Interview with sales director, Leon de Ridder!
The pandemic has had major impacts on the RFID industry, however, Cisper Electronics takes new steps forward. Cisper Electronics is taking advantage of the excess time they now have available to further develop their product portfolio and establish new partnerships in new markets around the world.
Leon de Ridder, Sales Director of Cisper Electronics, elaborates in an interview with RFID & Wireless IoT Global on the key values in a partnership and sees some positive effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the market.
What kind of Company is Cisper Electronics?
Cisper Electronics is a distributor that represents several suppliers, mainly focusing on the western European market. We are now actually in the process of adding more suppliers and starting new partnerships that deal with IoT technologies. The current situation amidst the Covid-19 pandemic has really given us the time to develop our current portfolio, pursue new opportunities and start these new partnerships.
With the time that we now have on our hands, we have made the first steps in the direction of IT-related products as a new addition to our product portfolio. We believe and trust that the Covid-19 pandemic, will cause an increase in interest in contactless IoT technologies, regardless of whether active or passive, and these products are exactly what we are offering, on behalf of our partners.
How do you Choose your Partners?
We are currently working with a total of 22 partners. In the beginning, we had to approach them and ask if they would be interested in a cooperation with us. But now, the situation has changed, especially in the Chinese and US markets. Companies in search of a distributor for their products are now reaching out and contacting us themselves. How do we choose who we work with? The first thing we take a look at is the product portfolio.
We try to ensure that we do not have to many overlaps in our product portfolio. We look for products that differ in functionality, like 3G/4G integrated into the product for example. The second aspect we look for is transparency. As we value transparency in a partnership, we also expect the same from our partners – a partnership should be based on trust.
What do you Offer your Partners or Customers?
We offer sales services, logistic services, marketing support, and we also offer our vendors transparency in what we agree with our customers/partner, which I believe is very important. We see the market as a community of partners working together with us. It makes no sense if everything is operating in secret. Last but not least, we also promote products via marketing actions.
Although we are a company with a team of ten, we are quite a big player in the UHF RFID business in Europe. The market potential for UHF RFID is enormous. We are currently working with more than a thousand customers.
More than 30% of which are customers that we have a long term relationship with. The market itself is growing in a good way. On another note, we have also invested in an online store for our customers. It is necessary to have a website that works well and shows up at the start of the search results.
What are Your Future Outlooks for the Company in Hindsight of the Covid-19 Pandemic?
In terms of the time we now have available, it would of course be optimal to expand our contacts and look into new projects. This does not only include RFID readers, but also other high quality products, all of which are from high quality vendors. We are currently also looking for new opportunities in different markets outside our scope as a second step.
As an example, we are now starting a new partnership with a company in China who manufactures wireless 3G/4G/5G routers and have a lot of IoT applications with UHF RFID. They were looking for a distributor in order to make a footprint in Europe. Another example is a partnership with a company from South Africa that developed a building occupancy system that also measures CO2, temperature and humidity levels.
Especially now, with social distancing, such systems are of great interest to facility managers. Working with companies like these, who have their main team in another country and only one member in Europe, we believe will give us leads to new markets that we are not active in at the moment. New relationships take time and focus but we are determined, patient and focused on helping our partners.