interview Mark Verhoeven, Axon

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Axon develops and sells products for professional television studios, mainly for the conversion of the signal and the editing and processing of video and audio. Axon is an expert operating as one of the top ten global suppliers. In the market, Axon distinguishes in quality, reliability and delivery times. Axon does not produce its own products; but purchases, lets purchase, assemble and produce through various channels.

When Mark Verhoeven started at Axon (in 2006) he set two goals:

  1. lower the dependency on suppliers by diversification and
  2. design the strategy to carry out Axon’s long term policy to decrease stock while maintaining quality and delivery times.

In the past years Verhoeven managed to spread purchasing and doing so not only reduced risk, but he also realised a significant cost reduction. Stock levels were reduced with 30% while Axon’s trademark 2 to 5 day delivery was maintained. In both achievements Udenco plays a major role.

When did the collaboration with Udenco begin?

“I have known Rob for a long time. We worked together before so I know what he can accomplish. When I started the process of reorientation on purchasing and our supply chain, Udenco was one of the parties I approached for a request for information. Although Udenco came up with a good offer, it was not the best. We started working with a company in Malaysia. It was a good partnership until the organisation went bankrupt without telling us. All of a sudden, we had no supplies. We had some in stock but there was no time to lose.

Because Udenco was familiar with the subject Rob could act immediately. His offer was very good and his organisation really proved itself in those weeks and months. Since that event we collaborate with Udenco on various parts and products.”

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What is Udenco’s added value?

“To start, it is very convenient that Udenco has a plant in Slovakia - ‘around the corner’ so to speak. If I have to be there tomorrow, I can. Also: everybody speaks English, so we can be sure to understand one another. The location has proven to have financial advantages: Udenco’s combined production and transport prices are lower than when done in a low cost country half a world away. But there is more to it: Udenco’s engineering power became a part of the Axon organisation. With open, easy and direct communication. Udenco has access to our processes and for instance our forecasting. That allows them to anticipate and really work close to our process. When it comes to innovation, Udenco also plays a significant role; not as a developer but as engineers. We ask them specific questions and they give us a solution. In that way Udenco is a real solutions provider.”

“Quality and sustainability are important. Our products need to be impeccable and work 24/7 with a product lifetime of at least 10 years. So, reducing costs is important. But we rather focus on low stock levels, high reliability in delivery time and quality products. Udenco can support us perfectly.”

And what does the future hold?

“I want to increase the turnover rate of stock. Udenco can play a big role in accomplishing that. We see how Udenco is growing with regards to quality and being proactive. If that trend continues, we can do many more beautiful things together.”

Udenco provides smart solutions in mechatronics, and for a sharp price. In some occasions it’s the price that matters, but mostly Udenco convinces her clients through keen collaboration, quality of employees as well in engineering as in project and process management and in the open work style. Next to that, the nearly incomparable knowledge of Asian production possibilities often renders significant profits. In knowledge as well as in costs. “Yes, I can recommend Udenco to any organisation who is serious about outsourcing mechatronics.”

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