© beatricee _dreamstime.com Electronics Production | November 10, 2015
"You can be too successful in distribution, but never successful enough"
Let me be frank; I've never truly understood why equipment manufacturers choose to add one more step for their customers by adding a third party distributor. However, I do understand when my lack of knowledge and insight makes an apology necessary.
Altus is a capital equipment distributor by its own description. I would like to call them an equipment manufacturers third arm. Covering the UK and Irish market for SMT, capital equipment for more or less every process, peripheral equipment, spares and consumables as well as service and support, it sound a bit more than “just” a distributor to me.
© Altus GroupIn a conversation with Altus Group CEO, Richard Booth, I fired away my first stupid question; Why are you needed, can't equipment manufacturers take care of themselves? Yes, I asked that. You can probably see how I was squirming when listening back to it. But, on the other end of the line, Richard took my question seriously and answered rather upfront. “We're used by the manufacturer as an extension of their sales force for a number of reasons; contacts, after sales service and support and some companies just don't want the expense of expanding their in-house sales force.” He went on to explain something that should have been clear as day; “You can be too successful in distribution, but never successful enough.” The business of distribution can be a pricey one, and adding market shares is not only time consuming but also costly. The company has been doing rather well over the last few years, growing consistently since 2012; both – together with their suppliers, but also on their own. Currently, Altus Group consists of two companies; Altus – which covers the UK and Irish market – and Danutek (with offices in Hungary and Romania) which is taking care of two countries, as well as Bulgaria. Do you have any plans for geographical expansions in the near future? “Poland is an interesting market for us. We had an opportunity to buy a small company in Poland with nice lines and the lot. But it did not feel right at the time.” Mr. Booth tells me that the company currently employs twelve people in the UK. There is a connection between the number of employees and the company's turnover. So with more people you can expect an increase in the turnover, and profit as well. “The company's model is focused heavily towards after sales services, eight out of our twelve people in the UK are focused on after sales support as we have found that this set-up fits us the best.” Danutek is primarily taking care of corporate accounts, mainly German multinational companies. So – being a third arm for equipment manufacturers – seems to involve quite a deal of account management. The amount of customers that Altus Group has on a yearly basis amounts to about 200, out of which ten are the company's key costumers, the remaining 190 buy 'bits and pieces'. How is it that Altus have been doing so well for a number of years now? “A good deal of luck. A lot of our success is down to one supplier, which for us has been Koh Young. There is nothing better for a distributor than having a tier three supplier that becomes a tier one supplier by its own efforts, or joint efforts.” “We signed with Koh Young in 2003/4 when they had something like two machines operating in Europe. Now they have something around a 40% market share in SPI. Koh Young has recently developed, and are now very successful, with a new 3D AOI system. This product is following the same trajectory, as we say, with their now very well established 3D SPI system." How much of that market share can be credited to Altus? “Well, a reasonable amount I would say. I mean, the key for Koh Young was winning Bosch and Continental, and as a consequence they saw Flextronics and Jabil knocking on their door; and so on. Somehow they blew all the competition away. But as we were able to grow with them, they also won a number of accounts they would not have been able to get without us, so its turned out to become a successful relationship.” Mr. Booth tells me that once you manage to get into a company such as Bosch, other companies – other suppliers – are rather interested in you too. Its kind of a stamp of approval. “We've been around long enough to be viewed as trustworthy. And we work really hard to never loose a customer once we got them. To be honest, its a lot more expensive getting a new customer than it is retaining an old one.”
Another battery production facility to be built in Germany A new production facility for electric vehicle power solution provider, Microvast GmbH, is to be constructed by industrial developer, Panattoni Europe.
BMW is betting billions on e-mobility – awards massive battery contracts The BMW Group is forging ahead with electromobility and deepening its existing business relationships with battery cell manufacturers CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited) and Samsung SDI.
UMS Skeldar gears up production volumes with Scanfil Close on the heels of German Navy and Royal Canadian Navy contracts UMS SKELDAR gears up production volumes as part of world navy strategy roll out.
Demand for preemptive 3Q19 DRAM shipment rises According to DRAMeXchange, demand-side inventory in 2H19 has returned to relatively healthy levels. Furthermore, some vendors pulled their quarterly product shipment forward in an effort to avoid potential negative impacts from Trump’s impending tariffs.
