December 2020 - GD Rectifiers looks ahead to 2021
Published on: 18/12/2020
Interview with GD Rectifiers' Managing Director, Paul Bentley
GD Rectifiers’ Managing Director, Paul Bentley reflects on 2020 and discusses what the industry has to look forward to in 2021.
1) Covid-19 has impacted the power electronics supply chain in 2020.
What significant changes and developments have you seen this year?
Earlier this year in March, during the first national lockdown we saw component sales soar as the country came together to respond to the urgent demand for ventilators and various other medical equipment. We serviced many frontline customers, helping the country make a difference to fight this global pandemic and we were proud that we could keep our doors open to help and support our customers.
GD Rectifiers has experienced steady growth throughout 2020 and even managed to acquire power semiconductor distributor Harmsworth Townley & Co Ltd, despite an unprecedented and turbulent year. We also won three highly commended awards in the Electronics Industry Awards 2020 for ‘Distributor of the Year’, ‘Best Customer Service’ and ‘Excellence in Innovation’. At GD Rectifiers, we are confident we can keep the momentum going and continue to deliver the products and services our customers know and love throughout 2021.
2) How do you think the industry will perform in 2021?
Lead times are starting to lengthen and will continue as the market firms up in 2021. Forecasters are predicting an encouraging 11 percent or more growth next year, albeit from a low base in 2020.
Although there is a sense of uncertainty in the economy, customers are getting through their stock and we are starting to see a rise in demand already as they look to replenish.
Large automotive, industrial and infrastructure projects are starting to bounce back and gain momentum, which is also another reason why we’re seeing component lead times increasing.
3) How do you envisage Brexit will impact the power electronics industry in
It’s hard to say until we know for definite, once the UK confirms our trading relationship with the EU, and whether or not we’ll be leaving with or without a deal.
GD Rectifiers holds its inventory in the UK and always looks to stock an extensive range proportionate to the company’s size. This puts us in the best position to be able to service our UK customers, with the ability to offer buffer stock, protecting customers against any short-term disruptions when we leave the EU.
Some of our suppliers route their deliveries via EU hubs so we might see some disruption when replenishing our own inventory, but our customers will see very little disruption to their supply chain as we are working with customers and suppliers to plan ahead. We are confident that with our expertise we’ll be able to manage any additional requirements that Brexit brings.
4) What does the power electronics industry have to look forward to in 2021?
Exciting industry developments are happening and 2021 will help us to refocus, reset and press ahead.
First of all, we foresee greater component demand for the medical industry as we enter the new year. We also have the ongoing rollout of 5G, which will continue to drive power electronics distribution.
The automotive industry and the announcement this year of UK Government banning sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 will also continue to drive production of electric vehicles not just in the UK but around the globe, increasing the demand for power electronic components.
IoT-enabled applications and smart sensor technology will continue to grow and we’ll see an acceleration in the digital product focus.
At GD Rectifiers we predict that the biggest challenge of 2021 will be keeping up with the increased demand. One of the main reasons why customers should partner with their distributors now more than ever is to ensure components are readily available and contingencies plans are put into place should demand rapidly change.
GD Rectifiers has adapted in 2020, showing flexibility and resilience during a tough year. We are maintaining productivity and continuing to invest in inventory to enable us to offer customers a comfortable buffer stock should they require it.
We are encouraging customers to place orders now to guarantee the best price and delivery dates. In January each year suppliers often review their prices which can often lead to price increases, our advice to customers is with Covid-19 still impacting the industry and Brexit looming, is plan as far ahead as possible to lock in the best prices and delivery dates.