Todd Wilhelm

Executive Director - Commerce Engineering, re-joined NCR in 1997


Todd Wilhelm

Executive Director - Commerce Engineering, re-joined NCR in 1997

Tell us a little about your career journey. Where are you from? What is your role at NCR?

I was born in Dayton, Ohio. My father worked for NCR for more than 46 years and he was transferred to Cambridge, Ohio to the NCR Retail E&M facility when I was about 14 years old. I started my working career in architecture, building construction and designing commercial buildings and natural gas transmission facilities. I changed careers after doing this, starting out as a mechanical and electrical draftsman for NCR in 1983.

While my role at NCR seems to change almost yearly from a responsibility perspective. I currently am an Executive Director in Commerce Engineering, overseeing all Retail and Hospitality operations program management. I focus on NPI (New Product Introduction) and lifecycle management, product quality, Customer Advocacy, along with the Compliance Engineering organization supporting those businesses.

What do you love most about your role? What's the most challenging part of your role?

The role I hold and have held for years has continuously changed due partly to all the mergers and acquisitions over my tenure, coupled with the ever-changing strategies of the company. While in Cambridge, I worked in engineering in various capacities as a draftsman, design engineer and eventually a project lead for development.

I left NCR for six years and went to Rockwell Automation, where I managed the Mechanical Engineering team for PLC and I/O devices. Rockwell then moved me into their Industrialization organization in operations, which was very much like our operations program management team at NCR.

I left Rockwell and came back to NCR in Atlanta, where I was tasked with creating the OPM group in 1997. Over the years, I picked up additional accountability, managing all our outsource manufacturers, inventory and cost management teams as well as leading countless strategic projects associated with M&A, insourcing, outsourcing, facility transfers and closures along with new business start-ups and integrations.

“Being able to quickly understand the projects given to me and develop strategies and teams to support them has been the most challenging part of the various roles I’ve held throughout my career at NCR.”

What makes you want to stay at NCR?

What keeps me at NCR is the constant challenge in every role I’ve held and the nature of the industry itself; I get to use and share the NCR product with those close to me daily. My family still continues to point out our hardware in banks, restaurants and stores, taking pride that I, along with my father, had something to do with the development of it.

What about the type of work you would be doing for NCR impacted your decision to join the team?

I think joining NCR was inherently my destiny all along. I remember my father bringing home our older mechanical cash registers, disassembling them to debug issues on our kitchen table when I was young. He would tinker and modify them until he figured out the root of the problems, to then be implemented in production.

“Getting to work alongside my father for my first eight years at NCR and being taught by him on how to navigate and network with all the organizations to be successful was enough to get me “hooked” to follow in his footsteps.”

Combined, my father and I have worked almost 80 years at NCR which is well over half of the company’s existence!

What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on, or the one you are most proud of?

It’s hard to pick just one after so many years. I received an international patent designing our first PC compatible point-of-sale (POS) enclosure, which today has really become a standard in POS design. I was part of a small team that designed and released the very first SMT (surface mount technology) PCB at NCR when working at our Cambridge facility. Probably the most memorable project I was handed to manage was early in my career at NCR Atlanta where I was called upon to lead a massive rollout for USPS (United States Postal Service). We manufactured, staged and installed thousands of post office sites all across the US.

“The project was originally split between IBM and NCR but due to the success of the rollout as well as the performance of NCR (hardware and software), we eventually were awarded the majority of their business. I was awarded my first “Great Performance” award for the efforts.”

How do you feel like you’ve grown either professionally, personally or both during your time at NCR?

“From a professional perspective, my knowledge of the business has afforded countless opportunities to take on numerous new roles, many I had to create myself, to support the business and strategies as the company was growing and expanding.”

Personally, the responsibilities I’ve had to take on also helped me understand how to balance my time with my wife and daughters at home. I ensured there was no event with them I was going to miss due to work at NCR. It can be quite a balancing act but I feel I became a master at it.

Outside of work, what are you most often doing/where are you most likely to be found?

I enjoy working in the yard, home remodeling projects and simply spending time with my wife, kids and all the dogs.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates?

Never waste an opportunity to expand your knowledge into new areas of the company, as it could lead you into new and exciting positions in the future.