Sometimes a catalyst is needed to have a critical look at the day-to-day business operations. What can be done better, faster and more efficiently? Corona was the catalyst that prompted the Golden Scorpion Nederland (GS NL) team to speed up limiting their dependence on external factors.
CSA testing in-house
And with success, because all the paperwork has already been received to be able to CSA-test the drivers that the company supplies for LED and HPS luminaires, in-house.
"That way we are less dependent on Americans to test our products", says Marco Brok, Managing Director at GS NL. "Of course you are always working on making improvements, but now it turned out that you are still very vulnerable when the borders are closing. Americans could not travel and so there was a danger that testing would be delayed."
It is true that the papers to be allowed to do CSA tests in-house are not easily obtained. It takes a while before everything is arranged. "We were therefore already working on this even before the coronavirus, but have nevertheless used the recent period, which, by the way, has been very busy, to obtain all diplomas for this."
Shaking hands after obtaining the CSA certificate
Calibration of the measuring equipment was also involved. "You have to meet certain standards if you want to supply to the United States. Also a certain way of reporting is required. It is very important that everything is traceable. Also for us. Of course once in a while something can go wrong with a driver, but you always want to be able to find out where things went wrong with the technique. That way you can do it better the next time and you make progress."
In addition to the fact that a CSA test is necessary to be able to supply to the United States, the taken step is also good for quality control in general, according to Marco. "You focus even more on quality, precisely because of the sometimes extra strict American requirements."
Increasing 'second source'
Other issues that have recently been worked on in Monster include standardizing the product line and expanding product capacity in China so that they no longer depend on a single source. "For us, with our production in Beijing, the coronavirus became really serious in mid-December already. That also exposed our vulnerability.
"In the past, sometimes there was a regional problem, but you could continue in other regions. However, coronavirus hit almost the entire world simultaneously. That is why we have now gone so far that we can supply everything from a 'second source'. We are now even more stable and can anticipate even better than we already could last year."
Rather flexibility than large stock
Also keeping larger stock could be an option to be less vulnerable in crisis situations, Marco acknowledges. But that also comes with disadvantages. "The market is constantly evolving, so in order to stay up-to-date, you have to be flexible and be able to work with newer products every time. Maintaining a large stock makes no sense as it requires a lot of money. Instead of more stock we therefore did opt for a good balance between several plants."
Overdue maintenance prevention
Unlike ten years ago, during the previous major crisis, Marco expects that it will not come to the point that large-scale overdue maintenance will occur at many growers. "The financial pain was severe, but relatively short, at least for the time being. It will certainly still be difficult in the near future, but with the movement that is taking place, among other things in the replacement market in Europe, I have good hope."
Curious about who or what GS NL exactly is? Then read this story again, in which Marco tells where exactly the company comes from.
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