Gerrard Schmid, who took over as chief executive officer and president in February, talks about what’s next for his company
GREEN — Automated teller machines are the core of Diebold Nixdorf’s business, but software development likely is a key to the company’s future.
That’s because banks — the buyers of ATMs — are investing more money in software to track financial information, Gerrard Schmid, who took over as chief executive officer and president in February, said during a meeting Wednesday with area media.
Diebold Nixdorf already provides software for ATM networks and units, and this past year introduced software that connects transactions across different channels. Schmid said the company will work focus on its growing software business and build on the strong relationships it has with financial industry customers to meet their software needs.
Schmid believes it’s better for Diebold Nixdorf to maintain a connection with financial services companies.
“They are a big spenders in technology and we have an existing relationship, that’s a natural starting point than to try and reinvent ourselves into a different sector,” he said.
Meetings with employees and customers have taken up most of Schmid’s time since he joined Diebold Nixdorf. He replaced Andy W. Mattes, who left the company in December.
Schmid said he has been impressed by the passion shown by employees. He also believes the company has talented people who can create software for customers.
The customers, meanwhile, like Diebold Nixdorf’s products and service, Schmid said.
“Now that I’m six months in, I’m even more convinced that we’re in good shape with our customers.”
Schmid said he was familiar with Diebold Nixdorf before being hired. He worked in the banking industry as an executive and purchased equipment from Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf. “They both had great brands in the market.”
He moved from banking to D+H, based in Toronto, and helped transform it from a payment company into one that offered real-time payments and lending software. Schmid said software became 85 percent of D+H’s business.
Schmid, born in South Africa, said the global nature of Diebold Nixdorf’s business made the opportunity to lead the company attractive. “We are about as global as most companies get.”
The 2015 merger with Wincor Nixdorf extended the company’s global reach and made it the world’s largest ATM maker and service provider with one-third of the world market.
But the merger also created issues that Diebold Nixdorf still is trying to resolve, Schmid said. The company functioned with dual headquarters in Northeast Ohio and in Paderborn, Germany. That has ended and the facility in Green is the world headquarters.
With 23,000 employees worldwide, Diebold Nixdorf faces issues making certain employees are in the correct, critical hubs.
“Canton is one of those important hubs, but not the only hub,” Schmid said. “Canton will continue to be our head office. This is where we have a lot of very many talented employees.”
Shortly after joining Diebold Nixdorf, Schmid launched a program called DN Now designed to cut costs by $200 million and streamline operations. The goal is to focus on customers, improve operations and become more efficient.
Schmid said about $100 million in cost cutting has been achieved. The remaining cuts will be seen over several quarters as adjustments are made to the company’s service operations. DN Now is a follow up to DN2020, a streamlining program introduced after the merger. Schmid said work tied to DN2020 has run its course.
The company also faces problems with its capital financing structure. The merger has left Diebold Nixdorf with debt and the company had to scramble in August to restructure the debt. Those moves led to speculation the company might be looking for a buyer, but Schmid said that was nothing more than a rumor.
Tight financing will make it challenging for Diebold Nixdorf to — in the near future — expand its software business through acquisition, Schmid said. Right now, software and services account for about 66 percent of the company’s revenue. Schmid would like to see the segment grow, possibly to the point where its provides 80 percent of revenue.
Diebold Nixdorf has been reviewing operations and Schmid said the company appears to be involved in a number of businesses that are “relatively a small amount of what we as an organization.” He cited as an example an IT outsourcing business that serves customers in a few European countries.
Schmid said the company anticipates selling some of those businesses in order to generate revenue that can be used to reduce debt.