”Family environment is one of biggest HELB’s advantages”

In the eight years, he has been at HELB, Danijel Đakulović has gone through an enviable career path, from the fitter, leading fitter, team leader, all the way to the project manager. Đaksa, as his colleagues like to call him, is a resourceful, combative, smart, and great team player who is always ready to help others. He loves his job very much and pays special attention to each project as if it is his first and only one. 

Material things do not play a big role in his life, and family and friends are always first on his priority list. Colleagues have only words of praise for him and describe him as a colleague and friend for three lives.

What does your job at HELB include and what does your average day look like?

As project managers, we are the ones who need to always know what stage the project is in and who oversees what. From the moment when our superiors assign us a project, until the moment when we issue the last invoice. We start by studying the documentation, offers, contracts, contacting the customer, checking what kind of work it is (delivery of equipment or just works on-site), agreeing on deadlines, terms of installation and testing, and ordering equipment. We plan the budget, equipment, and people. If we have a project with the delivery of equipment, then plans are made with our production department and details are worked out. Then begins the organization of the construction site, the introduction of the business with the investor, agreements with our managers, fitters, testers, and subcontractors. At that stage, there can be discrepancies in the documentation, so we are the key people here because we communicate with investors, our technical office and production. We are the ones who, have to have everything under control and know everything that is happening at all times, from getting the project to the execution.

When we are in the company, we are mostly preoccupied with budget planning, communication with suppliers and investors and ordering materials, especially long-awaited equipment, because it affects the planning of project implementation deadlines. With our managers, we check whether everything is going according to plan, whether more people are needed, whether we are meeting the deadlines, whether some mechanization is needed, and so on. We deal with paperwork, issuing documents, invoices, construction site applications and safety at work, almost everything goes through the project manager. We are often in meetings, currently more online, and sometimes we are on the phone for seven or eight hours. The day passes too fast. In the company, we have a lot of operational work while in the field there is mostly coordination and meetings. Sometimes we are out for four to five days a week, depending on the location of the construction site. For example, one day you are in Slavonski Brod and Osijek, the next day you are in Zadar. There are a lot of details within one project and sometimes a couple of months may pass from the signing of the contract to the completion. We are available 24 hours, especially when there is some construction on weekends. Only we have all the information, and it is important that we are available if there is some kind of problem.

How many projects do you have at the moment and how long do they usually last?

I currently have about 20 active projects. It all depends on the scope of work. We have projects that only last a week while the others last up to two years. For example, reconstructions are projects that usually last from 6 to 12 months.

How was your journey at HELB and did you work as a project manager from the beginning?

I came to HELB in 2013 as a fitter. Before that, I worked in a company that also dealt with energy, so I already had almost ten years of experience in the field. At HELB, I worked as a fitter for 4-5 years, and then I progressed to a leading fitter. After a year, I was appointed the team leader. I became a project manager at the beginning of last year, so I am still new in this department 😊.

What are your favorite things about HELB and do you see room for improvement?

What attracts me the most are the people and their accessibility – what we call the “family environment”. Everyone is ready to listen, to accept ideas, to explain. I have not yet found myself in any problem where someone did not want to help or advise me. As in every family, we have an occasional setback, but all that is quickly resolved, forgotten and we move on. It is important that we work together and that we can solve any problem with good communication.

There is always room for improvement, in all departments. The more we educate ourselves the better we will all be at our job. We can always learn a little more, follow the development of technology and communicate even better. Good communication can solve every problem and obstacle. So far, we have not had any big problems in the projects, and if it gets stuck somewhere, it is solved in a day or two. I think that HELB is well known for that, that it is always available for support when it comes to a problem. It is known and customers really appreciate it.

And free time?

There is none 😊. I spend all my free time at home with my family, especially with my daughter.

April 22, 2021

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