Pioneer Newsletter Q2 - 2021

According to the World Bank Global Economic Perspectives from June 2021, “the global economy is expected to expand 5.6% in 2021, the fastest post-recession pace in 80 years.” It looks like economic growth is roaring back and we can take advantage of a supporting tail wind. There is, however, a downside.

The World Bank also reports that “many emerging market and developing economies continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.”

It is good to know that emerging and advanced economies are bouncing back and are both expected to grow by more than 5%.  However, within local markets, differences in growth are much larger. Acting truly global is key to success. The revenue of CEDES is distributed almost evenly between the Americas (30%), EMEA (40%) and Asia (30%). We are expanding our product range continuously; CEDES is a full-line supplier of sensor systems for the elevator and escalator industry, industrial doors, as well as fulfillment and logistic centers. With our global footprint and committed local staff, we strive to serve our customers and suppliers in the best possible way. Thanks to all of you for supporting us as our precious stakeholders. 

The excellent growth forecast is shadowed in the meantime by the omnipresent electronic component shortage. The Tech Monitor from July 2021 quotes Linley Gwennap, Principal Analyst at the tech research company Linley Group, saying: “the current situation is the worst [shortage] I have seen in my three-decade career covering the sector.” We take the World Bank’s very recent forecast in combination with the component shortage as our challenge and commit to exceeding the predicted fast pace. The CEDES Group has fulfilled its plan in the first half of 2021, growing by more than 9 percent. We are happy to benefit from the favorable tail wind. In addition, our previously announced new complementary product portfolio is gaining momentum. We have the rather luxurious “problem” of customers suddenly ordering higher volumes beyond budget, which we need to solve despite the omnipresent issue of getting enough components.

Such a complex environment requires a lot of agility from an organization. Zuzana “Zuzi” Šochová, a great Scrum & Organization Specialist, says: “searching for an agile mindset CEO is frankly a nightmare.” While I am working on expanding employee enablement as CEDES Group CEO, in such complex situations as we are facing today, we don’t have enough time to complete a transition to a new agile CEO model or change the company into a CEO-free organization. Still, I strongly support Šochová`s agile leadership concept: an organizational Scrum Master and Product Owner can act much more agile than traditional structures. It is decisive for the match to have both agile high-level project managers and product managers in place. The ability of the organization to react immediately to such emergency situations proves its agility.  And yes, Scrum needs to be the foundation for R&D and other complex projects. It is also inevitable to have a Chief Scrum Master to prioritize and finance all the projects, or maybe a Chief Executive (Scrum) Officer.

In summary, an agile, interdisciplinary organization with enough leaders inside is better positioned to deal with such an extraordinary situation than a traditional company with a more rigid structure.  It is even more demanding for a high-tech company like CEDES.  Suddenly, not only customer or platform projects are in focus, but also sourcing materials and finding alternative, i.e. available components, evaluating second source suppliers and changing structures around the supply chain get highest priority. CEDES is relatively well positioned and so far, we have managed to master those challenges.  Our organization is fully committed to staying on the course of growth in the future.

Christian-Erik Thöny

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