2022 Reflection and 2023 Outlook

By Eric Winkler, Chairman

A Chairpersons View, listening to customers, shaping the direction, upholding Ryder's vision, mission and values.

When I reflect on 2020 into 2022 and throughout, I need to state that COVID-19 and variations of, were gentle with Ryder.  To put that into context, the team carried out a magnificent job to mitigate risk.

We applied strict controls of "Zero COVID" and fortunately experienced no casualties.  During this time, we focussed on

maintaining our own personal health and wellbeing as well as that of our company. We reflected on what lessons we learned. We developed, and as a positive result, sales grew.

In stark contrast to others in the Electronics Manufacturing Industry (EMS), our supply chain continued to flow well, albeit demanding a lot of hard and smart work from both our intelligent in-house supply team experts, as well as our established and reliable network of Original Component Manufacturers (OCMs).  To test our resilience, we experienced only one state-ordered lockdown, but being proactive, this didn’t stop our team from manufacturing. We proficiently and rapidly opened our own on-campus accommodation and kept on making with our supply chain moving.

Like everyone else across the globe during COVID-19, we had a reliance on a new way of doing business, via online communication portals, and again, I must sing the praises of our team who adapted quickly to this new world.  Training and development took place as we learned how to showcase to our OEM customers our ability to remotely design, engineer, develop, manufacture, and deliver from product introduction, to realisation, to fulfilment.  This demonstratable evidence has led to new and existing opportunities, repeat business, and new contracts being awarded to Ryder. A true testament to how flexibility, and a can-do attitude helps in challenging times.

Taking this time to think strategically with our minds positioned for growth, we moved a large part of our manufacturing capability to our Inland facility.  As planned, this freed up significant space within our Coastal plant, which is in the world-class engineering city of Shenzhen, for our exciting new Advanced Manufacturing Hub.  Here, we will focus on materials, components, processes, and skills and we’re pleased to say that we’ve already seen positive signs with one of our OEM customers. We’ve gained significant market share thanks to our custom development team engineering a unique and tailored solution based on their individual market needs.

As I discuss our different facility locations, I am acutely aware that the term "Geopolitical risk" has risen in prominence these days and is gaining increased international attention.  The "Geo" part is not a challenge for Ryder, as our plants are in a seismic quiet zone, they are 450km (300 miles) apart, and they access multiple seaports.  We are also incredibly proud to be embedded in China's extensive and robust industrial supply base.  The "political" dimension is being addressed by a dual effort, for electronics, Ryder runs a four-year-old partnership within Thailand, which satisfies the United States import controls, and a plastics solution is being prepared.  During 2023 we will be able to comment on this further and share our solution with you.

We can't say for certain whether COVID-19 has made companies more environmentally aware, but regardless, we are pleased that ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is getting more attention worldwide, and that companies are being assessed on these principles.

At Ryder Industries, we have been putting Environmental principles into practice since we opened our inland plant in 2012, with six new systems for energy and water conservation.  With those years of experience, we extended these in our 2021 expansion, and they have worked very well for us.

And it's not all about the 'environmental' part of this program, at Ryder we have been pushing ahead with our Social dimension too, running a dual-option six-month paid maternity leave policy.  The "glass ceiling" received attention, too.  Not simply with quotas, but with consultation, development training, and dynamism, resulting in near perfect female numerical parity of managers.

I'd like to conclude with a message to our team to ensure that they fully understand how much they are valued, not only through the challenging times, but we do applaud their extraordinary performance during these testing times.  The exciting years ahead bring new projects and new opportunities for us all.