We expect further growth in the EEU area

Electronics InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2017

We expect further growth in the EEU area

Zoltan Kiss,
Manager for International Industrial Key Accounts in Endrich

Dear Mr. Kiss, tell us more about Endrich Bauelemente’s scope of activity and your position within the company.
Endrich is a leading design-in distributor in Europe, which means we start our projects with our customers in the very early stage of the life cycle of a product, with development engineers usually at idea phase. We operate on the field on "technical" sales of electronic components. Endrich is a mid-size German family owned company with over 40 years experience in the business, holding top 10 position among Europe’s component distribution.

Our main area is still Germany, the turnover of the Endrich group exceeds the EUR 100 million. Very strong part of our export activities are concentrated in South-East Europe, especially in the region of Hungary-Bulgaria-Romania, which is the leading area of our export sales, and its weight is still growing. I am responsible for all the activities of the Eastern European area, and for some international industrial companies - such as Schneider, Honeywell and Flex chain - my role is being a key account manager. Next to the sales position I am also writing technical articles and books for supporting our sales team and also our customers.

The collection of these English publications are summarized yearly in a book, that is available free for all the customers of Endrich as well as the readers of your magazine. The book contains technical white papers in all kinds of areas of electronics, such as circuit protection solutions, sensor technology, passive components, semiconductors, optoelectronics and acoustics.

This is made to inform customers and show our competence in providing solutions for everyday cases at electronics circuit design. This book is also used to support our sales engineers as a useful tool in front of customers, or just educating themselves. The book series won the Special Grand Prix of the Budapest Industry Days Trade fair in 2016.

As an established worldwide distributor delivering to 50 different countries, which of the company’s advantages and qualities do you think gives the best competitive edge?
We represent a number of far-Eastern and American component manufacturers, that need to have a European technical sales department for correct technical advising and design support. Endrich can fulfill this task, as we operate by having highly technically trained field sales engineers, who are able to understand the problem of the customer, and with the 40 years old knowledge base of our company, can usually provide solutions.

If the design requires a customized component we are able to describe the requirements towards the component engineers of our suppliers, and they are able to make a tailor-made solution quickly without long back-and-forth discussions. Furthermore we also offer to our partners a high level standard or customized logistics support in the mass production period of their product’s life cycle.

Endrich has a special mix of components in the delivery program, a large portfolio of niche products that need special attention as well as standard components. We focus on sensors, passive parts, optoelectronics, electromechanics and semiconductors. We are flexible and can customize products meeting customer requirements. Especially the automotive industry often requires these kind of special solutions.

On the Balkans, Endrich Bauelemente has regional offi-ces in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Timisoara, Romania. What factors contributed to choosing these destinations?
When I started my carrier in 2005 at Endrich, I was originally responsible for Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. In these countries I had planted seeds of remarkable business opportunities, this is the time of harvesting the fruits, therefore I needed local engineers to support the existing customers, and as being local professionals, they have better chance to grow by finding new possibilities, where I was limited by lack of language skill.

I can concentrate my efforts now to new areas, like Baltic countries or Czech and Slovak Republic as well as Slovenia. Also the growth of the turnover of the two offices makes the possibility to extend the EEU team. We are constantly seeking for new staff, and trying to develop our share on the component sales in eastern Europe.

On your website you state that almost one fourth of the yearly turnover of Endrich is generated by activities in the automotive supply industry. Is that the same for your business on the Balkans?
We have a huge percentage of automotive sales, meaning that most of our suppliers and their products have concerning approvals, the quality level is high and thanks to the volume of sales, prices are competitive. In Bulgaria this is the same, as many automotive designs made by Endrich in other part of EU are manufactured here.

In Romania we are much more involved in industrial and metering business, but automotive industry has also remarkable role. Next to the country account management, we operate with a key account management team for handling our tier 1 customers to best serve them.
What is your expected outlook for the upcoming fiscal year?
We expect further growth in the EEU area, especially in Hungary and Romania, where we have some new volume projects starting. I had to take back direct responsibility over the Bulgarian activities due to management decision, but we are about to open new office in Poland, and our international sales team in Hungary is extended.

The growing figures of Bulgaria, which are concentrated at a few customers, will be handled from Budapest, thanks to the easy direct connection between Budapest and Sofia by air. As the numbers regard, we will have further growth, and hopefully the allocation "What is the main problem of the electric industry today?" will also disappear in a couple of months, making daily business smoother and less stressful.

I am looking forward to see the possibilities in the new territories like Poland, and the projects coming from the international industrial key accounts like Flex and Schneider. Next year is again the year of Electronica 2018 in Munich, one of the trade shows Endrich participates, but readers can meet us at Embedded 2018 as well as a number of local EEU events. Last but not least we are preparing the new issue of the Endrich technical book, which contains the technical publications of 2017, some of them have been published in South-East European Industrial market.