We are already heading towards the end of the first quarter of 2022. In this quarterly, our aim is to run you past all the relevant developments:
We are of course glad that we are heading towards a maximum easing of restrictions and returning to ‘normal’ somewhat after many years of the pandemic. However, the fact that we are now faced with a war and the misery and sorrow that that brings with it, makes us sad, of course. Our heart goes out to our partners and contacts in the areas affected by this terrible war.
Order intake for Q1 2022: growth in medical/pharmaceutical and e-commerce
Audion is continuing to grow. In two strategic markets in particular – Medical/Pharmaceutical and E-commerce – we are seeing the demand for our packaging machines increase more and more. Medical/Pharmaceutical is growing worldwide, but we are seeing an above-average increase in the North Africa region. Countries such as Tunisia are of interest to companies operating internationally because they are situated on the periphery of the EU, so they benefit from shorter logistics chains whilst experiencing fewer problems in relation to personnel shortages (and high personnel costs).
Delivery times increase
The increasing demand for packaging machines and the limited availability of parts is causing our delivery times to increase too. In the previous quarterly, we discussed all the challenges in the logistics chains and how we respond to them. In the area of electronic components in particular, we have sometimes faced longer delivery times recently. We anticipated this by making considerable investments in our purchasing power, for example by almost doubling the staff in the purchasing department. But despite those efforts, we are now seeing a real bottleneck emerge and sometimes just a single small electronic component prevents the delivery of a machine that is otherwise complete.
Luckily, our customers and dealer network are very understanding. Agreements have now been entered into with several new suppliers of electronic components in particular, such as microprocessors. These components have been quality tested and installed. A positive aspect of these challenges in availability of components is that this has led to increasingly more efficient production opportunities and standardisation.
Incidentally, the increasing delivery times mainly apply to the more industrial product groups, whilst the more compact handheld and table top sealers remain just as quick to deliver as ever.
Availability of packaging materials
The availability of film packaging materials at major suppliers is also becoming increasingly worse and delivery times are increasing. We are responding to this with our converter, which currently runs production in almost 3 shifts in order to provide our customers with the correct customised film packagings quickly.
We produced an interesting film about this innovation, which is enabling us to integrate another step further in the customer chain. We don’t just deliver the machines, but also the packaging materials, and these are of course fully tailored to each other. View the video about the production of tubular film (extruder), followed by the production of packagings (converter)
Not only is the availability of cardboard packaging materials currently even lower than that of plastic packaging materials, but the CO2 footprint of their production is also considerable. If the recycling of plastic packaging materials such as film is properly coordinated, they don’t end up in the ecosystem. In that case, the advantages (costs, footprint) of plastic packagings only become greater. We are also seeing this again in our strategic target market E-commerce, where more and more e-fulfilment parties, especially in the fashion industry, are making the switch to flexible film packagings.
Personnel and dealer network
We have some wonderful vacancies currently available for almost every position. We are looking for salespeople, purchasers, IT experts and new service and assembly colleagues. In brief, we have numerous vacancies to fill in a rapidly growing and innovative organisation. But further expansion in our dealer network is also desirable. If you are interested, please get in touch.
Future prospects: new building work
We have started the new building work on our German site in Kleef. The area of this Audion site is being extended by over 3600 square metres! This expansion will mainly benefit the production and assembly of the bigger Audion packaging machines and (configurable) specialties.
We at Audion are becoming increasingly successful, and the focus on the four strategic target markets is contributing to this. These target markets are showcased in our new company video.
I would like to wish all customers, colleagues, dealers and suppliers a good second quarter and am happy to hear any questions or comments about this report.
Eugène Tangelder (CEO)
Do you have a question or need more information? Please contact us.