Expanding Our Manufacturing Footprint
Recently, we interviewed two of the executives behind Tageos’ global development plans, Laurent Delaby, COO, and Dirk Boltersdorf, VP Global Operational Deployment, to further explore the company’s expansion plans.
Q1: What’s the rationale behind the recently announced expansion of your manufacturing capacity?
Laurent Delaby: Simply put, we need to expand sustainably to meet the constantly growing, strong global demand for high-quality RFID inlays and tags. This is one main driver of our current expansions, increasing our global manufacturing capacity to now three facilities across the world: our global HQ Montpellier in France, and the new sites in Guangzhou (Guangdong, China) and Fletcher (North Carolina, USA).
With these two expansions, Tageos is building on its position as one of the world's largest manufacturers of RFID inlays and tags, and as well as on its sustainability strengths. Customers will now be able to benefit from faster, more cost-effective, and more sustainable product shipments, combined with access to local customer service teams as well as technical and field application support.
Q2: When will these two new sites be fully operational?
Dirk Boltersdorf: Our new manufacturing site at Science City, Huangpu District of Guangzhou in China has commenced mass production operations already on March 1, 2023.
The new site location at Quality Point in Fletcher, North Carolina, USA, is building up for mass production starting by summer 2023.
Q3: Do all your sites offer equal and comparable manufacturing capacities?
Laurent Delaby: To date, our global HQ location in Montpellier (France) provides the largest manufacturing capacity of all our sites. In combination with the new facilities in Guangzhou (China) and in Fletcher, NC (USA), we will raise the company’s total annual production capacity to more than 7 billion inlays already by 2023.
Q4: Why have you spread your manufacturing capacity globally, instead of expanding it at one site?
Dirk Boltersdorf: At Tageos, we’ve built our reputation for particularly sustainable and high-quality RFID inlays and tags. Regional presences with short delivery distances contribute significantly towards sustainable and improved logistics. The fact that customers and partners can now be more quickly and easily served contributed strongly to the decision to establish additional manufacturing sites in what are very important markets and regions globally.
Disaster recovery plans play a very important role as well and are a significant requirement of global supply chains. Many of our customers specifically ask for such plans to ensure secure and stable supply chain management. For us, now being able to provide multiple manufacturing sites across the globe is a key part of this equation.
Q5: Why did Tageos select exactly these new factory locations?
Dirk Boltersdorf: We want to support our customers and partners worldwide with regional hubs to enable more rapid, cost-effective, sustainable, and smooth product shipments and supply chains. In addition, we can now respond to customer and market demands faster and at the same time, further deploy customer service and technical support functions close to our customers within all regions.
In terms of specific reasons for choosing these sites, Guangzhou is a great technology hub for China and APAC overall, being close to Hong Kong too. As China’s third largest city, Guangzhou is not only an important industrial and cultural center, but also an established global transport and trade hub, as well as an emerging science and technology innovation center.
The city boasts advanced infrastructure, with China’s third busiest airport, fourth largest port and the best-connected railway network on the Chinese mainland. It also is home to China’s third largest concentration of high-tech enterprises (over 11,000) and to most of the province’s university personnel and scientific and technological workers.
Laurent Delaby: As for our Fletcher facility, we plan for it to be fully operational by summer 2023. North Carolina was selected because it is centrally located to support the Americas region, with an excellent transport infrastructure and close to the “Research Triangle”.
The region plays host to many advanced manufacturing companies, as well as a diverse, skilled, and talented workforce, including renowned universities and community colleges.
This is also being demonstrated by the support we are receiving from Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, NC, which is developing customized training programs for Tageos.
Q6: How do you ensure consistent high-quality production across all sites?
Laurent Delaby: It is very important to us that our customers can benefit from the same high quality of our products, regardless of where they are manufactured. To ensure consistent manufacturing conditions and high production quality as at our headquarters in Montpellier, France, which has repeatedly received ARC Quality Certification from the University of Auburn, all our new machines for Guangzhou and Fletcher for example will be thoroughly tested, qualified, and set up to Tageos’ high standards before their respective release onsite.
What’s more, Tageos has taken a very conscious decision to ramp up production steadily, to ensure that its product quality will be maintained in all regions. Customers can therefore rely on the fact that all our products will be manufactured according to the same high standards and certifications.
Q7: Do you expect a change in terms of your manufacturing capacities in the future?
Laurent Delaby: We will take great care to constantly adapt our production capacities to the latest customer and market demand and to maintain our production quality and our product and service portfolio at an equally high level in all regions. From today's perspective, we expect our capacities to continue to grow solidly and pretty balanced across all our sites in the coming years.
Hence, we anticipate a total annual production capacity of over 15 billion products across all our sites by 2025.