Schaffner CEO: Local sourcing, high-tech production
Updated: 2011-07-12 07:20
Editor's note: Alexander Hagemann, CEO of Schaffner, the international developer and producer of components for electronic systems, talks about the potential of China.
Hagemann has always maintained that if he could match his products and growth strategy to the demand in China, he would find the perfect fit.
The company's strong first half of its fiscal year has proven him right. The results considerably exceeded previous years and the success can be attributed to strong product innovation, expansion of its sales operations in the Asia-Pacific region and more importantly, to Schaffner's growth in China.
China is clearly a market where Schaffner expects long-term growth.
Hagemann noted that Schaffner's competitive advantage in China is "a unique combination of a typically rigorous Swiss approach to precision and quality matched with the Chinese zeal for the highly competitive and flexible implementation of technology".
Schaffner's solutions in the energy sector illustrate its understanding of energy efficiency, which leads the industry, and in the renewable sector its photovoltaic expertise has registered sales increases each year.
Another sector of interest to Schaffner's Chinese clients is transport. The group's high performance components have been in high demand, with its solutions used in several metro lines as well as in trains and locomotives in China.
Q: What are the strategic advantages for a Chinese company partnering with Schaffner?
A: Schaffner employs almost 800 people in Shanghai where everything we do is localized, including R&D and sourcing. Ninety-five percent of the materials we use in China are supplied from China. About 80 percent of our production stays in China.
We have grown about 90 percent over the past year in China and our competitive advantage is the unique combination of a very rigorous Swiss approach to technology and quality matched with the Chinese approach to competition and the flexible implementation of technology.
Q: What are the major investment and project opportunities for Schaffner in China?
A: Schaffner is strong in the provision of high performance components and support for different technology systems such as electronic systems, energy efficiency and transport. We see large development in infrastructure in China both at the central government level as well in regions and cities - such as subways, arts centers, hospitals and wastewater treatment, to name only a few.
Q: How does Schaffner's expertise contribute to China's development?
A: We have a great sense of achievement in China. Consequently we are moving to a larger factory in the fall - a move that will more than double our capacity and enhance our R&D capabilities.
Schaffner really wants to make a positive contribution to the development of the Chinese economy and we are partnering with the Chinese in scientific projects to develop better and greener technologies.
Our sense of achievement is not only about growth, but also about our obligations and contributions to China.
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