Shieldex and VTT- “Family Businesses”!Randy Mitchell
Shieldex and VTT-“Family Businesses”! I was able to interview Robert Erichsen, the CEO of Shieldex recently during his first visit with us in three years. Shieldex is VTT’s European partner, providing us with conductive metalized textiles, that VTT markets and uses in our fabricated products. The close relationship between Shieldex and V Technical Textiles, Inc. spans many years and is rooted in family and business ties.
Robert Erichsen, CEO of Shieldex
Randy: It’s been a few years since you’ve been able to visit VTT due to the Covid Pandemic. How do you like our new facility and the remodeling we’ve done for the marketing and further development of your conductive textiles?
Robert: I’m incredibly happy to be here again. The last two years, which have been disrupting for everyone, have not been an easy time for our companies either, but it’s great to see how VTT has evolved since my last visit in 2019. The building is unrecognizable compared to the last update I had. It gives the company the space it needs to continue to expand in the future and continue to develop many new jobs in the region. Marketing is a long journey that has just begun, I hope our positive path will continue to evolve as it is most important. Further development of application possibilities of the textiles describes the future of our companies. Further good cooperation in Research and Development groups of the two companies is essential for continuation, thus, the greatest focus will be continued to be placed on this.
Randy: You have also “rebranded” and seem to be developing an impressive marketing plan. What are your plans for Shieldex going forward?
Robert: As I just said, we will continue to invest more time and money in marketing in order to convey the benefits and value of our exceptional products to the world. Watch us closely in the coming months, there is much more to come!
Randy: What do you see as the major challenges we face in this business as we emerge from the pandemic?
Robert: We are obviously heading into an economic recession caused by war in Europe and the aftermath of the pandemic, which will demand a lot of courage and commitment from all of us. Our company’s ability to deliver has changed dramatically despite a drastic deterioration in purchasing conditions in the form of higher costs and availability of goods. With the help of far-sighted supply planning, I am confident that these problems will be sorted out. Fortunately, our companies are so diversified that we are able to compensate for any problems on an ongoing basis.
Randy: What market do you see the most growth coming from in the use of conductive textiles?
Robert: I do well not to give any predictions for possible markets, but certainly many industries are still embarking on developmental journeys on which we would like to accompany them to help define the future of tomorrow.
Randy: A question that has always intrigued me, how did you come to meet William Hoge? Did he work with Kurt Bertleit? I know they both worked on metalizing textiles and developed a family-like relationship as well as a business relationship with your family over the years.
Robert: I think I met him for the first time in my parent’s house, back when he worked with my mother and grandfather, Kurt Bertuleit. You’re right that for me a visit here is nothing more than a visit to my family, as you know, I’ve been here regularly for many years and maintain a close relationship with the VTT family. William and Kurt worked together many years ago and from a business relationship first formed a friendship and ultimately a strong partnership, which both his son, Shawn and I, as Kurt’s grandson, have continued to maintain for 6 years now. It is not really a given that this partnership will continue in this closeness for generations to come, but fortunately Shawn DeCook and I have the same ambitions as his father and my grandfather and my mother before us respectively. I am very grateful for this close relationship and cannot imagine a more beautiful business relationship!
V Technical Textiles, Inc.
Experience, Research, Dedication, and Commitment