EK Water Blocksone of the most recognized manufacturers in the field of tailor-made liquid solutions, laid off a quarter of its staff due to the sharp drop in sales of its products. It affects to more than 60 jobs technology in Slovenia, the home country of EK Water Blocks (EKWB).
As noted, EKWB’s sales are primarily split between the North American and European markets. The company’s presence in the Asian market is limited at the moment, although it is now a revitalized area of focus. The company noted quarterly sales declines up to 20% from October 2021according to the Slovenian press.
The company blames these sales declines to the COVID-19 pandemicin particular its economic impact, rising computer hardware prices because people are spending less on the high-end/new hardware that EKWB mainly specializes in: liquid cooling solutions.
During the first quarter of 2022, EK, the leading provider of PC liquid cooling solutions, saw signs that consumer spending was beginning to slow in response to global events. Despite forecasts of reduced demand in the EU and US at our 2021 global summit, the onset of conflict in Ukraine caused sales to fall below those expectations.
In response to these trends, which indicated a moderate willingness to spend, EK took early steps to streamline our operations in Slovenia. Unfortunately, this meant a reduction in the number of employees by around 25%. Other plans have also been launched which will enable EK to enter new geographic markets and sales channels with more exceptional and innovative products.
Now more than ever, EK is committed to providing the quality and expertise that our loyal customers demand. We sincerely hope that our actions will allow us to do so for a long time to come.
The TechPowerUp site was able to do a brief interview to deepen the information:
TechPowerUp: What period is this 25% discount based on? Some former employees say nearly 70 people have been laid off recently, and even more in the past two months.
EKWB: As mentioned, the 25% reduction occurred as a one-time measure to optimize our operations. We have grown rapidly in 2020 and 2021, posting more than 30% year-over-year growth. Of course, there have been some fluctuations over this period, in 2021 4% to be exact. Which is really low compared to our industry benchmarks.
To put things a bit more into perspective: EK took part in Gallup’s 2021 Employee Engagement Survey and we’re in the 6th percentile globally (only 6% of companies globally have more of hired employees than EK). We strive and continue to strive for the best working environment. In short, EK was and still is one of the best places in the world to have a career.
TechPowerUp: How about those asking why not cut back on marketing events like booths at PAX East, etc. ?
EKWB: The company had to be adapted to demand and structured for growth. In terms of vision and strategy, nothing has changed. We are dedicated to our vision of elevating computers for a better world. EK is a strong global brand and it’s normal for it to be present at global events like PAX. Compared to large hardware companies, our presence is always more creative and we create significant impact with modest investments.
As we have said before, our global market presence will continue to be strong.
TechPowerUp: Looking at LinkedIn, it seems most of the people fired were R&D engineers/technicians. Will this affect future product plans? It does not appear that a department or company director has been fired.
EKWB: Staff reduction has been done almost proportionally in all departments (with an eye to future growth), R&D is our core and most of the innovations presented come from this core, so it remains an integral part of EK.