Mikkelsen Electronics is rapidly growing in the defense business
In a few years the Danish company has gained ground in the defense market that other strive for decades to achieve
In 2012, the Danish Army’s search for a new generation of armored personal carriers caught the attention of Anne Levinsen and her team at Mikkelsen Electronics. Several of the world’s biggest defense contractors were head to head in the tender and to the Danish company that was an opportunity not to be missed: - We made a strategic decision and allocated many resources to get involved with each of the OEM’s and their platforms in the competition. Mikkelsen Electronics were the new kids on the block and I spend many hours on countless meetings around Europe to convince General Dynamics and their competitors that we could be a trusted supplier, the co-owner and Sales Manager explains.
Three business units
The story of Mikkelsen Electronics is much older than the APC tender is and goes back to 1971. Anne Levinsen’s father was an employee in a small electronics import business. After the owner passed away he started on his own. In 1980 the company moved to the current location just north of Copenhagen and this was also the year when Mikkelsen Electronics began making cables assembly on their own. Today Mikkelsen Electronics is still family owned. - The company expanded considerably through the eighties and so did our product portfolio to bring us where we are today where Mikkelsen Electronic is based on three business units; import of components, customized cable assembly & encapsulation/molding of electronics and cables based on our own tools, according to Mrs. Levinsen. Today the company is market leaders in low pressure Technomelt molding.
A few years ago another strategic decision was made at the Danish electronics company when a second facility was established in Serbia. This means that Mikkelsen has production in both Denmark and Serbia. Anne Levinsen makes it clear that there is several good reasons for that initiative: - Our investment in Serbia is not only a matter of lowering costs but also about access to highly skilled engineers, she says. The decision of production site lies entirely up to the customer but both locations are certified to the same high quality level. Although 2.000 km. and five international borders are separating the units in Denmark and Serbia there is only one Mikkelsen Electronics sharing the same values and decision-making process.
A clear business model
When Mikkelsen Electronics decided to enter the defense market the business model was clear from the beginning and involved industrial cooperation. The Danish company is today an appointed manufacturer of cable harnesses to General Dynamics not only in supplying cable harnesses for the Piranha V and Eagle V vehicles and dashboards for the Piranha V but also in a development project with the aim of turning the production into an automated process. Anne Levinsen elaborates: - Industrial cooperation is lifting our company to a new level in many aspects. It’s a technological boost and our new state-of-the-art production line will soon be the work place of many people. Not the least it is clear to us that being a Preferred Supplier to one of the world’s biggest defense companies is just about the best possible reference we can get.
The future is more defense
Kim Christiansen took over as CEO of Mikkelsen Electronics in 2017 and one of his tasks is to lay the future foundation for the company’s continued growth: - Defense will play an important part in our future growth, he says, since it’s a market with great technological and economical potential. We are mapping the defense market and are continuously adapting our strategy for both Land, Sea, Air and Space. Five years from now I expect us to do business with several of the world’s leading defense contractors and the defense unit will probably be around or above one third of our sales. The CEO of Mikkelsen Electronics underlines the company’s flexibility: - We are willing and able to execute with short notice and the entire team of management and staff are prepared whenever new opportunities show up.
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