By Damien Marc, CEO of JPB Système
Chemin de Bassin, France. 11 November 2020. As the CEO of a manufacturing company, 2020 has certainly provided the opportunity to ponder as we gradually edge closer to the end of the year. Like many similar companies, we had a tough period towards the midway point, and with the aerospace sector hit particularly hard, there remains a degree of uncertainty as to exactly when things will bounce back to where they were pre-COVD 19. Be that as it may, this year also saw our company celebrate 25 years of business, while at the same time hitting some impressive milestone shipments on two of our most established flagship technology solutions.
This year has served as a stark reminder to me as a manufacturer that our desire to innovate should be unceasing, as should our desire to constantly drive our technology proposition into relevant, yet unchartered territories of other industry sectors. In fact, this was part of our strategic growth strategy long before COVID-19 disrupted our lives. As manufacturers we should never stand still, but always ensure versatility within our product offering – both for our established customer base within our main heritage sector, as well as beyond.
From our own perspective, despite being a go-to supplier and solutions provider solving key challenges for aircraft engine manufacturers, we continue to extend our reach into other application areas within the same sector, for example within aircraft operating systems such as landing gear and hydraulic or pneumatic systems.
Perhaps more importantly, the functional attributes of our core aerospace-focused products like our borescope plugs and Lulylok self-locking fitting, open up the possibility for such products to directly address certain needs within other sectors. For these two solutions in particular, there are opportunities within the energy market, for example among manufacturers of engine turbines for power generation. Beyond that, certain areas of the mobility sector, such as railway rolling stock, offer potential to step out of our familiar surroundings, yet nonetheless offer a very viable offering to new customers outside our key market.
In the constant quest to maintain revenue streams and support long term growth, going one step further and diversifying one’s technology proposition to develop completely different solutions for new markets, can never hurt. Last year, this saw my own company create its own manufacturing execution system (MES), KEYPROD, that delivers the same efficiency-enhancing benefits to manufacturers, regardless of the machines they are running or the sector in which they operate.
As I said previously, with our ‘home’ sector being aerospace, our company has clearly been in a brawl with COVID-19 – we still are. And while I would not pretend that a global crisis on this scale is something that companies can properly prepare for, we’ve certainly found that it helps to have wider opportunities available thanks to a degree of dynamism across our solutions stable.
I think it’s useful for manufacturers to spread their proposition far and wide and knock on doors outside of their comfort zone to lessen existing dependency. For any company, this can only strengthen their hand when doing business – whether it’s during a pandemic or when industry is flourishing.