Two years ago, the Swiss company Essemtec AG entered the Brazilian market directly. By founding Essemtec Brazil in Sao Paulo, the Swiss family business invested in one of the worldwide leading future markets for electronics. Florian Schildein recently spoke with Patrick Greuter, Area Sales Manager of South America, and Roberto Cardozo, Managing Director Essemtec Brazil, about the development of the subsidiary and its prospects.
Florian Schildein (FLS): Patrick, Essemtec Brazil has been active in the market for two years now. How has the business developed?
Patrick Greuter (PAG): Actually, Essemtec has been active in the Brazilian market for several years. Before founding Essemtec Brazil, we worked the market indirectly through distribution partners. For two years, however, we have been taking care of our customers directly. As a whole, we can say that Essemtec has been successful for many years ― more than 100 Essemtec machines have been sold to Brazil.
FLS: What were the reasons for a direct market entry?
PAG: Brazil is one of the future markets worldwide. We want to ensure a part (for us) because there are many small- and medium-sized businesses in Brazil that are providing outstanding quality to their end customers. This customer group matches ours in many other important markets in Europe and Northern America. To take care of these customers is an optimal way to give on-the-spot support.
FLS: What do you mean “on-the-spot” support?
PAG: To be directly active in the market does not just mean selling directly; it also means having direct service. We have established our own service structure here in Brazil that offers a local service in all Brazilian regions, regardless where the machine is located ― whether in Manaus or Porto Alegre. Direct service also includes quick delivery of spare parts to our customers. We have established our own spare parts warehouse in Sao Paolo with a merchandise value of about 1 million US dollars.
FLS: What does this mean for your customers?
Roberto Cardozo (ROC): There are many benefits, including significantly cost reduced machine servicing because we can react quickly to customer requests concerning maintenance or service. Machine downtime also is decreased. Our machines have been constructed to work with little maintenance anyway, even under extreme environmental conditions such as high humidity. Maintenance costs are kept low in advance and can be further reduced with onsite service.
FLS: Apropos the construction of your machines, they can be equipped with many further options via modular systems. In Europe, this was well received. What is the situation in Brazil?
ROC: This modular system brings many advantages. We offer approximately 35 basic machines that can be adapted to individual customer needs with almost 2000 options. Customers are able to individually assemble machines, which then are perfectly suited to their production and products. Therefore, customers do not have to buy a product “off the rack” with unnecessary options that are included in the price. However, they have the ability to purchase additional options in the future. This means that customers can expand the flexibility of the machine over years to adapt to their constantly changing production. In Brazil, this modular system is becoming more interesting and acceptable for our customers.
FLS: What are the financial benefits of this concept for customers?
PAG: Customers are able to control their investments with this option concept. Starting with a basic machine, they can start earning money and invest it in new options for the machine, which, in turn, offers more possibilities to gain new customers. Simultaneously, customers own machines that can be expanded with further options and adapted to new conditions over long periods. Additionally, they will not need to invest money and time in new machine evaluations. We have customers who have been working nine or more years with one single machine. This shows the versatility of our machines. The customers reclaimed their initial investment and purchased new options multiple times.
FLS: I imagine that this is becoming more popular for customers worldwide, especially during this time of economic recovery.
PAG: Absolutely. Currently, we are receiving many new orders. Since summer 2010, we have sold more than 40 Cobra and Paraquda series systems worldwide. This shows that we are well positioned with this machine concept. Other machine sales have increased as well.
FLS: Congratulations. But what about delivery times, especially in a market like Brazil, which is not around the corner?
ROC: Because our high-quality machines are in such high demand, delivery times are extending. At this point we depend on our suppliers and the global economy, which affects all suppliers in the market. As a medium-sized company, we are very flexible and can react quickly to customer requests, ensuring that customers receive their machines in an appropriate amount of time.
FLS: What are your future plans for Essemtec Brazil?
PAG: We will systematically continue to pursue this strategy. This means that we will further expand the direct sales and service activities. Therefore, our mother company in Switzerland will keep providing us with enough resources to continue playing an important role in the Brazilian electronics market in the future.
FLS: Thank you very much for the interview.
The Swiss machine manufacturer Essemtec is a market leader in manufacturing flexible production systems for industrial users. Essemtec has been developing, manufacturing and marketing equipment and machines for all processes in the electronics industry since 1991: printers, dispensers, pick-and-place and soldering systems. Manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic systems are available. The range of products also includes transportation and storage systems, as well as software solutions for planning, simulation optimization and documentation of manufacturing. All Essemtec systems are optimized for maximum flexibility. Users can switch from one product to another quickly, making maximum use of the available production capacity. Essemtec - Be more flexible.