Eversys Group CEO Martin Strehl explains how the manufacturing industry is recovering from the pandemic and why communication and relationships have become more important than ever.
The past two years have been marked by uncertainty as the world grapples with a global pandemic, but as it turns out, our recovery is headed down the same path, proving to be a different kind of challenge.
While it’s great to see cafes and restaurants thriving again, our hospitality industry has changed forever. Many companies have used country shutdowns to think deeply about the hospitality landscape, the role of coffee machines within it, and how they might not only survive, but also thrive. Then, as the world emerged from darkness back into light, things no one really saw coming – broken global supply chains, rising inflation or staff shortages.
As businesses struggle to meet growing customer demand, to make up for lost revenue, they also struggle to staff their stores with skilled baristas. The solution, as many now clearly realize, is the use of automation to relieve the pressures of reduced labor while maintaining the quality and consistency that customers have come to expect. It is for this reason that we are seeing strong demand for the Eversys range of machines, and in particular the Engima (formerly E-line), which can handle large volumes and be used by the most and less experienced employees. .
At Eversys, the Swiss coffee system manufacturer, we had anticipated 35% growth for 2022, which already seemed like an ambitious goal. But in light of our current reality, we could have easily doubled that growth. We expected the demand for products to increase to some extent, but not at the rapid pace we are experiencing today. However, this positive development, combined with the negative side effects of the pandemic period, presents us with a set of new challenges.
Not limited to just the coffee market, but in almost every industry around the world, supply chain challenges are an emerging phenomenon. I took my car to the mechanic a few weeks ago and told the dealership about a replacement part I was waiting for. They couldn’t give me an indication of what time he would arrive. Other industries are suffering from staff shortages, not only our already mentioned HoReCa sector, but also, as we are currently experiencing, the airline industry. And I’m sure there are and will be other problems that we could not have imagined a while ago.
The bottleneck at Eversys is not the people or the ability to grow our business. During the pandemic, we never reduced our capacities. Instead, we increased our staff by 20% to help strengthen the business earlier this year and we continue to hire and strengthen our team. What really holds us back is the limited availability of raw materials and the supply limitations of electronic components. This is where the bottleneck lies. In some cases, we even have to fight for previously ordered materials – while suppliers do not hesitate to double or triple their price, even if it has been previously agreed by contract. While we don’t like it, it leaves us with no choice but to adjust our prices to fluctuating costs and exchange rates, as most industries are forced to do these days.
While simply sourcing pre-ordered components on time and according to plan has become a challenge, the flexibility to increase order volumes at short notice is now a difficult task.
Obviously, this frustrating side of the post-covid era was not what we hoped for. It costs our team members a tremendous amount of extra time and effort to mitigate these challenges. Alas, extended delivery times – which have become a matter of months, not weeks as before – seem hard to avoid in the short term.
Professional coffee shop equipment represents a significant long-term investment and the decision to choose the right product should be well thought out by weighing the key criteria. This has not changed and should not be challenged by the short-term impacts of the post-pandemic phase.
Our primary goal is and has always been to meet our customers’ expectations and to be a trusted long-term partner.
We are handling this situation with absolute integrity, providing our customers with frequent, accurate and transparent communication. That’s why we made the decision to share our current situation with the readers of Global Coffee Report, giving the public an honest insight into the challenges faced by makers around the world.
At Eversys, demand for our products continues to be strong and we are implementing a detailed plan on how to manage and further develop our capabilities. We continue our recruitment campaign and have submitted plans to triple the size of our production site, a purpose-built plant just two years ago.
Most importantly, we strive to increase our resilience in a world of increasingly unpredictable supply chains. Concretely, we are investing in higher component stock levels, analyzing and monitoring our supply channels in greater detail to spot and mitigate potential risks, and working on alternative component designs, allowing greater flexibility in case supply chain shocks.
This should send a clear statement to the market that we are taking all the necessary steps not only to face the current challenges, but also to anticipate and prepare for the years to come with healthy optimism.
Our late founder Jean-Paul In-Albon once said, “The coffee world doesn’t care so much about economics; people will still buy coffee, cigarettes and alcohol. Especially for the coffee part, we at Eversys agree with this statement. Regardless of COVID-19, post-COVID and recessionary fears, we expect further solid growth in the super traditional coffee equipment segment. We are preparing to overcome these current challenges and ensure that we can continue to meet the growing demand for our equipment in the markets. GCR
For more information visit www.eversys.com/en/
This article first appeared in the July/August 2022 edition of the Global Coffee Report. Learn more HERE.