Young logistics specialists knuckle down to business

Steinbeis student implements development strategy at a branch office

A full-time job, university degree and project all at the same time – is that even possible? Sure, at Steinbeis. The Steinbeis-Hochschule Berlin (SHB) Project Competence Degree merges a consistent focus on practical application with solid scientific foundation. Markus Bartelmess, a master’s student at the SHB Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE), found this out firsthand.

When Markus Bartelmess began his program at the SIBE in 2009, he had no idea how challenging and weighty the projects waiting for him would be, not just in his master’s program but in other areas, too. Markus Bartelmess, meanwhile the branch director and deputy manager at the Mannheim-based freight forwarding company H. Ristelhueber's Nachfolger Spedition GmbH, decided to examine the subsidiary strategy for his degree project, focusing on the development of a portfolio of services in the sales department.

The goal of his project was to drive new business and develop profitable services for Ristelhueber. The Mannheim office should be expanded in the mid-term due to its ideal location. Ristelhueber decided to switch to sustainable, more ecological logistical chains and to expand its road and rail network. Markus Bartelmess was able to implement this in sales at the Mannheim site from the very first project target to project management. Hand in hand with this came continuous expansion in contract logistics, warehousing, and goods picking for trade and industry. During the planning phase, Markus Bartelmess introduced a bimodal logistics platform that Ristelhueber invested in as a vehicle for expanding its rail infrastructure. New processes had to be planned, drafted, and set into action by the time Markus Bartelmess wanted to go live with the platform in the summer of 2010.

After the project was completed, Ristelhueber started thinking about an annex to its building. Using the Steinbeis project as a basis, a long-term outlook for the Mannheim branch office could be developed. Markus Bartelmess attributes this success above all to his program at the SHB: While students work full-time in a company on a practical business project, the seminars don’t just impart knowledge on current management methods. Students also receive helpful support with the implementation of their ideas thanks to direct interaction with experts and project instructors. “The Steinbeis program helped me find creative and innovative solutions by both demanding and cultivating these skills,” says Markus Bartelmess. “These creative solutions are what drives logistics these days – not sticking to convention, but instead thinking outside of the box in order to become and remain innovative and competitive.”

That the SHB program is no cakewalk is something Prof. Dirk Engelhardt knows well- Engelhardt is director of the logistics/fleet division at Raiffeisen Waren-Zentrale Rhein-Main eG in Hanau and an instructor at the SIBE: “The workload for the students, not just getting on with everyday business but also managing academic issues, is a huge time commitment. Our alumni surveys show, however, that despite the grueling pace, the Project Competence Degree pays off in terms of both personal and professional development!”

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