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Reinventing Roles for a New Era: Process Innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only changing where and how we work, it is reinventing job roles — possibly permanently.

As part of a Q&A series, Samsung employees across business areas are sharing their views on how they have redefined their roles for today and what they expect their roles to look like in the future. They are also offering advice to those now entering the profession as the collective workforce discussion shifts from what now to what next.

Team picture from our holiday party in December, it includes all the teams in NJ (PI, PROC) under Renzo along with family members.
Matthew Alley and the Process Innovation team picture from their holiday event in December 2019.

 Name: Matthew Alley [LinkedIn]
Title: Senior Manager, Process Innovation
Location: Ridgefield Park, NJ
Years with Samsung: About 7 years

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Process Innovation?

I was drawn to Samsung because of my interest in technology and the opportunity to gain exposure across technology business areas and job functionality, as well as by working around the world. When I came back to the U.S. from Korea, I joined the Process Innovation team in order to gain a better perspective on Samsung Electronics America’s operations and business. My team’s work focuses on devising future strategies to increase efficiency and implement optimized solutions to support our constantly evolving businesses.

2. How would you describe your day-to-day role pre-COVID?

I am a team lead within Process Innovation and our primary focus is system and process related projects to help our businesses run more efficiently and effectively. From Home Appliance and Home Electronics to Mobile Devices and the Business Management Team, we are a shared service that delivers results to key divisions.

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3. How have you reimagined your role for today?

Interestingly, my role and responsibilities have not significantly changed due to COVID-19; the projects we work on must continue. What has changed though is the way in which we have to operate in order to maintain our effectiveness?

Pre-pandemic, we were a team that primarily worked face-to-face both as a unit and with our division partners within the business. Now we have been forced to adapt on the fly to a remote work style, changing how we work and communicate. I have been impressed by how quickly the members of my immediate team, as well as all of Samsung, have been able to adjust and get up to speed in this new work environment, maintaining their work efficiency.

Matthew Alley, senior manager of Process Innovation, while he is working from home.
Matthew Alley, senior manager of Process Innovation, currently works from home.

4. What changes will you expect to keep for the future and why?

While I look forward to the day when we can return to the office, I hope that Samsung will continue to offer increased WFH (work from home) support. It is a flexible work model that will potentially attract Samsung’s next-gen workforce and increase autonomy for our current employees. While there is tremendous value to being in an office and face-to-face communication cannot be replaced, teams are proving they can be responsive, efficient and effective in these remote work environments.

5. Is there anyone in your life that has taught you to adapt to change?

I don’t have a specific person, but my experience working for Samsung in HQ and living in Korea for five and a half years really shaped my perspective on adapting to change as I worked and lived in a different culture/environment. Getting out of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to new experiences will help you grow, both professionally and personally. If you keep your mind open and embrace change, it will open up opportunities and prepare you to excel in varied situations.

6. What advice do you have for those now entering your profession?

Entering the consumer technology space, one has to be prepared for the speed and pace at which things move and have a willingness to be flexible. The industry is constantly evolving with new products and competitors frequently emerging, leading to the need to constantly innovate from both a product and business perspective to stay ahead (or even keep up). Companies like Samsung have responded to this challenge with organization-wide responsiveness and agility, which has empowered its employees to be able to quickly do the same no matter what their role is.

7. And, lastly, what piece of tech can you currently not live without?

My Galaxy Note9 is probably my most valuable piece of technology as it allows me to easily stay connected with coworkers, as well as family and friends, despite us all being apart.

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