2020 has been a mixed bag for all, both personally and professionally. Manufacturing was seen as a critical industry, so it was supposed to be ‘business as usual’, yet of course nothing was ‘business as usual’.
Active EMS, Electronics Manufacturing Services Provider, (EMS) is an integrated manufacturing provider offering solutions to customers with individual needs, across all industry segments. From handheld, to massive electromechanical products, Active EMS provides every market with a robust supply chain solution.
Gayle Paterson, Account Director at Buzzword Tech, sat down with Oli Randell, Managing Director of Active EMS, to have a look back at a most unusual year.
Gayle: Can you tell us what 2020 meant for Active EMS? Did you accomplish what your company hoped to achieve during an unpredictable year?
Oli: Recruitment and growth were both key for us. During 2019, we put a course of action in place to welcome a new Operations Manager, Human Resources Manager, and Marketing Manager. We are delighted to have filled all three roles with high caliber industry professionals, who not only joined Active EMS to enhance their career, but also came on-board because they believe our company to be a cultural fit. All three have told us that they desire a position where they can add value, demonstrate their experience, yet have the autonomy to strategically drive and grow the business in keeping with their ethics, and this is what we ‘actively’ offer.
Gayle: I’d imagine 2020 was a challenging year for business development, was Active EMS awarded any new customer projects?
Oli: We entered 2020 with the vision to not add any new customers to our pipeline, as we knew we’d face capacity constraints associated with the moving of our factory.
As the pandemic struck, we focused on serving our existing clients, with the objective to ensure that their supply chain was safe and secure.
However, even with COVID-19 and a facility move, we are delighted to announce that we hit a healthy growth of 12.5% through organic development.
With a new facility, increased capacity and capabilities, plus our expanded management team, we are on target for 2021 to introduce one new customer to Active EMS. Our company is not about aggressive growth, our focus is on the health and wellbeing for all. We will never compromise on our high level of service provisions to existing clients in the pursuit of prospects.
Gayle: Please tell us more about the facility move and the expansion of capabilities.
Oli: This was a massive success for us this year. I keep describing it as like having moved out of our student digs into our long-term home, and somewhere our whole team can be incredibly proud of. We are looking forward to inviting people over to visit us when it is safe to do so!
Gayle: You also invested in marketing, branding, your internal and external identity, plus customer communication tools, I suppose 2020 would have actually, in hindsight, proven to be a good year to get your house in order.
Oli: Yes, a whole re-brand and the launch of a new website and marketing platform. Not to mention new mugs! (laughs) Pretty epic if you ask me!
Gayle: In a year of many challenges in the EMS market in the UK, what would you say are your proudest moments of 2020?
Oli: We are proud to have continued to serve our clients in a very testing environment, and we feel that our service offering, and cultural company is validated, as we grew by 12.5%, whilst moving our facility, and during a pandemic.
2020 also provided us with the opportunity to strengthen supply chain relations with our suppliers. We strategically moved from an order and ship relationship model, to holding buffer stock in 2020 with a vision to moving to a consignment stock solution in 2021. This structure will be advantageous for us and our suppliers, but will improve out flexibility to ‘actively’ react to forecast fluctuations in production.
And, of course, we are always proud of our team. We were already a tight knit community, but in 2020 we made a point of continuously checking and asking everyone if they were okay. It’s not just the physical effects that are visible, we wanted to know that all team members were mentally healthy too. It’s important that Active EMS is a safe space for all.
Gayle: As we look out towards 2021, what predictions would you like to make, and where would you like to venture?
Oli: In 2021 we are planning to grow further, welcome new team members, take the next steps in demonstrating our ethical trading, and improve the sustainability of Active EMS.
We feel very positive and upbeat about our ‘active’ future!