As 2021 comes to a close, we took a moment to reflect on what a turbulent year it has been, and the highs and lows that came along with it…
Extel celebrated its 30th anniversary at the beginning of 2021. The achievement is the result of our founders and their team, a group of dedicated individuals who saw a need, developed a vision and then adapted quickly to the ever-changing world around them. Today, our people are just as passionate about what they do. We consider this to be a key ingredient to the success of both our company and our clients’ product journeys.
As a result of 30 years of business experience, we launched a new, advanced website in February in support of our commitment to developing electronic products of high complexity and reliability. For our new website, we developed content with a global perspective to provide information exchange to product innovators around the world. We knew little of how important it would be just 1 month later to fill our new website with information for remote users.
In addition to our offices in the United States, Singapore and Melbourne, we announced the opening of a new office in Brisbane, Australia. We established this office in Brisbane in response to the growing market for electronic product development and to demonstrate our commitment to bringing electronic design, manufacturing, and product life cycle management to Brisbane and broader Queensland.
Although it was a challenging year for all businesses in 2021, we were still able to extend our services and grow our capabilities. Our ISO13485 accreditation was recertified, providing complete confidence in medical device development, and we proudly obtained our DISP membership a few months later. Extel gained AS9100 certification toward the end of 2021 to further support the aviation and defence industries’ quality management requirements.
Supply Chain has been our biggest challenge this year. As the situation unfolds, we continue to provide product innovators with quarterly updates so that they can pivot as needed. Having an understanding of the market volatility has helped us build stronger relationships with our clients as we provide them with support and guidance as they navigate this unprecedented market. Our latest update regarding this can be found here, and we continue to encourage companies who use electronic components to plan and order well in advance of what may seem like the normal production planning timeframe. A ‘new normal’ has emerged, at least for the moment.
Adjusting to a COVID Normal
We all thought that life would return to normal at the start of 2021. As vaccinations were being rolled out, we thought lockdowns were a thing of the past. The year unfolded, and we quickly realized that 2020 would be repeated in 2021. Our expectation of meeting with clients and partners face to face turned out to be highly unlikely and continual uncertainty further delayed projects.
We continued to work remotely when possible. Facilities and teams continued functioning as permitted workers and our COVID Safe Plan was followed expertly by the team at Extel. We invested in technology that enabled us to keep in touch with our clients and partners through enhanced communication platforms.
Keeping everyone safe was our priority during the changes and evolution of moving around and surface contact. Providing a safe environment for everyone, including those who were unwell, was a key strategy our leadership team adopted.
Our teams were supported in making personal choices when the vaccination program began. Many people were interested in learning about the different vaccination options and making decisions based on their own personal preferences. Open discussion was encouraged, and those who needed support were provided. During meetings, we discussed vaccinations at length, and those who raised concerns were given support. As a result, Extel’s team proactively sought out vaccinations. We were able to maintain a safe, healthy environment for our team at Extel and the families of our dedicated staff because of their dedication to this.
As the world now learns to live with COVID, we have implemented a digital platform to manage vaccination certificates safely and securely. Our new entry protocol can be found here and by having this, we ensure that we provide a safe working environment for our employees as well as our clients and visitors. The team has been outstanding in their understanding of challenges and their ability to adapt to changes in the landscape and we cannot thank them enough.
Investment in Equipment
We have invested in a variety of key equipment this year, which has increased our capacity and in turn enhanced the quality of the products that we deliver. Building on this, our Melbourne facility will undertake its most significant building work next year. As a result, our manufacturing space will increase by 30%, which will allow us to invest even more in modern technology. This will all happen in the first half of 2022.
Extel has had an incredible year, and we would like to thank all our clients and staff members for committing to a better future. Over the holidays, we hope everyone enjoys a well-deserved break and look forward with hope and anticipation to the new year of 2022.