16. Nov 2020
Investments during the Corona pandemic
Optiprint has been on the market as a PCB manufacturer for 35 years now. This year, the Corona pandemic poses special challenges. However, the continuous expansion of resources continues nevertheless. How the medium-sized company is dealing with the crisis will be explained below based on a conversation with CEO Hans - Jörg Etter.
Optiprint AG, Berneck/Switzerland currently has around 130 employees. Based on dedicated and highly qualified personnel as well as a high-tech machine park, the company mainly realizes technologically sophisticated PCB solutions for customers worldwide. Customers benefit in particular in these critical times from the special know-how and the versatile experience of the long-standing supplier to the electronics industry.
Optiprint knows that the necessary technical advantage is based on creative ideas, and as a self-financed company, it can react quickly and at an early stage to the (upcoming) requirements of its customers. Optiprint meets the highest demands. Every order - whether for special or standard products - is carefully planned and coordinated in consultation with the customer. This ultimately saves both partners time and money.
Business has been good so far this year. The level is currently higher than in the previous year. However, a decline or "calming down", as Hans - Jörg Etter put it, is expected in autumn. He also complained that payment morale has generally deteriorated as a result of the crisis. Furthermore, the procurement of materials is in part quite laborious and delivery times have become longer. Transport costs have also increased.
Given the dynamic situation, it is difficult to make predictions about the impact on the supply chain. So far, Optiprint does not expect (major) delays. However, Optiprint will not be hiring new staff for the time being. The focus remains on maintaining high production and service standards for customers.
Supply relevance and Corona - Virus - measures of Optiprint AG was confirmed by the authority (economic national supply) that it is a systemically important company for the supply of the country with vital goods and services. The employees provide services within the meaning of the National Supply Act which are essential for the supply of Switzerland. This is particularly true in connection with the management of the current coronavirus pandemic. Thus, operations could be continued without restrictions.
In general, the Swiss government has taken measures to protect the population due to the current situation with the corona virus. Optiprint AG adheres to the corresponding guidelines of the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) and has taken some additional measures, the primary goal of which is to ensure the health of the employees in order to maintain production. For example, Optiprint no longer received any visitors and no longer visited customers. Alternatively, WEBEX meetings were offered. Optiprint also produced its own disinfectant and made it available to all employees free of charge. The measures for hygiene and social distancing were taken and the company also organized the care of the employees' children while the schools were closed.
Optiprint AG did not take any other special measures to counter the corona pandemic. After the company has invested a great deal in the building in recent years and has significantly increased its operating areas, there is enough space everywhere to maintain a minimum distance of 2 m between employees. Therefore, there was no need for a home office, which was welcomed by the employees.
Technological development and investments In order to be able to optimally meet the constantly increasing technological requirements, the company's own resources must be constantly developed and expanded. Despite the corona virus, there have also been corresponding new acquisitions in recent months:
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In general, Optiprint is observing a trend towards more material mix in multilayer structures. For example, HF layers are increasingly being integrated into flex-rigid structures, with LCP materials being used. These are still not generally available and are difficult to obtain. According to CEO Hans - Jörg Etter, Optiprint AG will continue to invest continuously in the future in order to offer new technologies and to be able to realize demanding customer requirements even more flexibly and economically.