Heilind Asia Pacific Sales Director William Neo Was Interviewed by EPNC Magazine

Heilind Asia Pacific Sales Director William Neo was recently interviewed by EPNC Magazine. They conducted an interview with William to share the market landscape and business strategy of Heilidn Asia during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the permission of EPNC Magazine, we would like to proudly share the essence of the article with our media friends, as below:

Q. [Introduction] Please introduce yourself and Heilind in brief.

I am William Neo, Sales Director responsible for Asia Pacific region, based in Heilind Singapore. With more than 20 years of industry experience in sales, marketing and supply chain responsibilities, I am proud to join Heilind since Jan, 2019. My role together with our management team is to overcome market, technological, financial and competitive challenges to drive growth, profitability and performance improvement. 

Heilind Electronics, founded by Bob Clapp in 1974 is still today a privately owned company and one of the world’s leading distributors for interconnect, electromechanical, and sensor products. As the industry’s preeminent distributor, Heilind has been built on the ideals of inventory in depth and breadth, flexible policies, responsive systems, knowledgeable technical support and unsurpassed customer service to support original equipment and contract manufacturers in all market segments of the electronics industry. We are franchised for over 150 of the industry’s leading manufacturers, and offer products in 25 component categories including connectors, relays, sensors, switches, thermal management and circuit protection products, terminal blocks, antennas, wire and cable, wiring accessories, and insulation and identification products.

Through our sister company, DB Roberts, we are also the recognized leader in the hardware/fastener market, providing solutions for fastener applications in sheet metal fabrication, metalworking and industrial electronics.

Prior to 2013, Heilind US was already servicing US customers directly in Asia. For many years, both our suppliers and customers were encouraging us to have local operations to enhance our presence in Asia. Our North American customers with production sites in Asia want us to be in the region so as to be closer to their local facilities while our suppliers were and still are convinced our unique business model will strengthen their service offerings via the channel. Heilind Asia was finally set up and officially launched in Asia on 12th December 2012.

Besides replicating the best in class practices of Heilind US, Heilind Asia’s business mission is to drive our concept of Distribution As It Should Be. A concept based on the belief that a distributor has to be a true channel partner for both our suppliers and customers by being an extended selling arm of our suppliers and the extended purchasing platform for our customers. I am proud to say we have done well over the last seven years, from being practically an unknown entity to becoming a recognized, reputable business partners for suppliers and customers.

Q. [Market Landscape] I heard that a lot of influential distributors are located in North America. Considering that the most of leading manufacturers are scattered in the world, especially in Asia, it is quite interesting situation. Are there any other typical reasons?

As we are now living in a globalized world, the supply chain is so efficient that manufacturing can be located anywhere, as long they are able to leverage on the manufacturing location’s capabilities, for example, workforce, logistics and engineering. However, USA has the largest economy by nominal GDP and net wealth, and the second largest by purchasing power parity, after China. It is no surprise then, that most of the global distributors are located in North America, which they have an enormous market right at their front door. Secondly, the complexity of supply chain may start with the customer designing the products in USA, mass-production and final box build in Asia or Mexico by their contract manufacturers, and finally shipping their products globally. These global distributors need to have presence across all locations to support their customers.         

Q. [Business Strategy] In recent days, commerce is “online” without doubts. Considering these circumstances, for electronics distributors what do you think which competency would be take the 1st priority? (i.e cheap pricing, convenient UI/UX for ordering platform, delivery speeds, coverage of products, etc….) and what do you emphasize among them and how do you reinforce such competency in detail?

We do agree that E-commerce is an important channel nowadays. As for Heilind, we have our eStore which customers can check stocks, buy parts and track order with our easy-to-use online store. Most importantly, this channel strategy is fully aligned to our specialization, as we stocks a broad inventory of interconnect, electromechanical, and sensor products from leading manufacturers around the world. Plus, our warehouses are strategically located to make sure we have inventory close to where you need it most. While our product line card is impressive, what really differentiates us is our extensive inventory position and ability to deliver product when and where you need it. If you require a connector or sensor solution, Heilind is the specialist you call first.

Our competitive advantage is, when a customer buy a product from us, besides offering competitive price, our level of service include fast delivery, engineering support, quality assurance and even small volume support during the initial phase of NPI (New Product Introduction). In our experience, this is very crucial to our customers’ time-to-market expectations, and over the years this has indeed helped us to establish mutual long term business relationship with all our strategic customers.

 [Business Strategy] There are so many difficulties in distributors all over the world because of COVID-19. Then how does Heilind correspondent to such a problem and how are you going to expand your business?

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken many businesses by surprise. Many market analysts and economists have projected a global recession this year. As of now, our diversification strategy has worked very well and this has helped us to sustain our business through this difficult time. While we are seeing business impact to some market segments, at the same time we are also seeing some upside opportunities in certain market segments, for example healthcare-related products. We are also confident that once this Covid-19 situation is under control, there will be good opportunities in market segments, for example 5G telecom, Electric Vehicles, Consumer Electronics, Cloud Computing/Data Centers and Mil-Aero (Military/Aerospace), which we have already invested our resources to support these applications.

Q. [Roadmap and Plan] What is your roadmap in 2020 with global scale?

Moving forward, we will continue to grow our market share, by leveraging on our core competence. We will also focus on key growth area, as mentioned above. Instead of reducing cost and staying in a conservative mode now, we will continue to invest prudently and deepen our sales coverage into emerging regions like inner China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

We have plans to extend our sales network into South Korea too. According to Korea Electronics Association, the Korean electronics industry is the third largest producer in the world. However, it is a very matured and competitive market. The supply chain ecosystem is also very integrated. Our strategy lies on the execution to extend our inventory offering, our global level of services and our market-specific segment focus. We will duplicate our success stories from other global locations into South Korea, and primarily driving new business from our key product offerings like interconnect, sensors, switches, wires and cables.

Globally, as we are franchised for over 150 of the industry’s leading manufacturers, we will continue to look at new products, which will address the current market trends and create synergy to our current product portfolio. At the same time, we would also like to expand our product offering to fasteners and hardware, which we will learn from our sister company, DB Roberts, and leverage on their market experience.    

Finally and most importantly, we value all our employees who are instrumental in driving the business together, regardless of the market situation. We will continue to invest in our employees, by equipping them with the best-in-practice training and resources to support our long term goals. 

To read the original article, please visit http://www.epnc.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=96063

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