It's never a great sign of the times when you wake up every day and know you need to check the news before starting work to see what the newest challenges are you're going to have to deal with. Unfortunately, this trend became standard practice within our industry in 2018. Typically, most companies spend their time and money trying to find new ways to speed up service or new products to help their customers. But for most of this past year, it was about working closely with your customers on their existing business to minimize damage from all the new costs that were quickly being added to our industry.
Tariffs have been the number one issue at any company in the electronics manufacturing industry and Epec Engineered Technologies is no different. Due to a currency hedge, crucial inventory management and reduced costs elsewhere, we were able to absorb much of the initial 10% tariffs on a lot of our products. However, with a 25% tariff going into effect on January 1, 2019, companies can’t continue to absorb those costs, so we can all expect the cost of everything to increase. While no one knows how long these tariffs will last, it is not wise to put your head in the sand and hope that they go away quickly.
For 2018 and into 2019 companies also must continue to invest in new technologies and new products to help their customers compete in their markets. We will continue to invest in the technical resources and tools required to get new product designs into production as quickly as possible. In our business, speed wins and when you’re talking about having a first to market advantage, having the resources in-house is critical.
We will also continue to introduce new products for our customers so we will have some exciting products that we will be introducing organically as well as through acquisitions.
Some of these new products include:
Custom RF Coaxial Cables
Due to the success of our RF filter business we started designing and manufacturing custom RF Coaxial Cables at our facility in Largo, FL. Now we can offer our customers a full package of diplexers/multiplexers and the phased matched cables to go with them.
Within our InstantPCBQuote online ordering application, we have removed almost all of the limitations on the site so that our customers can order exactly what they want, all the way up to 16 layer circuit boards. In 2019 we will be adding even more capabilities to our PCB quote and ordering application to include more quick turn options and the ability to quote and order rigid-flex PCBs online.
Fans and Motors
We debuted several new fan and motor products which have new features and options that will be at a price point that makes EC technology competitive with traditional products used in commercial refrigeration. We are also working on a few new acquisitions that will add to our portfolio of custom products for our customers.
While we would all wish that we could have some certainty in the business environment, that will not be the case for the foreseeable future. They key for Epec Engineered Technologies and all of our customers is to make sure that they protect what they already have all while investing in what they need to so that they can be successful in the future. It’s going to be an interesting year.