How do paper and digitization go together? Sounds like a contradiction at first.
We at Bridgetec look at digitization from a slightly different perspective and strongly advise a sense of proportion. Of course it is right to focus on digitization. In practice, however, many ideas are hardly feasible and often fail due to quality management, legal regulations or the existing IT systems. A lot of money is then invested to streamline processes. But then one or two employees would like to receive their pay slips or some customers would like to receive their invoices by mail. So, in addition to the digital process, the company also has to maintain the manual way and the promised savings are gone. And that’s exactly what Bridgetec is for, because we can very flexibly map various digital and analog processes and thus pick up everyone. This offers many advantages and saves resources that would otherwise have to be kept available within the company.
What industries and companies does Bridgetec work for, with how many employees, and what sizes are we talking about?
We work for insurance companies, energy providers, receivables managers, banks, the manufacturing industry and retailers, among others. With 80 employees, we now send up to 350,000 letters per day, plus countless e-mails and notifications that are made available to customers in online portals or sent via SMS.
Aren’t the days of the letter over? Is their business model even viable in the long term?
I am 100 percent convinced that paper will remain relevant for years to come. And there are good reasons for this: In many areas, postal delivery of a letter is mandatory, for example in the area of debt collection or in the case of legal changes in the area of energy supply. In addition, the letter is still a secure way of communicating, not least because the recipient determines the channel. But to take a concrete example and once again build a bridge to the digitalization already mentioned: The craftsman is really busy, but also gives away an unnecessary amount of time and money with his invoices. Who takes care of them? Is there enough stationery? Is there enough toner in the printer, ink on the stamp pad? Do we still have stamps and envelopes? If the craftsman asks us today whether we can help him, we will make his accounting largely paperless in two to four weeks. He can send us his data at any time at the touch of a button – and we will send his invoices and other letters in his name and on his own letterhead. That is digitalization as Bridgetec understands it.
Okay, that makes sense. But there are certainly other challenges for Bridgetec.
Yes, it is indeed becoming increasingly difficult for us to find additional employees. Especially when a company has been growing for many years and is looking for skilled workers. Fortunately, we are a training company and take care of the next generation ourselves to some extent. However, one of our challenges is to attract specialists and experts from the region, although we also offer remote jobs, because Osnabrück is a province. We now use numerous channels, including social media, to present ourselves as an attractive employer.
How did you end up at Bridgetec and what drives you every day?
I am a salesman with heart and soul and love dealing with people. I had exciting experiences at several stations in my career before I started at Brid-getec in October 2007. At that time, we sent out a maximum of 7,000 letters per day. I soon realized the potential of the company and very quickly enjoyed watering the tender seedling that is Bridgetec and at the same time being part of its continuous growth. In my privileged position, I don’t have to sell products to customers, but can offer sustainable and beneficial solutions that pay off. This creates a close relationship with our clients in daily business, because we have to deliver anew every day. Quality connects. I have found my professional home here at Bridgetec in Osnabrück.
Finally, a question on your own behalf: What do you think makes atriga special?
I have known atriga since 2008 and admire the zero-error principle of the two founders Christoph Ruoff and Oliver Burgis. For me, atriga is like clockwork in which all the cogs mesh together perfectly.
Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Arndt!