“Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) has not always been perceived as the most exciting industry,” says Elke Eckstein. But in the advent of digitalization, automation, and robotization, no one can dispute it’s a fast-paced, competitive, and thrilling place to be in now. As President and CEO of Enics, one of the largest EMS providers in the world in the Industrial Electronics segment, Eckstein is overseeing the development of the Enics Life platform, which stands to catapult the company into a new trajectory that could change the entire industry.
Eckstein discusses how Enics will achieve this, through a combination of predictive, data-driven services, even more digitalization, and above all, the know-how of its workforce.
“We’re providing added value and are really changing the whole industry.”
Accenture: What have been your major learnings around digitalization in the last few years?
Elke Eckstein: I see digitalization as a huge opportunity to improve quality, traceability, cost, speed, predictability, competitiveness–basically everything that EMS stands for.
Digitalization also helps us respond to the future threat of human resource shortages. It represents the transformation of our business model and operating model into a data and technology-driven one. We want to install a pervasive, integrated supply chain that serves customer-to-customer business models.
Accenture: How do you incorporate new technologies into your products and services, and which of those technologies are having the greatest impact?
EE: Our Enics test systems collect data in the cloud and enable automated data and analytics for quality and process monitoring and control. Our systems also have self-learning capabilities to enable automated repairs and preventative corrections to avoid failures in the manufacturing process.
Our customers and partners can access our cloud-based services via the Enics Life platform, where we share component data and make alternative component suggestions. This has proven extremely important because of COVID-related shortages across the entire component industry. With Enics Life, we can coordinate and share product change notices (PCNs) and product discontinuation notices (PDNs) and ensure our customer product teams find the best solutions for customers. That is unique in the industry.
Accenture: Is there a need for additional technology or skills to drive your agenda?
EE: To move up the value chain we must build a pervasive, customer-to-customer platform and clearly for that, we need more brains and more software. As we move up the value chain, that transition will be based on the Enics Life platform. Customers, suppliers, and partners will be able to hop in the platform and take the data they need for their operations. We will need more software and skilled workers when it comes to the orchestration of the supply chain, because our platform will become even bigger and create a new ecosystem for the value chain.
Accenture: Where do you see Enics in two to five years?
EE: Our strategy is very clear going forward: growth, growth in size, growth in service offerings, growth in value-add. We want to be the first choice for outsourcing solutions in industrial applications. We are already developing and executing on the building blocks needed to become the turnkey solution provider. We are providing new services and features in our offerings to customers. The next step will be the orchestration of an ecosystem where we put our service ideas directly on the Enics Life platform, to serve customer needs even better than today.