Ms. Lehmann, how did you come to TDM Systems?
SL: I completed my appenticeship in 2006 after finishing my “Mittlere Reife” [roughly equivalent to a US high school graduation certificate]. You could say that I'm home-grown talent, so to speak. After completing apprenticeship, I wanted to earn a diploma for higher education and so I attended a one-year vocational college to earn a “Fachhochschulreife” [roughly: advanced technical college certificate] which I successfully completed. TDM Systems enabled me to do this by reducing the number of hours I worked; I was very grateful for their flexibility. Afterwards, I continued learning through internal training sessions. Among others, I completed the training qualification examination at the IHK [Industrie- und Handelskammer; Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI)]. For four years now, I have been responsible for the commercial training program and have been a team leader in the Internal Sales department for two years. Since this summer, I have also been responsible for the entire training program at TDM Systems.
Why did you decide to work for TDM Systems?
SL: I had several positions available after applying different places. The decision was ultimately made pretty quickly because I felt comfortable at TDM Systems right from the start. My potential colleagues and the atmosphere really clinched it for me.
What do some of the typical tasks look like for an Internal Sales employee at TDM Systems?
SL: Our tasks are quite varied. For me, this profession is evolving more and more away from the classic administrative position. I see ourselves here as all-rounders who don't just handle traditional tasks such as making offers, but also take care of other projects. We provide support to the sales representatives for everything we can, both national and international. We also organize and plan events together with the marketing. We don't work with a strict division of tasks; instead we often work hand-in-hand with other departments on team projects.
What do you particularly like about your work at TDM Systems?
SL: (Laughs). I like that anything could be assigned to you. This makes the work just so varied and exciting. Last year, for example, I was able to fly to the USA for a project with our subsidiary company. I don't just sit at my desk and work on the tasks assigned to me, but rather I have a great deal of freedom to design my own work. Internal Sales is often involved on projects inside the company. After all, it's also about creating quotes as well as licensing and article management. So we are always adapting to new knowledge and continuously developing ourselves. Our project with the KBF (Körperbehindertenförderung [Support for the Physically Challenged]) in Reutlingen is also very important to me. For the last three years, a student from the KBF has been joining us for a six-week internship at least once a year. In exchange, we send our trainees to Reutlingen for social internships. It's a great enrichment project for both groups.
Question: Which characteristics should a person bring with them for this job?
SL: Good qualities are definitely open-mindedness, flexibility, and the ability to think outside the box. Naturally, this area requires that you can work well with numbers and it's very helpful to speak at least one foreign language since we work internationally. But for me, the personality of the person is my first priority and that he or she fits well with the team.
Question: What level of importance would you place on the topic of education as the head of this department at TDM Systems?
SL: Training is and has always been a cornerstone of the personnel policy at TDM Systems. We are developing a niche product with TDM that is based on the knowledge and ideas from its employees. Part of our success is certainly based on the training received directly at our company.
Question: Any final thoughts?
SL: I would be happy if one of my future colleagues is a fitness coach. (Laughs). We have just so many talented bakers at TDM and the high-board next to my desk was chosen to be our "Snack Bar". We could use something to balance that out a bit.