Gert van Iperen, President of Bosch Security Systems, shares the company's expansion in Asia, its strategies, culture and goals to perceive the economic downturn as an opportunity.
With a strong social commitment to its employees, clients and partners, Bosch Security Systems is one of the top security manufacturers today. "We invest roughly 10 percent in R&D because we believe that innovation will drive growth in this industry," said Gert van Iperen, President of Bosch Security Systems. Bosch's R&D teams develop key components for intrusion sensors, cameras and loudspeakers in order to get the best catch performance, the best picture and the best sound. "Intelligence to the edge" is a driver for R&D programs like video analytics in the camera, reducing bandwidth and storage requirements and overall cost while adding value for customers.
With Asia receiving a relatively minor blow from the sour economy, Bosch has been enhancing its presence in the region, building resources and taking up large-scale projects. In 2008, Bosch opened a new factory in Zhuhai, China, with which it plans to supply products to local customers, the entire APAC region and the rest of the world. "The Zhuhai facility employs half of Bosch's manufacturing personnel, producing more than 30 percent of our total volume in fire and communication products," van Iperen said.
Two other development centers include Singapore, for access control systems, and Taiwan, for part of its network camera portfolio. Bosch has looked to fresh grounds to develop its IP strength, choosing Taiwan for two main reasons: one, it has already established resources in terms of people and relations; two, Taiwan has a well-established video surveillance and IT development and manufacturing base, which facilitates recruitment and cooperation with key partners and suppliers.
Strategy and Culture
As a corporation that stays in tune with the growing and increasingly converged market, Bosch continues to invest in its people. The company fully believes in training and has certified programs with prescribed training for all Bosch employees and partners. After acquisitions, Bosch's practice is to keep all employees and train them to take on its culture, strategy and goals. "People are our assets," van Iperen emphasized.
With the current IP shift, Bosch's new hiring is characterized by employees with a strong IT background. Convergence and consolidation, particularly with the IT industry, have already resulted in "crossover" trends where interest and technology are beginning to curb toward the physical security realm.
Manufacturers must help their partners and the industry grow, through close teamwork to win, support, install and maintain optimal quality solutions. "The key is to keep ROI issues in mind; a cheaper solution can easily become more expensive over the lifetime of the project, as systems could operate for up to 10 years," van Iperen said. "Good design and good quality of products and services will offer the best ROI, and our goal is to be one of the top three in all security and management business lines, including audio, video, fire safety, intrusion alarms and access control."