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Elmatica is using 2018 to prepare for expansion in 2019: Automation of systems, simplifying the customers purchasing process and increasing transparency. Each year, the printed circuit broker invests 20% of its EBITDA in developing new software solutions, and the next generation of software is ready for beta testing in the fourth quarter of 2018.
“I am surprised by the lack of investment in software and IT systems among our competitors. The industry and external elements are demanding transparency, documentation, automatic access to data and traceability. We believe those who neglect to understand and meet these demands, will experience challenges over the next years,” says CEO Didrick Bech.
No Approval—No Business
Bech emphasizes that documentation and traceability of data are highly demanded in the defense industry, an industry where several of the major international players already have named Elmatica approved supplier, due to not only the knowledge but also the software solutions.
“For us, transparency has always been a key factor towards our customers. Now we experience that they request more access to our supply chain, which fits us perfectly and makes our business set-up even more attractive. 2019 will be a year when you decide if you are on, or off the digital express,” says Bech.
Right Order at the Right Manufacturer
Elmatica has earlier predicted that 2018 would be a challenging year due to the component situation. The year started strong and slowed down midway in the first quarter, but it has since rebounded and second quarter was surprisingly good with May, June, and July as particularly strong months. However, the market is still reporting challenges with lead-time for many components. Some expect this to normalize in second quarter 2019.
“So far we have seen a strong increase in the demand for prototypes and small series in 2018. One reason for this increase can be that some actors have selected volume manufacturers to deliver small batches, and these manufacturers are no longer willing to support these investments. For us, it's important to place the right order at the right manufacturer according to their capability, but also what they want to supply in relation to volume,” says Bech.
“A digital supply chain, where all involved parties can share and access the same data, will make this even easier. The PCB industry will change and has to adapt to the new reality where control of data is even more important. Whether this will happen next year or the year after, is difficult to determine. Elmatica has decided to take an active part and be a stakeholder in this transformation and we welcome everybody to contribute,” Bech adds.