Manuel Valdés: The Six-Language Consultant

Being a diplomat is a family trait for Manuel Valdés, and it has served him well. His grandfather and then his father, served as the general consul of Belgium in El Salvador for over 50 years. “It’s easier to create close bonds when you can converse with your clients in their respective mother tongue,” says the consultant from El Salvador with a broad smile. Valdés himself speaks six languages.

Valdés joined Porsche Consulting in Germany in 2011, right after he graduated from Hamburg University of Technology with a degree in industrial engineering and management. He moved to Porsche Consulting’s U.S. subsidiary in Atlanta in April of 2014. His language skills have opened him many doors, as he has worked with clients in 11 different countries including Germany, France, the U.S., Brazil and Italy. If a consultant is able to tap into the client’s culture, he says, “it’s easier to get the customer’s buy-in and get him on board for the implementation of the change.”

Valdés likes to remember a recent project with a U.S. aerospace supplier at its manufacturing facility in Mexico. “We transformed the entire line,” Valdés says. “We moved the storage, the material, the internal logistic routes.” As a result, the company was able to reduce the assembly lead-time in the project scope area by 70 percent from 26 days to eight days. The overtime was reduced by 85 percent and the downtime by 80 percent. “Those results were very satisfying,” says Valdés.

Since 2016 the avid soccer player and aspiring golfer is back in Germany. He says what makes working for Porsche Consulting so desirable is the company’s unique dynamic. “On the one hand, it is exciting to be part of the Porsche culture, the brand and the passion for precision and perfection,” muses Valdés. “On the other hand, Porsche Consulting’s global footprint allows you to work with different cultures regardless the office in which you are based.”