Jan 10, 2020

Interview: Manon Smulders of Bechtle’s International Business Unit

As an International Business Development Manager for Bechtle’s E-Commerce segment, Manon Smulders is always in touch with the group’s International Customer Coordinators (ICC). Together, they strive to deliver the best customer service at home and around the world. Manon: “We put a particular focus on slashing overheads, standardising central IT procurement, and creating true value for our customers. To this end, we advise and support our international business customers and their subsidiaries.”

cw03_1440x400_bechtle-nl

Tell us about your beginnings at Bechtle.

“I first joined the Bechtle Group in 2008, as a member the Internal Sales department of Bechtle subsidiary, ARP. I became assistant team lead, then team lead, and eventually head of Internal Sales Commercial. I was more and more gravitating towards international customers and came into contact with Bechtle’s International Business Unit (IBU). Since August 2017 I have dedicated 75% of my time to the IBU, and in January 2019 that was upped to 100%.”

 

What exactly does the IBU do?

“The IBU is a central and independent team dedicated to stimulating our international business. This takes a team of innovative and open-minded people, and of course our entire international community including our ICCs who double as account managers at our sites across Europe. There’s our Corporate Account Directors who consult our individual business units and clients in international issues. And there’s our back office for support, training and reporting.  The IBU is firmly embedded into Bechtle, a highly capable, listed company with 25 e-commerce branches in 14 European countries and 70 systems integrators across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We have accumulated a vast pool of expert knowledge and specialisations, motivated employees and an array of vendor and service partners.”

 

Our mission beyond borders. We increase awareness of Bechtle’s organisation, strengths, people and programmes across Europe, and worldwide.  The IBU builds greater relationships and trust within Bechtle, our customers, our vendors and our partners.

What do you like most about your job?

“The diversity of the people, the many different cultures and the challenges of the job are all reasons why I enjoy my work every day. No two days are the same. Plus I have great colleagues in the IBU and we all work together to drive our mission beyond borders.”

 

What is your biggest challenge?

“Every job comes with a variety of challenges. It’s not easy to single out one. Perhaps the biggest challenge is to keep innovating. The market is changing at a rapid pace. That’s why it is so important to keep an ear for our customers and our international community. That’s how we always stay one step ahead.”

 

What has been your biggest success? What are you proud of?

“I’m proud of many things. For instance, I am very proud of the various positions I’ve held over my career. But above all, I’m proud of the transformation we’re experiencing within the IBU right now. We’re right in the thick of it.” 

 

Finish this sentence: We’re not really satisfied until…

“…the Bechtle Group is at the forefront of everyone’s minds when they talk international business.”

 

How do you picture the future of the IBU?

“The market is still full of opportunities. More and more international customers are looking to cut costs and standardise their central IT procurement. We have one solution to achieve it all. We focus on providing a service to our customers, not just on the final product. And we always want to become better. This is how we continue to grow.”

cw35_kontaktbild
Olaf Neven

Business Developer &

International Business Manager

 

T +31 40 250 9067

olaf.neven@bechtle.com

Share article

Published on Jan 10, 2020.