Sponsored content by EsemdaContract manufacturer Esemda opens new facility in Vilnius and expands EMS The new facility has been built with reserved space for future expansions. As Esemda constantly grows, it is of great importance to be able to rapidly increase production capacity in large volumes.
HANZA gets AS9100 certificate to supply aerospace industry Swedish manufacturing strategist, HANZA, says that its machining facility in Årjäng, Sweden, received its AS9100 certification, the standard that will allow HANZA to manufacture products for the aviation, space and defense companies.
NOTE continues to expand within medtech One of EMS provider NOTE’s Swedish manufacturing plants has received a first order of SEK 25 million (EUR 2.34 million) from a Swedish customer within the medtech segment. Delivery is scheduled for 2020.
Marvell layoffs in VT, NC and CA Days after the close of the acquisition of Avera Semiconductor on November 5, Marvell Semi filed a WARN notice with the State of Vermont, ahead of 78 permanent layoffs at its Essex Junction facility.
U.S. DoC extends Huawei license The United States Dept. of Commerce, through its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has announced a 90-day extension of the temporary general license (TGL) to Huawei and certain non-affiliates.
Sponsored content by Z ElektronikaZ Elektronika opens new factory in Pécs To keep up with rapid growth of the company, on the 13th September Z Elektronika celebrated the grand opening of its new electronic design and manufacturing facility close to the highway in Pécs, Hungary, which adds new features and production site to its nearby location.
Apple: Shovels up in Austin As part of its expansion plan in Texas, Apple has announced the beginning of construction at its new campus in North Austin.
PARPRO makes NA capex investments Southern California-based PARPRO has made capital equipment investments scheduled to be operational this quarter at the company’s Mexico and California facilities.
Indium Corporation is ready for 2020 Chris Nash from Indium Corporation reviews 2019 - in many ways, a strange year. However, even with the geopolitical issues that the year has offered, Indium has done a good job staying on top of things.
Schmoll Maschinen GmbH settles for a record year Schmoll's soaring results for 2019 is tied to the high level of globally deployed machines, where Asia takes the lead.
Arch Systems partners with Flex for manufacturing data transformation Arch Systems, a provider of a machine-data-sensing platform, has entered into an agreement with global manufacturer Flex to supply real-time access to and analysis of manufacturing data at its facilitie
ZF and Wolong Electric form JV for electric motors ZF Friedrichshafen and China’s Wolong Electric Group are stepping up their existing cooperation. The two companies have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture that will produce components and electric motors for automotive applications.
Cicor on its venture into printed electronics In the first quarter of 2019, Swiss EMS provider, Cicor, opened a technology center for printed electronics at the Bronschhofen site in Switzerland - quite the investment and a completely new territory for the company. Evertiq had the opportunity to talk to Karl-Heinz Fritz, VP of Technology, about the strategy behind this.
TT Electronics steps up its US presence – acquires Excelitas unit TT Electronics has struck a deal to acquire a US based business that designs and manufactures power electronics for defence and aerospace markets, enhancing its ability to engineer complete power converters.
ABB partners with Exeger to speed up transition to clean energy ABB has entered into a new partnership with Sweden’s Exeger Operations AB. The partnership will enable Exeger to enhance the production quality its photovoltaic material at the company's Stockholm factory and also develop automation solutions for its new fully automated factory which will begin construction in the near future.
Rehm Thermal Systems intros 3-in-1 reflow solution Michael Hanke from Rehm Thermal Systems shows off the results of the company's development work.
Intel to reclaim No.1 semiconductor supplier ranking in 2019 IC Insights says that only three among the top-15 semiconductor suppliers are forecasted to show growth this year.
Veoneer joins Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium Veoneer has joined the Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium (AVCC) to speed autonomous driving vehicle development.
Ongoing trade issues have opened up Chinese market for Viscom According to Carsten Salewski, Chinas move towards more independence has resulted in more customers from the region; especially within the automotive sector.
Don't forget about human inclusion in industry 4.0 Michael Ford from Aegis Software is reminding the industry in the midst of connectivity that our most powerful asset is still the human employee.
East West Manufacturing acquires Adcotron EMS East West Manufacturing has acquired Adcotron EMS, a provider of specialized electronics manufacturing services, including advanced printed circuit board assemblies, box-build assemblies, testing, and new product introduction services.Load more news