ept GmbH, headquartered in Peiting, Bavaria, Germany, has been a family-owned business for more than 40 years, supplying not only the automotive industry, but also the industrial and communications sector with PCB connectors. All products are produced in-house, as ept GmbH is capable of handling all important manufacturing steps. These include product development, project planning, tooling and equipment, production (punching, electroplating, assembly, etc.) and also the provision of a comprehensive “all-in-one” service. With its plants in Germany, the Czech Republic, the US, and China, ept GmbH is also a major player in electrical connectors around the world.
In recent years, this all-in-one solution has gained in popularity with customers and business partners. As a result, the total turnover of all plants increased from €81 million to €112 million between 2014 and 2016 alone. This is an increase of about 38% within two years. The revenue share for the automotive sector is currently at 65%, while 33% of revenues are attributable to the industrial and communications sector. This sector includes segments such as industrial automation, embedded, control and measurement technology, communication and many more.
But this growth is not only impacting revenues. Due to higher volume orders and new, additional orders, the demand for personnel has also increased. Between 2014 and 2016, around 100 new employees started working at ept. The American plant in Chester alone makes up for 50% of this increase. At the German plant in Peiting, ept saw its staff grow by 34%. This means that ept employed a total of 1,033 staff in December 2016. And there is no end in sight: Currently, ept GmbH still has a high demand for personnel - especially in Germany.
To meet this demand, ept GmbH is offering training for nine different occupations. These include professions such as tool mechanic, industrial salesman, surface coater, technical product designer, and mechatronics engineer. With a total of 104 trainees, the connector manufacturer has a training quota of around 10%. In comparison: The current training quota in Germany is 5.5% on average (Source: Vocational Training Report 2016, Federal Ministry of Education and Research). This puts ept GmbH far above the pack. In addition to a dual education, ept also offers a cooperative study program. In this scheme, an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic is combined with a degree in mechanical engineering. This allows dual students to obtain two qualifications at the same time. In total, ept currently employs seven dual students.
Lastly, the expansion of the medium-sized family business is not only impacting the revenues and hirings, but also construction. This started in 2013 with the expansion of the building at the Buching site. A completely new factory building at the Habartov site in the Czech Republic was also completed at the end of 2016. With this project, ept has expanded the building area by 3,000 m². Now featuring a total area of 7,000 m² with a production area of 5,000 m², office space on an area of 1,000 m² and a storage area of 1,000 m², ept was able to meet the rapid growth. Currently, the company is still relocating from the old to the new plant, which will be completed by July 2017.
Construction for ept is also taking place in the US: In early 2017, the new building was completed in Chesterfield, just 10 minutes from the old site in Chester. This facility is also in the process of relocating, which will be completed by May 2017. The reason for building the new plant in the USA was the strong growth, especially in the automotive sector. The operating performance there doubled in 2015 and showed additional growth of 15% in 2016. To handle the high order volume, ept invested around seven million US dollars in construction.
It will take just a few years for the costs of personnel and investments to be recouped. These measures will keep the company competitive and ensure long-term and reliable cooperation not only within ept itself, but also with customers and business partners. In the meantime, ept GmbH is looking for committed employees who would like to work in a future-oriented and successful family business.