28 February 2021 | Influencers | By Ankit Kankar | firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1945, Eppendorf AG has more than 3,300 employees worldwide and has subsidiaries in 26 countries and is represented in all important markets by distributors. In an interaction with Ankit Kankar from BioSpectrum Asia , Eva van Pelt, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Chief Commercial Officer, Eppendorf AG, who was appointed to this position on December 6, 2019 shared her view about the company’s contributions in the fight against COVID-19 and the growth plans of the company.
Eva van Pelt, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Chief Commercial Officer, Eppendorf AG
1.What have been your key contributions within the organization towards fighting covid-19?
The current challenges posed by the corona virus are both a mission and a motivation for us. Since the company's beginnings more than 75 years ago, Eppendorf has pursued the mission of "improving human living conditions". The importance of this mission, yesterday and today, is also evident in the current situation concerning the coronavirus. As part of this mission we focus on two main aspects – the safety and health of our global workforce and providing laboratories with the best and reliable equipment.
All employees, who are able to do so, to work from home. This measure in return not only protects them and their families but also all colleagues who cannot work from home, such as in production and logistics. Furthermore, amongst other aspects, wearing personal protection equipment is mandatory as well as complying with the needed social distance.
Protecting our employees also contributes to the second aspect – serving our customers on the front-line of the battle against the corona virus. Here our primary goal is to ensure Eppendorf's production and delivery capacity. Our customers can count on us to deliver and support their tireless effort of developing vaccines and medications.
The high demand for our products, especially consumables such as pipet tips is unbroken as they are essential for tackling COVID. Therefore, we expanded our production capability to the maximum currently possible using a shift system enabling production 24/7. Furthermore, we increased the size of one of our production sites, adding more floor space and machinery for the production line. This construction process will also continue in 2021. In doing so we ramp up production of consumables by about 30%.
Our global Sales & Service teams also remained actionable due to the same high adaptability and commitment under these challenging circumstances. Even throughout the lockdown phases across the different regions we remained in close contact with our customers – be it to support on-site or via virtual support mechanisms. Our e-shops for example offer our customers the opportunity to order goods digitally in over 30 countries, including China. The platform is being updated continuously, the new version will be available in the course of this year.
Generally speaking, the utmost commitment to support and serve our customers characterizes our entire workforce at Eppendorf. My colleagues from the Management Board and myself remain deeply impressed and proud of how adaptable and agile our employees continue to be.
I am personally very happy that we already have several approved vaccines on the market and many more underway. And I am proud that Eppendorf plays an active role in supporting these activities. From the development of vaccines to the extensive analysis of patient samples and research into early detection: Researchers around the world are engaged in the fight against COVID-19, with Eppendorf at their side. We support scientists in all regions researching and developing vaccines against COVID with e.g. manual and electronic pipettes, pipetting robots, liquid handling consumables and centrifuges as well as high-quality bioprocess equipment.
The Eppendorf Group has had an impressive and never seen before growth in 2020 with a Sales Growth of more than 20% worldwide. We are aware that this is due to an exceptional situation created by the pandemic in 2020, which is why our expectation for this year is a single digit growth worldwide.
The APA region was amongst the top three regions in 2020 regarding sales growth with a plus of approx. 24%. China was able to achieve a plus of around 11%. A very impressive result, looking at the fact that China went into a hard lockdown at the beginning of 2020. The maximum revenue was generated in Europe due to a very strong market development in the last quarter of the year.
Eppendorf considers the APA and China markets as highly attractive, fast growing and very innovative. And since we have started to invest in these regions we are experiencing a tremendous growth. We are right now planning additional offices in various Asian hubs to enable us to even better serve our customers locally as well as finding new partners for all aspects of our value chain. And we will continue to increase our investments in Asia, not only in our Go-to-market-strategy, but also addressing local R&D, production and innovation capabilities and capacities.
Eppendorf will continue to drive forward its future initiative and the targeted transformation of the company in 2021. The investments planned for this purpose in the company's global sites and infrastructure will be made as planned. Digitalization plays an important role for the company’s future, therefore we continue to work intensively on the development of customer solutions for the digital lab of the future.
In terms of strengthening our market presence we continue the rollout of our new centrifuge brand “himac”, especially in Asia and work at full speed on the topic of e-commerce in 2021. Our eShop activities have made a major step forward with a new technical platform, which went online for the German market last year, and will be rolled out internationally as well. The further improvement of our customer management and communication with our customers is also an important goal this year. And last but not least, a relevant aspect for the company’s success is the perfect fitting global footprint of Eppendorf, which we strategically and sustainably develop. In January 2021, we therefore moved into a new and very modern additional sales office in Tokyo, Japan, after opening new offices and expanding warehouses in Malaysia, China and South Korea during the past two years.