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Brief overview of 2020 and 2021

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2021.01.21

Hi!

First of all, Happy New Year to you and your team. We all expect 2021 to be a much better year and that includes team Aumeta. All the best to you and your company getting back to the path of growth and prosperity!

With this blogpost we briefly wanted to review 2020 as well as share our plans for 2021 which hopefully will help you to get to know Aumeta even better and strengthen our partnership.

For those, who don’t have enough time, here are the main points of this post:

  • No major Covid19 outbreaks in 2020. We are handling the second wave and introduced even more precautionary measures to manage the risks as much as possible.
  • The total revenue in 2020 was on the same level as in 2019 despite a loss of ~20% potential order intake throughout 2020 Q3. In short, Covid19 potentially caused around 15% smaller total revenue than expected.
  • Despite “lost” revenue, there were no mandatory layoffs, except for natural employee rotation. Financially we are completely stable and managed to finish the year with a quite healthy EBIDTA.
  • Production efficiency is still growing strongly and as a result we are able to entirely cover salary growth in Lithuania and hire the best talent in town.
  • 90% of monetary and time investments in 2021 will go into production efficiency improvements and heavy digitalization of all company processes.
  • No major investments into new machinery during 2021 unless the economy is going to rebound very quickly. For that we are already doing our homework on a new large milling machine (at least 6000 x 2000 x 1500 mm).
  • Although it’s really hard to forecast anything today, we predict that order intake will start increasing in 2021 Q2 which could lead to 15~20% total annual growth.

For those, who do have some time, here is a longer version:

Covid19 in 2020 and 2021

First wave was pretty much non-existent here in Lithuania and there were no direct health concerns at Aumeta. The summer came and besides normal precautions, business returned back to usual setup. But we all expected the second wave to be worse and longer for which we prepared.

Obviously, that happened and everything we learned during the first wave, we are using that knowledge to live through it with some extra introduced precautionary measures. All in all, it seems like everybody just got used to being extra careful, working from home and continuous Covid tests. We hope that we will be able ti live through it until April/May without any major breakouts.

Order situation and finances

Although the global economic situation was completely crazy in March and panic was setting in Lithuania, we didn’t really feel any impact for a couple of months due to inertia of our business. Things started to slow down around May/June, order intake decreased and at the end of the summer that first wave of postponed and cancelled orders finally impacted us as well.

During 2020 Q2~Q3 the order intake decreased by around 20% compared to what we expected. Nevertheless we are grateful that the decrease in business wasn’t overwhelming and we didn’t have to lay off any employees. Unfortunately, other Lithuanian industries and companies didn’t have that luxury

Since it was a beautiful summer, everybody got a chance for a longer holiday and well deserved rest. As we jokingly were saying here – it was time for the world to stop for a minute and take a deep breath (pun intended) before sprinting even faster in the future. Well, here at Aumeta we are well rested and ready for the challenges 2021 sets for us, positive or negative.

Despite all these challenges, we still managed to deliver the same amount of orders (also, revenue) as we did in 2019 and delivered a pretty healthy EBIDTA. That allowed us to meet 2021 with a strong, stable position and a budget for further investments into our company (more on it further down the post).

Performance in 2020

The famous saying in business “when the crisis hits, look for an opportunity, because there is always one” and we couldn’t agree more. Difficult situations make people think on their feet, be quick and more decisive, put all the focus on new ideas which could tackle these new challenges. Fortunately, this crisis also sent an electric shock towards us and we managed to improve some things so quickly, that we already see the results, roughly half a year later.

Besides quite many positive changes we did throughout the year, we are most proud about a substantial improvement in our production efficiency. In the last three years, our total production efficiency per employee improved by roughly 25%!

Another extremely important factor is quality performance. Although internally our set targets are higher, overall the performance was quite satisfactory which most of our partners confirmed. However, with such focus and investments into quality in 2021, we are sure that the performance is only going to improve. And we will share that with you next year.

Investments during 2020

For obvious reasons, the intensity of investments in 2020 was lower than in 2016-2019. However, we finalized a couple of deals and in 2020 two quite big investments were closed – a new CNC turning machine Doosan Puma 4100LMB and our new ERP system – Monitor ERP.

Another 50 000 Eur or so were invested into quality assurance, first steps of digitization project and new tooling to improve production efficiency, in particular – set-up time.

 

Development and investment plans in 2021

2021 seems to be a perfect year for our development plan. Due to economic uncertainty, large investments into new machinery are quite risky, but the “stars aligned” perfectly and even before Covid we knew that 2021 is going to be all about business “hygiene”, production efficiency and a leap towards real digitalization. As we joke around here, we have the racing car, now it’s time to start racing professionally! Here is what we have on our agenda:

Complete integration of the new Monitor ERP
A very capable and modern ERP which combines all the main company management modules – production, purchasing, finances, inventory, reporting, statistics and many other capabilities.

In-house phone App / Web-based Software
We are developing our own in-house App to digitalize processes for which we haven’t found a ready-to-use solution. Real-time tracking of quality issues, measurement reporting, certification of measurement tooling and so on. That’s only a part of the quality module. Besides quality, we plan to integrate modules which will improve internal communication, production support (help), motivation and so on. Two full-time developers are working on the platform.

Production-floor upgrades
We have many different small upgrades we want to do in our factory – internal logistics, inventory management, health and safety upgrades, LEAN/5S improvements and many other relatively “cheap” mini-projects. Business “hygiene” so to say.

So, how do YOU benefit from all of this?

Production reliability and quality
The in-house App will improve real-time monitoring and tracking of ongoing quality issues during all production phases and add another layer of precautions so there would be no chance for a faulty part to leave our workshop. Quality and measurement reporting will also be completely digitalized and will be tracked in real-time as well.

Improved delivery reliability
The new ERP system will not only streamline our own company processes for our benefit, but will also provide much more information on order progress, possible delivery delays, supply chain monitoring and many other features which will allow us to make more informed decisions about the order situation. The installed OEE monitoring system should provide us critical data about inefficiencies in our production processes which we can use for improvements and that way, shorten the lead time.

Improved information transparency and ease of sharing
Both, our new ERP as well as our in-house App are developed in a way that sharing information would be as easy as possible. Our target is to improve communication both internally and externally, meaning eventually we want our close partners to monitor the progress of their orders in real-time, see what kind of problems we having and how did we solve them. Ultimately, our strategic target is to make our workshop feel as one of our partners own, so all development decisions are based on this general target.

 

That’s all for now! Wish you all the best in 2021, stay safe and motivated!

Sincerely yours, team Aumeta