40 years of Nagel-Group: a journey through logistics, service and claims prevention with Egbert Bellscheidt
Egbert Bellscheidt, Claims Prevention at Nagel-Group, embarked on a varied professional career that began after graduating from high school in 1977 and led him into the world of logistics and customer service. After training as a forwarding agent and serving in the German army, he found his professional home at Kraftverkehr Nagel in Dortmund from January 1, 1982 in the then newly created customer service department. Over the years, he took on positions of responsibility, including head of the service/damage department, which eventually led him to Versmold.
After more than 40 years with the company, Egbert Bellscheidt is now taking his well-deserved retirement. In this interview, he answers our questions and shares with us the fascinating development he has undergone at Nagel-Group.
You have shaped Nagel-Group for more than 40 years. How did you experience your time at Nagel-Group and what key moments shaped your professional career?
Meeting Kurt Nagel Sr. and Jr. remains a particularly impressive chapter in my professional journey. At the time when I was working in Versmold, there was still no clear demarcation between the branch office and central administration. However, with the subsequent structural separation of these areas, I made a conscious decision in favor of the branch office. A highlight of this time was undoubtedly my involvement in organizing the move to the modern facility in Borgholzhausen in 2007.
In 2010, I felt the urge for change again and moved to central quality management. Interestingly enough, my path quickly led me back to the topic of damage and loss prevention, which was an ongoing fascinating challenge for me. In the meantime, I also took on responsibility in central customer service, but the topic of claims later came back into focus for me – a development that has shaped my professional journey in a fascinating way.
Your first day at work was a while ago. Can you still remember that day and how would you describe it?
On my first day at work, I found myself in a male-dominated atmosphere that followed the motto “rough but warm”. When I asked one of my colleagues about the difference between returns delivery bills and the “normal” delivery bills in a pile of papers, I received the rather curt reply: “You can tell!” Although these colleagues were known for their rustic sense of humor, they were supportive from the very beginning when it came to concrete problems.
In the 40 years that you have worked at Nagel-Group, you have certainly witnessed numerous changes. How did you perceive the development of the company during this time?
The rapid growth was not only reflected in new branches, but also in the volume of consignments. More and more customers opted for the Nagel-Group and existing customers parted company with costly own-account transport. Accordingly, the names of the contact persons at customers and employees in branches changed. In the beginning, the cooperation was more personal, characterized by ups and downs. Everyone knew a large number of telephone numbers of customers, goods receiving departments and colleagues in their sleep.
Parallel to this growth, the need for IT solutions increased. In the early days, we solved these requirements ourselves by using databases, initially dBase and later ACCESS. One example of this was a program I developed for scheduling, which made it possible to print consignment notes in the evening – a task that had previously been laboriously performed by typewriter.
The long-awaited scanning, which was vehemently demanded by the branches, surprised many with the fact that such IT solutions also require process fidelity and a minimum level of care. It became clear that employees need to be actively involved and should be able to view the results of the scanning process in order to set the correct status on a permanent basis.
You have also evolved over the years. What has your development been like? How have you driven your professional development?
A decisive stage was the year 1996, when I decided to take the IHK examination to become a transport specialist in parallel to my professional activity. This in-service training enabled me to deepen my specialist knowledge and expand my qualifications in the field of transport and logistics. The knowledge I gained not only helped to consolidate my professional expertise, but also paved the way for new areas of responsibility and career opportunities.
It is rather unusual these days for employees to remain loyal to a company for such a long period of time. What were the main reasons why you decided to stay with Nagel-Group for so many years?
The community with long-time companions was a precious experience for me, characterized by daily little sayings and banter that helped to brighten up all the challenges of everyday working life. The atmosphere of togetherness, supported by a shared history, created a bond that extended far beyond the professional challenges.
Another aspect that made my everyday working life special was the constant variety. The constant growth of the company required continuous adjustments. The diversity in my professional career is reflected in this constant willingness to adapt. It’s not just the changing environments and faces, but also the new challenges that come with each growth spurt. No two days are the same, and routines are few and far between. Every day brings new surprises, new faces and unpredictable tasks – an aspect that has made my professional journey both exciting and educational.