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TRUMPF Discusses Vietnam Metalworking Market Amid COVID-19

TRUMPF Discusses Vietnam Metalworking Market Amid COVID-19

TRUMPF Discusses Vietnam Metalworking Market Amid COVID-19

Patrick Kemnitz of TRUMPF Vietnam talks about the impact of the ongoing pandemic in Vietnam’s metalworking sector, lessons learned, and strategies to adopt amid the ongoing crisis. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Patrick Kemnitz

TRUMPF is one of the leading providers of machine tools and laser technology for industrial applications. The company has a strong presence in Southeast Asia through its numerous local subsidiaries. Since 2006, TRUMPF has also been represented in Vietnam, with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The company has been expanding its local team and presence continuously, and has now grown to a team of more than 40 local employees.

TRUMPF Vietnam supports businesses with local sales, spare parts and service requirements, with the main purpose to be close to its customers. Its European-trained engineers are dedicated to install, inspect, maintain and repair machines locally as well as provide extensive trainings for customers operating the TRUMPF high-end technology in their manufacturing plants.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Patrick Kemnitz, General Director, TRUMPF Vietnam Co. Ltd, talks about the impact of the ongoing pandemic in Vietnam’s metalworking sector, lessons learned, and strategies to adopt amid the ongoing crisis.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON YOUR MARKET?

Patrick Kemnitz (PK): The metal fabrication industry was also impacted by the unforeseeable situation and consequences of the COVID-9 pandemic. 

However, the Vietnamese government has managed the spread of COVID-19 with immediate and very efficient measures. Due to this, the total number of cases since the beginning of 2020, compared to other countries, is on a low level. Now, it has been more than 44 days of no transmissions in the community. This has helped stabilize the economy in Vietnam!

With the latest figures, the Vietnamese GDP is expected to grow to around 2 percent in 2020, after reaching around 7 percent in previous years. The forecast for 2021 is around 6 percent and shows a fast recovery. That means the Vietnamese market is even in such hard times a growth market, during other economies are shrinking. 

Why this can happen? Companies have already amended their strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic made them question their existing supply chains and their sourcing strategy and this means not only companies in Vietnam. This is more a global topic and before COVID-19 the differences between U.S. and China regarding trade brought already dynamic into such consideration of factory movements or at least sourcing diversification.

As a result, especially in manufacturing sector in Vietnam and what we can see from TRUMPF side for the sheet metal market, more production is done and will be done in Vietnam. The demand for metal fabrication has increased in the past months.

In such situations also companies from U.S., China, Japan, India or Singapore are contacting TRUMPF in Vietnam to get contact to reliable manufacturers for sheet metal parts in Vietnam.

WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD MANUFACTURERS HAVE IMPLEMENTED BY NOW AS THEY RESUME PRODUCTION?

PK: Right now, it is a good time for manufacturers to realign their strategy. That means not only  preparing an outlook for the production requirements in next six to 12 months, but also being prepared for economic recovery.

The most important thing is to keep the skilled and trained workforce in their factories. The people with their knowledge are the most important factor for a fast ramp-up or for a sustainable change program. Flexible working models can help in current times.

The second thing is production capacity. If manufacturers in Vietnam want to make a next step with their factory and bring in new production jobs especially from foreign countries, then they are facing usually the so called “chicken and egg” problem. Do they need to have the machines first or can they wait to receive the order confirmation?

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