Readers of the newly vamped WITTMANN Group website may have noticed a recent item in the news section there: “WITTMANN is looking ahead with optimism”. Michael WITTMANN notes that “based on the current order backlog and continuing very positive order situation we are looking forward to a two-digit increase in sales for 2021. From today’s point of view, we expect to reach the figure of 2019 once more and maybe even exceed it.” So what’s the secret? It seems like a mix of factors.
Firstly, there has to be some kind of rebound factor from the initial shock of the COVID pandemic which hit full force from March 2020. Nonetheless, the global plastics industry – and WITTMANN customers – showed considerable strength and resilience by doubling down, producing more and investing further from Q3 2020 onwards.
Second, it’s not too much to state that the WITTMANN BATTENFELD machinery brands have steadily gained traction year after year. The SmartPower in particular has iconic status among those who know its features well – especially its astounding energy efficiency performance and its easy integration of all forms of automation.
Third, the pandemic was noted for its emergency demands on manufacturing. Medical and healthcare products were needed from scratch and in a hurry. The WITTMANN Group’s “one-stop shop” meant therefore that a plastics processor could design, scale up and order a complete manufacturing production cell – all from one source, saving time and logistics.
Fourthly, there is no doubt that a shift of emphasis in marketing and in the group’s communication methods played a part. A new group website came into being, the endless circuit of global exhibitions was rested for a season and with the resources saved a successful online campaign in social media and business was launched. The refresh and the reboot appear to have been very positive.
All in all the current figures certainly are a cause for optimism – and for celebration. And now perhaps the supply side is poised at a critical point between demand and supply. Regular attendees of WITTMANN Group celebrations and parties in Vienna will no doubt recall that at some point in the evening the gathering is entertained to a troupe of acrobats – a reminder, perhaps that so many forms of business and engineering are successful balancing acts. Already it is looking as if the remainder of 2021 will be a test of balancing acts – of finding the right kind of supply in the face of vigorous demand. Once again the business matrix is changing and we must change with it.