In July 2019, Elos Medtech in Denmark celebrate our 50 years’ anniversary. It has been a fantastic journey where we have constantly developed our company to fit customer needs. We have gone from handmade to automatization and from local to global. But these are just some of the groundbreaking changes the company has gone through.
I meet Søren Olesen, Managing Director at Elos Medtech in Denmark, in his bright and warm office in Görlöse. Behind him on a bookshelf are two large LEGO cars that he has built himself and a brown leather briefcase. Everything seems quite neat and tidy, just like the rest of the company. Even the production site is extremely clean and well-kept. The atmosphere allover is nice, but always with a twist of humor. Somehow, the friendly tone and smiling faces creates a feeling of being home.
From handmade to automatization
I imagine myself the first day of the company’s history being just like this – a fantastic, hot and sunny summer day in July 1969. On this day, the founder of the company, Mr. Ole Christensen, saw an opportunity in establishing small precision engineering as a local service for Denmark. Previously, Switzerland had been dominating the export of this, but Ole found it was time to make it easier for local companies to grow their businesses.
“We were founded in one of the strongest periods of growth in Denmark. Many started up their own businesses and experienced immediate growth. At this point, our company was fabricating everything by hand and our focus was to establish a name through high quality and credibility. But soon customers needed more volume, as many of them were going global. Thereby an automatization phase was started”, Søren Olesen, Managing Director in Denmark explains.
Mass production and regulatory demands
Throughout the 1980’s, Novo Nordisk challenge our company on mass production. They ask us to fabricate their insulin pen and build new machines that can handle this. As a natural consequence, we develop a strong quality mindset and establish a regulatory department. We also realize that we are not big enough to handle the increasing demands for products and agree with our customer to train a German supplier to help us produce more.
“In the 1990’s we have our first ISO certification. We also build a new growth plan to ensure that we can create a critical mass and expand the number of customers to more international customers. Within few years, we grow from 35 to 170 employees. Our strategy at this point is micro mechanics – everything needs to be smaller. But the market was not ready for micro mechanics.
By the end of the 1990’s, we start working with the Telecom industry and build many new machines. Thing are developing fast. But in March 2001, our largest Telecom customer choose to move their production to China.”, says Søren Olesen.
Becoming a truly global player
We realise that we need to redefine our strategy. In 2001, we therefore choose a medtech strategy, focusing on development and becoming regulatory. This is an expensive strategy and the next few years are tough.
“But in 2005, we make the best decision in the company’s history ever. The Swedish company, Elos Medtech, offers to acquire our company. This makes it possible for us to continue our strategy and journey. Now, we can handle even more customers and we strengthen our regulatory competences. In 2007, we have our first own products ready and we now exclusively focus on dental and hearing aids. In 2010, we build up a factory in China on behalf of Elos Medtech. Within 12 months, 10-15 employees from Denmark have everything ready and the factory has been running successful ever since.”, says Søren Olesen.
Open Digital Workflow – setting the standard
Today, our key focus is still dental and hearing aids. Our primary customers are companies whose main business is within dental. We work with 7 out of 10 of the largest global dental implantology companies, 90% of our business is export and we have distributors in EU, North America and Australia. 33% of our sales comes from own products, which we continuously invest in for being at the forefront.
“Today, our primary goal is to set the standard and become the best within four products in the digital workflow. We want to enable our customers’ businesses by being the best within the niche products that are used for dental implantology. We call this the digital workflow. And we expect to reach our goal within the next 2-3 years. Also, our company strategy is now built on a global specialization approach, where we work across our sites in Sweden, Denmark, USA and China within three segments: Dental, Orthopedics and Life Science. Therefore, we do not consider ourselves a local entity in a global company. We are part of “Global Dental” across sites.”, says Søren Olesen.
The future: working closer with customers
What we will see in the future is that we become more dependent on each other due to increasing regulatory demands. We will work with less suppliers, however in a closer relationship.
“Companies will work closer together without being one company. I imagine myself that in 10 years’ time, Elos Medtech in Denmark will have taken over a larger part of the product supply, which means finished products. Outsourcing manufacturing will increase efficiency for our customers, which is why our specialization strategy is so important. We will have a higher stake in our customers economy and we need to act responsible and always bring substantial value to our customers businesses.
I look forward to continue our journey and collaboration with customers and business partners the next years, and I know for sure that it will be a great adventure!”, says Søren Olesen.
Thank you, Søren, for sharing your knowledge and history. We look forward to seeing what the future might hold for Elos Medtech in Denmark!
Would you like to know more about Elos Accurate and Elos Open Digital Solution? Visit our website for dental professionals. For more information on our development and manufacturing offer, please visit elosmedtech.com.