Mrs. Kremer, you have been the CEO at Bartels for a month now. How was it?
It was indeed a very nice first month. I was very pleased with the appreciation shown to Dr. Bartels at his farewell and also with the many kind messages I received in this connection.
You have been the CFO for over 20 years before moving to this new role – meaning that you know the company inside and out. Still, was there anything surprising for you during this first month?
It was definitely an exciting time – actually more exciting than expected.
In our case, the change in the C-Suite has meant a reorientation of the team. At the same time, we also filled other management positions in the team. The team strengthened and repositioned itself and defined goals together.
Dr. Bartels had founded the company in 1996 and led it for many years. Now we are taking on this task as a management team. I see myself as the first among equals. My approach is to lead the fortunes of Bartels in the coming years as a team with my colleagues.
A change in management often also means a change in direction or strategy for the company. What is your strategy for Bartels Mikrotechnik moving forward?
In the first years of the company, it was important to advance the technology and develop the business model. In the process, the company went through various stages of development. Overall, the focus was on services for a long time. Today, we produce microtechnical components and sell them worldwide. The service share is steadily decreasing. We agree that the development part will always be relevant for us, because we are an innovative company and want to remain so. Nevertheless, it is the components business area on which we will focus in the coming years. My goal is the profit-oriented growth of the company with simultaneous business stability. We find potential through automation in production and also through the digitalization of all business processes. In doing so, we want to make our contribution to the environment and work in a resource-conserving manner in all areas. This naturally also includes a paperless office.
We have ambitious goals. To this end, we already set our sights on internationalization at the beginning of the year with our office in Chicago. In sales, we also want to become more digital. Corona has shown that digital sales work wonderfully, especially in our life science market, which benefits from a fairly young, digitally open-minded customer base. So, in the future we will invest more in digital sales by optimizing the usability of our web store and website to make it even easier for our customers to find out about our products and order them very easily online – 24/7 anywhere in the world. In the future, we will no longer rely on trade fairs but will expand digital communication channels. I admit that after 27 years of exhibiting at CompaMed – a meeting of the scenes we looked forward to every year – it was a bit overwhelming. As a team, we decided to go digital from now on. The renunciation of a very time-consuming trade fair presence gives us at the same time more opportunities to maintain personal contact with our key accounts.
Is there anything specific you want to achieve by the end of your first year as CEO?
I want us to enjoy our work as a team. Everyone should like coming to work in the morning and enjoy doing their tasks. Then we will achieve all the other goals – including the sales and earnings targets we have set – quite automatically.
Where do you see Bartels Mikrotechnik in 5 years?
I have a clear picture there: In 5 years, we as a company will be known worldwide as a supplier of high-quality micro-components from Germany. At the same time, the company should stand on a stable foundation in terms of its earning power.
And what are the values you want to lead the team by keep them motivated to reach these goals with you?
When I look at our mission statement, I can already see the values that we have stood for as a company for years. This should not change in the future.
Quality and reliability are just as important to us as fairness and honesty – towards customers, suppliers and employees. At the same time, work-life balance has always been particularly important to us. In fact, I started working part-time at Bartels 23 years ago, as my youngest child was still in kindergarten. At the time, I had no idea what would develop from this position.