2020 has been a challenge for everyone, including Cardwave. Although our business slowed significantly last year, I decided to go ahead with a major capital investment so we’d be ready to offer a new service as soon as our customers wanted them.
We’re in business to support our customers, and it would be a disservice if I mothballed everything and waited for a better time. I’m always looking at ways to improve our offer, and my view is that by the time normality returns – or whenever our customers need us – we should be prepared and ready to go.
We decided to do two things: to update the IT infrastructure in our production facilities in both Devizes and in Plano, Texas, and to invest in a high quality UV printer in the UK site, where we already have Europe’s most advanced facility for loading data onto computer memory. This enables us to offer a new service and become what I call a more capable one stop shop for our customers.
As a result of these changes we’ve already won a major contract supplying flash drives loaded with compliance and regulatory data to an international marine company, which makes use of our UV printer combined with our expertise in flash memory. So while making an investment at such a difficult time was a major step for us, I’m delighted that my optimism was justified.
A new customisation service
Adding the UV printer to our facilities means we can print details ranging from serial number and asset code to the customer’s logo onto the actual flash drive or SD card, so it can be identified and tracked even when separated from its packaging. The result is a unique combination of technical and customisation services.
Companies who want flash drives printed with their logo typically turn to the promotional gift market, but this means they get consumer grade memory – which is fine for using in something like a camera but isn’t robust enough for industrial applications such as a car navigation system or healthcare equipment.
We source memory that’s guaranteed to work reliably at extremes of temperature, pressure and vibration for many years, add customer data, and ensure each item meets the highest performance and data security specifications. Now we can also print it with whatever details a customer requires.
I believe 2021 will be a year of two halves, with businesses holding on for the first six months until they feel ready to shout loudly about their services. We’re hoping to be ahead of the curve with this investment, and as a result to be able to take on more staff as the business grows.
I’m also anticipating that the year will bring growth in other sectors where we’re strong. For example, we supply large amounts of memory to the automotive sector, which is continuing to do well as logistics companies buy more vehicles to handle the growth in online shopping. There’s also been strong demand for the Raspberry Pi affordable computer, for which Cardwave supplies memory cards, as people have more time at home to work on RPi applications.
Author: Paul Norbury