The Silicon Review
Rugged devices are a piece of equipment with functions similar to other smart mobile devices, but what makes them unique is their ability to withstand and operate harsh conditions. To make the process easier, rugged devices are purpose-built. This allows the staff to have excellent connectivity, durability, and real-time access to data through rigid design and build. Unlike their regular counterpart, rugged devices are built with durability and practicality. Globally there are various manufacturers specialized in building rugged devices, but Winmate stands out from the rest. Over the past 25 years, Winmate Inc has specialized in the research, development, and production of rugged industrial computers. Since its establishment, Winmate has been committed to the research, development, manufacture, and sales of its medical-grade computers brand. As a Taiwan-based manufacturer, Winmate has branches and service locations in North America, Europe, and Asia to provide worldwide customers with product design and technical support services. Winmate products are widely used in areas covering the automotive, petrochemical, warehouse and logistics, IoT, marine, aerospace, public safety, military, and healthcare industries. Besides being certified by international quality systems including ISO 9001, ISO 13485, and ISO14001, Winmate products are tested to comply with healthcare safety and IT specifications, including IEC 60601-1-2, 47 CFR Part 18, UL/cUL ANS1/AAMI ES60601-1, IEC 55022, and others. As a world-leading supplier of medical-grade IT equipment, Winmate has also been awarded the Taiwan Product of Excellence Award.
In 2021, Winmate acquired an order for medical-grade rugged tablet PCs from leading medical device manufacturers in North America. These medical-grade rugged tablet PCs are used for smart healthcare automation, such as high-sensitivity emergency rooms or operating rooms. They also provide patients with telemonitoring and home healthcare and nursing services to meet telecare demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest UHD 4K medical-grade display is designed to use medical imaging management systems at out-patient clinics and nursing stations and routine healthcare systems in hospitals. Winmate’s eco-friendly healthcare products provide convenient-to-use platforms and prolonged services for processing comprehensive health data of inter-hospital healthcare systems. Winmate also provides enterprises and system integrators with solutions covering integrated network technology, computing platforms, and custom (customized) healthcare and IT products. With well-planned production processes, well-established quality control, and real-time quality problem reporting systems, Winmate guarantees the overall design, manufacture, and post-delivery service of its products and ensures that the healthcare products it designs and manufactures meet the healthcare IT platform demands of customers. With accurate market positioning and customer-demand-oriented differentiated services, Winmate has successfully evolved from a simple manufacturer with R&D capacity into a supplier of healthcare tablet solutions with core competitiveness.
Dare to challenge: Focus on three elements for making a profit
“In my opinion, there are three elements to run a profitable business: concentration, feasible business model, and competitive products.” First, small enterprises must understand where their niche lies and focus on servicing target customers to make profits. Then, it is the business model. Lu understands that brand value and word of mouth are significant to enterprises in a demassified market. “Therefore, we only reach tier-1 customers” and invest in our marketing budget for various market bellwethers to understand and further try Winmate’s products. This is the reason for Winmate to build and develop its brand proactively. Currently, Winmate distributes 75% of its products with its brand. “No brand, no soul.” And product competitiveness has always been the goal that Winmate endeavors to enhance. However, how does Winmate achieve these three elements? According to Lu, a robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, excellent organizational capacity, and effective cost-cutting are the key that enables Winmate to provide “high-mix, low-volume” service while maintaining profit at the same time. Then, it is the IT department’s capacity. Lu explained, while the market and customers keep changing, Winmate must make continual innovations to develop products that meet the market trend and customer demand. “Therefore, we need a powerful IT capacity. We have a well-organized professional IT team dedicated to making continual innovation and optimizing the efficiency of our production system.” Third, while Winmate dares to challenge tier-1 customers, the demand for higher customer standards is a natural consequence. Although this also suggests pressure on the company, Winmate must take such pressure to make tier-1 companies its long-term customers. Then, “tier-2 and tier-3 companies will know where to find you.”
According to Lu, winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award has helped raise brand awareness. It is interesting that “many judges were my teachers.” Lu added, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award made him realize that a company should connect with the locality, develop a cultural heritage, and fulfill its corporate social responsibility after growing strong. Lu added that Winmate would strengthen talent development in Taiwan through industry-academia collaboration and establish a foundation for cultivating technology talents. This year, Winmate will expand the recruitment scale with 50% R&D vacancies to cope with the expanding market. Winmate is planning for the next 25 years. “To achieve this goal, every Winmate employee must stand fast at their positions and maintain enthusiasm to design, produce, and provide the world’s first-class products and services to help customers create value. Only a disciplined culture, disciplined employees, disciplined thinking, and disciplined action can create a different and great company.”