© eolane group
Electronic production | December 13, 2021
Publisher: Dennis Dahlgren
Henri Juin, president of the Windane group, affirms that the rebound is approaching and that signs of recovery are already visible in the order book. It only remains to organize everything so that the increases in orders can be satisfied in the years to come.
In this series of articles, Evertiq reached out to a number of European EMS vendors to see how the challenges of the past two years have affected day-to-day operations. This time we will hear from Henri Juin, Chairman of the Windane Group.
Considering the fact that we have been battling the pandemic for almost two years now, what lessons have been learned and what changes have been made in your business?“The main change is the organization of communication between our different sites, which increasingly use digital contact and remote meetings rather than physical travel. In total, this saved us nearly a million euros in 2020 ”, Henri Juin confides to Evertiq and continues. “Of course, long before this pandemic, we were equipped with videoconferencing tools, but this crisis has generated an increased need for internal communication. Therefore, we have set up weekly meetings in groups of 250 at the international level to inform the employees of the decisions taken in the company. Indeed, as an essential company, we had to maintain a high level of production in areas such as medicine, energy, civil security, etc. which are necessary for the proper functioning of countries. International technical groups in the areas of purchasing, planning, R&D, IT, commerce and HR were created on this occasion and have contributed significantly to the group, and continue to do so today.
As soon as we entered 2021, it became very clear that the pandemic is not the only problem hanging over the industry, the shortage of components has greatly affected our industry and the neighbors, how your business is striving- does it overcome the problems of providing? “Like everyone else, we are faced with this shortage of components. We specialize in advanced PCB design and have a supply chain of over 100 people based in Asia and Europe, which allows us to utilize the global market. But the key was to strengthen our partnership with our customers in terms of transparency and cooperation. They give us a longer-term vision of their needs, allowing us to better anticipate them with our suppliers. We alert our clients in complete transparency to our difficulties and existing market opportunities. Finally, we have provided our internal working group with a tool to connect to more than 300 international stock hubs. ”
As a European manufacturer, what do you think about the fact that the European electronics industry is still very dependent on Asia in terms of semiconductor supply? “This crisis of components, raw materials, logistics, etc. makes politicians aware of the need to relocate a large part of industrial production to be less dependent on Asia, especially on all these points. After the deindustrialization of Europe, we encourage the public authorities to reindustrialize and declare to them our desire to support them in this movement.
In your opinion, has the pandemic highlighted the need for increasingly tighter supply chains?“Certainly; and it is not only the pandemic that has highlighted this need. As part of our Strategic Plan” Trade winds “, we have reorganized our sites to cover 5 regions. Thus, the French territory has been divided into Western, Central and Eastern regions and we cover the needs of Central and Eastern Europe with our factory in Tallinn, Estonia and Asia with those of China. Our intention is to respond to the need for proximity expressed by our customers and also to reduce our carbon footprint, which is also of great concern to them.
The United States, in particular, is seeking to revive the development of new chip factories across the country to reduce its dependence on China. Should Europe as a collective also take a similar approach?“I really hope they will. For our part, we continue to invest in our production assets in this direction. In addition, in France, we are supported by the government which, within the framework of France Relance, helps us in these investments. Our Tallinn factory recently received a visit from Franck Riester, Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness. Things seem to be moving in the right direction. ”
What is the general feeling now that we are nearing the end of 2021 and approaching 2022?“The rebound is approaching and the signs of recovery are already visible in our order book. We are already setting up our means of production to absorb the increases in orders in 2022 and 2023 in the hope of the end of health crises and shortages of components.