The local office of German tech firm Bosch said it expects to recover lost ground this year after the company registered a decrease in sales in 2017. The subsidiary, which posted double-digit growth over the past three years, ended its 2017 fiscal year with $51 million in consolidated sales in the Philippines.
“Our business was impacted by the projects of our energy and building technology business sector. Project awards and purchases expected in the end of 2017 were pushed into 2018. Also, after several strong years of growth, our mobility solutions business moderated,” said Richard Walker, managing director of Bosch in the Philippines.
For the current year, Bosch expects to regain momentum of growth. ?We had a good start into 2018. The local economy continues to benefit from stronger consumer spending and robust demand from the construction and manufacturing sectors,? Walker said.
The number of associates employed at Bosch in the Philippines stood at more than 500 as of December 31, 2017. Bosch expects this number to increase in 2018 as the company progresses on its business expansion plans.
E-commerce remains one of the key business drivers for Bosch in the Philippines, recording a growth rate of over 100 percent in 2017. In the same year, the number of company’s accredited online vendors increased to 20.
At the same time, the company has expanded its digital product catalog to include more than 8,000 SKUs by the end of 2017. In 2018, the number is expected to rise by 25 percent.
Based on a recent study by Google and Temasek, the Philippines’s online shopping industry is poised to increase by more than 30 percent over the next ten years. The country’s high mobile penetration rate is seen as one of the major factors in propelling developments in e-commerce.
“We expect to continue our strong growth with e-commerce over the coming years,” said Walker.
In 2017, connectivity made its way to the Philippines through Bosch’s introduction of Industry 4.0 solutions, enabling manufacturing processes to be smarter and leaner.
ActiveCockpit, the intelligent communication platform from Bosch Rexroth for example, helps to process and visualize data to provide users with easy and instant updates of the status of production, thus making information or analysis more accurate and much faster to access.
Meanwhile the Online Diagnostics Network (ODiN), utilizes data to monitor machine performance such as maintenance schedules and the potential breakdown of equipment. This technology enables users to benefit from immediate identification of problems and reduces downtime and cost, while ensuring all goods produced are of high quality. Both solutions are now available in the Philippines.
“Bosch is a proponent of connected manufacturing and is a leading global user and provider of Industry 4.0,” said Walker. “The benefit that Industry 4.0 puts forth is tremendous, enabling production processes to be more flexible, increasing efficiency and reducing complexity. This in turn makes daily tasks of employees easier.”
Bosch has also collaborated with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in advising the publication of the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (PRSAP).
Under the PRSAP, the government recommends that new vehicles consider usage of the most up-to-date vehicle safety technologies, which Bosch can provide with the ABS, the ESP, and Driver Assistance Systems. Driver Assistance Systems, another breakthrough from Bosch derived from the technology used for the ESP, is set to help drivers in critical traffic situations through accident avoidance, emergency braking systems, and lane assist systems, among a host of other intelligent features.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility,” Walker stated. “Collaboration is another key to driving progress, and we see that working with the government, industry players, and the motoring public will allow us to find sustainable solutions towards safer mobility.”
In Malaysia for example, Bosch was a key player to support the country’s move in 2016 to mandate the installation of ABS in all new vehicles as of June 2018.
The consumer goods business sector continues to be the company’s strongest contributor to sales in the Philippines. The demand for the mid-price power tools range continues to fuel this business sector, along with the booming construction industry.
The mobility solutions also business grew steadily in 2017, strongly supported by growing demand for Bosch batteries.
In the same year, the Bosch Advantage Line for wipers was launched, catering to extreme all-weather performance applications. The wiper product line is seen as a growth area for 2018 given the market’s untapped potential and Bosch’s strong position as one of the global market leaders for the wiper product line.
The energy and building technology business sector was awarded long-term contracts for industrial boilers in the nutrition and beverage industries in 2017, and is expected to continue an upward momentum for the current year.
Video surveillance grew significantly, driven by the resilient property development sector and the aggressive implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program.
The industrial technology business sector is also seen as the driver of Industry 4.0 for Bosch, having active presence in the manufacturing and heavy industries.
In 2017, Rexroth, a Bosch company, started to explore possibilities of advancing Industry 4.0 through training opportunities with universities specializing in the engineering sphere. In the same year, packaging technology also secured long-term contracts in the pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage industries following their entry in the Philippine market in 2016.