Was your business able to recover fully or partially from the global pandemic during 2021? Do you still have employees working from home?
We are grateful that we have weathered the year well despite all the challenges. Due to our employees’ exemplary conduct, we were, for the most part, able to keep COVID-19 away from Plasmatreat. Even despite global bottlenecks, our production capacities were utilized well, and we continue to grow. For example, as of August, we now have a new subsidiary located in Sweden. Due the internationality of our activities, we started working online and in a mobile fashion early on and were therefore already set up well prior to COVID-19, and we will continue to make it possible for our employees to work that way. Nevertheless, we are pleased that more of our employees are back in the office and that we can work together as a team on site.
Has your company been affected by the inventory shortages of semiconductors and electronic components in 2021? Are you able to hire enough qualified employees?
We have not been affected directly, but some of our suppliers occasionally have bottlenecks. However, we work with very competent suppliers here with whom we have long-standing business relationships, and we communicate closely with them on this topic.
The constant growth of the whole Plasmatreat Group means that we are often in need of specialized employees in our various departments around the world. Our spectrum includes former trainees and students, entry-level employees and experienced specialized professionals from various sectors/industries. Of course, it is not always easy to find the right employees, but as a family business we feel an obligation to our employees as well, and we have a lot to offer them.
What are your expectations for the electronics assembly industry in 2022?
Our expectations are that 2022 will be slightly less than 2021. Due to the pandemic, we have seen a boost in electronics due to working in the home office and worldwide lock downs. Computer, tablets and mobile phones were the only way to communicate and we saw a boom in sales for those devices during the last 1 ½ year. However, by now most of the people are equipped so we expect less demand for consumer electronics. But, nevertheless, we still have the shortage in the semiconductor area and that will be similar as in 2021 as it takes too long to scale up the production. We expect the shortage to last till end of 2022.
Have you or will you travel again to customer sites or industry conferences in 2022?
Yes, our intention is to attend different trade shows, when possible, this year around the globe. Apex USA will be the next show we will also visit from Europe if all COVID conditions remain and the show will happen. But, visiting customers is still a challenge as a lot of multinationals have a restricted visitors policy. Also, it is still very hard to enter certain countries like China and most of the Asian countries. Luckily, we have a worldwide sales and service network by any given chance we can be on site and support our customers. Moreover, digital meeting software makes it possible to meet customers around the globe and continue our business relationships.