Looking back at 2019, we can see that our service offering was spot-on.
Preliminary numbers show that 2019 was an ok but not great year from a financial point of view. From a technical point of view, 2019 was a good year with many exciting assignments and from an organizational point a great year since we were able to establish an office in Stockholm.
If we instead turn our attention to the future and look at our medium-range goals, they are
- Growing the business in preparation for our next initiative
- Consolidating our business in Stockholm and to some extent in Linköping
- Complementing our services in MBD with more embedded
- Continue with the development of Sympathy for Data
However, the market might not always be moving in a direction that aligns perfectly with our goals.
For large customer accounts (in our case, this often means time & materials assignments for automotive customers), we should assume that margins might shrink due to customers worrying about their profitability and order book. At the same time, these same customers will probably continue to inquire for help on many interesting assignments. They need to maintain momentum during this period of technology and market offer disruption (As a Service, Electrification, Connection, Automation). A look at the statistics confirms this view, as the number of inquiries from these customers at the 19/20 break is about the same as for the 18/19 break, with some exceptions.
For medium-size customers and many other customers without a large R&D department, we think that services in Data Science (perhaps particularly Data Engineering) as well as SW development and cross-functional projects will continue to be in high demand.
Our MBD services are so well established that we run a risk of taking them for granted. An obvious initiative is to complement MBD with more embedded, but we might also consider co-simulation or other future technologies for the development of our MBD offer. There is an ROI limit somewhere that makes it much more likely that larger R&D customers need Modeling and Simulation services than smaller ones. This limit is also influenced by the complexity of the customers’ systems/products.
Our engineers are excellent!
Future Combine engineers need to be recruited in the same spirit in order to reach our goals. Still, we will need to focus more on finding engineers with some industrial or higher academic experience, even more so for our offices in Linköping and Stockholm. This does not mean that we should stop recruiting inexperienced but well-educated engineers, but perhaps limit this to Göteborg and, to some extent Lund, both of which have established customer relations that allow us to give our junior engineers exciting tasks.
Enter the Next Level!