Nicole Dörr kicks off her Bechtle success story in 1991. Her career begins in Heilbronn’s Fügerstraße, at a time when the company has some 50 employees. It takes some detours via Freiburg and Stuttgart before, in 2002, it homes back in on Bechtle. Today she’s on the Microsoft team full time and a product manager for Microsoft Surface. And she’s far from the end of her road. Her motto: “Move and the way appears.”
Nicole’s energy and candour, her ambition and her motivation are highly contagious. The 50-year-old speaks of her current job on the Microsoft team with the exact same enthusiasm that takes hold of her when she remembers her budding career at Bechtle just shy of 30 years ago. She speaks of her personal development, of her go-getting attitude, and of the freedoms and opportunities that she encounters at Bechtle all the time.
“Bechtle places great value on a business mindset, and that’s just my cup of tea. If responsibility is your thing, and if you’re ready to develop both on a personal and professional level, then Bechtle will give you all the room you need to evolve”, says Nicole. She’s sitting in the piazza at Bechtle Platz 1. Modern architecture. Lots of glass. Clear lines. Bechtle has come a long way since 1991. An incredible development that Nicole has believed in since day one.
“Those were crazy times.”
In the early 90s, Bechtle’s very first Vision outlined the company in the year 2000. With target revenues of 100 m Deutschmarks. The IPO was another goal. “The Vision was very straightforward, and Ralf Klenk, one of the founders, embraced it every day as a matter of course and with a great calm. I never wasted a thought on the possibility that we could fall short,” says Nicole looking back. She likes looking back. “Those were crazy times. There was virtually no hierarchy, and everyone did everything—from acquiring customers to invoicing.”
In Bechtle, Nicole had found her professional home there and then. But personal reasons forced the pair to split. She moved to Freiburg, but she stuck with IT. Just as she did later in Stuttgart. Nicole married, became a mother, returned to Bechtle. The way back was paved by today’s COO for E-Commerce, Jürgen Schäfer, who’d already worked with her in 1991. Her conditions as a young mother living in Stuttgart: Part time only, and no daily commute to Neckarsulm. “Bechtle was very accommodating, and let me work from home. This helped me a lot in coming back, and to this day I am very grateful.” She starts at 20 hours a week, ups it to 30 over a decade later, and is back to full time in 2016. She’s a staple on the Fujitsu team, and—wearing her product manager hat—is in charge of marketing and budget, among other things. Until in 2017 she’s looking for a new challenge and makes a switch to team Microsoft.
Living in exciting times.
As a product manager on the hardware team she introduces the all new Surface Hub product range. A perk in itself. “I designed all related processes, built up our customer service and certified a large number of employees in a boot camp session to become Microsoft Gold Partner,” explains Nicole. She certainly enjoys a challenge: “Establishing a fresh product in the Bechtle portfolio was a great experience and is among the best things I’ve been able to do at Bechtle so far.
But she can only stay in one place for so long. Nicole is a project person, she wants to build them, develop and shape them. In September 2018, her new project is the entire Surface family. Her job to plan the budget with Microsoft, and plan and organise all related events. And now? “I’ll keep my foot to the floor. I’ll continue to learn and go my own way,” says Nicole. Idle time is not an option. Personal development is. “So much has happened over the past two years. That’s also given me a boost personally”, is how she explains her drive. For her, Vision 2030 is another crucial step in her company’s development. “I think it’s important that Bechtle has a vision and puts it into concrete words. Without a vision, and without goals, all you have is stasis. That’s not Bechtle.” Nor is it Nicole.
She wants to be a part of a successful future at Bechtle. She likes looking forward more than back. “We live and work in what might just be the most exciting times I’ve ever seen. Technology is set to change the world.” Her delight is clear in her face and body language. She can hardly contain her excitement. The future. Progress. Inspiration. Ambition. All bubbling up to the surface. As they always have. The pillars of her career.