entire enterprise.
What is your favorite memory about working at SEAL Systems?
DG: Oh, gosh, there are so many. It is a fun place to work. There are so many memories to choose from…
I liked going to Germany for our world-wide meeting and having the whole US team there. I remember when the rest of the US team arrived. You were all so tired you resembled the walking dead. You all were very hungry too! Luckily everyone was happy to dine at a local restaurant in Schweinfurt instead of on the usual zombie fare. Another memory from that trip was the dragon boat race. I was surrounded by all these big guys and was trying to keep up with them. I was just becoming exhausted. Finally, one of my coworkers took pity on me and said, “You know Debra, if you get tired, just take your oar up. You don’t have to keep up with us.” I thought to myself, “No way! I am not going to be the weakest link. I am going to keep going even if I wear myself out”. I remember the instructor called me “English” because I was the only American on the boat. That is a funny memory. There was the time at TechEd when our coworker Steve Blesch pronounced my laptop DOA, and we all had a moment of silence at the booth for all that was lost. Some other great memories were watching our German coworker, Matthias, try to figure out why there was an orange on the rim of his beer and, of course, our 2019 road trip! Meeting with clients and eating road food for hundreds of miles. Those fried pies we got at the border of Oklahoma and Texas were so yummy! I also like it when we are all together and talking.
How has SEAL Systems changed over the time you have been with the company?
DG: I believe we have become much more aware of how we talk to those outside of our company. We sell very technical products, and not everyone knows our language or understands immediately what we do. We are working very hard to move outside of our bubble so we can better explain what kind of benefits we bring to the market. We are working to be more inclusive with our message. It is a bit of a cultural shift, but worth the effort.
This year has been an unusual one. How has this year been different for you?
DG: I have not traveled since March. Right before everything was shut down. This has been the most unusual thing about 2019 for me. Normally I go to a couple of conferences, attend user groups, and meet with clients throughout the year, but that all was canceled. Plus, we have company meetings at least a couple of times a year. Not connecting to my coworkers in person has been something I have had to get used to. I was looking forward to the world-wide meeting in Germany in 2021, but it is doubtful that will happen. I am very glad we started to pivot more to online activities a few years back. I believe that decision has saved this year for our company.
What do you hope this next year with SEAL Systems will bring?
DG: I hope we continue to build on the momentum we have going on now. This year has been a rollercoaster ride. At the end of 2019, we were confident 2020 was going to be a great year for SEAL US. Then shut down hit, and things got kind of scary. Thankfully, we are having a good year. I hope we can build on the momentum and success we have had in a hit January 2021 at full steam.
We would like to thank Debra Garls for taking the time to talk with us and for sharing some great insights about her time at SEAL Systems. From our time working with Debra, Debra has taught us so much, and she is a great person to work with.
Thank you, Debra, for making SEAL Systems such a special place to work!