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To a wonderful 2020!

14 December 2017

2020? What about 2018? At Rompa, we like to look a bit further ahead. This year, we took our first steps towards a promising future by drawing up our strategic action plan Rompa 2020. Rompa has grown in other ways over the past year as well. We look back – and forward – with our CEO Patrick Gerard.


If you ask Patrick Gerard, the year 2017 had several highlights. “After barely six months, our site in Slovakia moved to a new, larger assembly facility to meet our customers’ growing demands. The Slovakian prime minister even came by to personally welcome us. In China, we set up an SMT line in mid-2017 to produce circuit boards for electronic devices. This line of electronic products is very successful. On top of that, we added some wonderful new customers to our portfolio, including Danfoss and Britax Römer. With the latter, we even signed an agreement for structural collaboration over the next ten years. Furthermore, we worked together with our existing customers on the development of fantastic new projects.” All this contributed to a twenty-percent increase of our revenue in Europe this year.


Lean as a solution to mounting costs
Besides these successes, there were also challenges to overcome this year. “As a result of the ongoing development of Eastern Europe, the costs are rising rapidly there – faster than we expected,” Patrick explains. “Prices are also under pressure. Parties negotiate fiercely to lower the costs of a project.” How does Rompa deal with these developments? “We are working hard to implement the lean method in our organisation. We want to save costs by setting up processes in a more efficient manner or by automating them.”

Patrick Gerard - CEO Rompa Group
Patrick Gerard - CEO Rompa Group

Strategic action plan
There is a reason why lean is one of the core themes of the action plan for 2020, Patrick Gerard emphasises. “Our ambition is to achieve a fifty-percent growth rate compared to 2016 by the year 2020. The lean method is the key to success.” The other themes of the strategic action plan concern e.g. IT, robotisation and HR. Patrick: “We want to make our administrative and supporting processes more efficient with increased automation, for example by implementing a new ERP system and a barcode system.”


Cherishing our employees
Despite the increased automation, the CEO is convinced that people continue to make all the difference at Rompa. “That is why we focus extensively on HR. We want to cherish our employees and offer high potentials valuable opportunities. We are off to a great start after hiring an amazing HR manager. Furthermore, an independent agency helped us identify potential areas of improvement by talking to our operators. How do they feel about Rompa and what can we do better as an employer? That can be anything, from offering our people more comfortable safety footwear to listening more attentively to what they have to say. In the year to come, we will take concrete steps to further improve our organisation based on our employees’ input.”


2018: getting to work
Strategy = Execution is one of the books on our CEO’s nightstand. Patrick Gerard fully supports the philosophy of its author, management expert Jacques Pijl. “Coming up with wonderful strategic plans will only get you so far. Execution is the most important aspect. For us, the year 2018 will therefore mainly be about executing our Rompa 2020 plans.”