The company's strong sales activity mirrors the robust growth that leading analysts have predicted for these booming regions.
To address the growing demand for its rotatable targets in the Eastern and Central European markets, Bekaert activated weekend production output at their facilities in Deinze, Belgium in January 2008. The weekend shift has been added to maximize current production output and provide faster delivery terms. Production capabilities have been reinforced to ensure a high level of attention and hands-on preparation of custom solutions for Bekaert's Eastern and Central European customers. This new ramp-up will increase production capacity by 40%.
The production capacity at Bekaert’s plant in Suzhou, China, will double as of January ‘08. This response to the rapidly growing Asian market will enable Bekaert to promptly and effectively comply with customer demands, while ensuring a quick response to new customer inquiries.
Koen Staelens, Product Market Manager Sputter Products, highlights the importance of this expansion: “It is vital for Bekaert to expand its capacities for production and servicing, actively anticipating and responding to the skyrocketing growth in these markets. Our research has illustrated that there is strong growth potential in the Asian, Central European and Eastern European markets for our rotatable targets, so it's imperative to meet our customers’ demand. We look forward to seeing the results of our investments in these growing markets in 2008. Based on preliminary prospects, we are confident the output will exceed our expectations.”
The dedicated expansion efforts are expected to yield significant benefits for Bekaert’s customers in these markets. The company has a strong reputation for its R&D capabilities as a total solution provider and its partnership approach, and will use its expanded customer service capabilities to cement existing business ties and to attract new customers. The investment will also provide customers with expanded local production capacity and a shorter supply chain. Within these fast-paced markets, decreasing delivery terms is at the top of the agenda.
Remy Rochard, General Manager Sputter Products at Bekaert, comments: “By increasing our production capacity, we aim to reduce delivery terms for our rotatable targets on a global level, thus capturing a greater market share and meeting market demands. Furthermore, we are dedicated to maintaining our excellent level of responsiveness and look forward to strengthening the bonds with our customers. Looking ahead to the intermediate future, we have firmly committed to a general overcapacity of 15% in order to effectively manage peaks in demand to make sure we can continue to service our customers.”