Growing from two to 280 people in sixteen years, JC-Electronics is far more than a successful business: it’s a successful idea. Why? Because even before anyone mentioned the concept of ‘circular economy,’ JC-Electronics was already doing precisely that: offering products a second life and thus making our entire industries more sustainable, more socially responsible, and more environmentally friendly.
Without a doubt, JC-Electronics can claim the title of a pioneer in the ‘circular economy’ concept, and the impact they have had lingers on and even grows by the year due to a combination of high-quality services and products, great business ideas and powerful e-commerce to support it all. That’s why today we’re talking to Jelle Kingma, JC-Electronics’ E-commerce Specialist, to learn more about JC Electronics and their amazing journey into the world of e-commerce and cross-border!
Providing support for all kinds of industries and businesses using complex machinery, JC-Electronics
has become a global staple of quality in the industrial electronics community. The quality of their products often goes beyond expectations, with a two-year guarantee, while even the companies originally producing those components normally only offer half that time.
But even more, the real treasure trove of JC-Electronics is their stock. A lot of these industrial electronic components are very old, and many companies simply cannot change their entire factory setup just because one particular component is out of production and not available in the refurbished market. That’s why JC-Electronics’ massive stock comes into play, providing a solution that saves money, business, and the environment.
When we talk about industrial electronics, what are we talking about exactly?
“If you have a production line, it will be full of industrial electronics. Anything that needs to move or that needs to be controlled inside a production line of a factory will probably be using industrial electronics. For example, the assembly line inside a car factory or a cookie factory or any other kind of factory will be controlled by industrial electronic components. However, industrial electronics are not only used in factories. In fact, if you go to an amusement park, the rollercoasters and most other rides will be controlled using industrial electronic components,” says Jelle.
This is delicate equipment, then. Because I wouldn’t want to have an equipment failure either in a factory or on a rollercoaster. It could be catastrophic…
“Yes, exactly! And although many times, factories and amusement parks and other kinds of businesses that use industrial electronics have fail-safe mechanisms that stop the machinery when something goes wrong, at the end of the day, you need to fix it as soon as possible because otherwise, your business is losing money. That’s why companies send their industrial electronics to us for refurbishing and repair.”
How would you compare JC-Electronics to its competition?
“There are a few competitors, but, of course, every company will say this, but I honestly think we are better than them. And this is mainly for several reasons: we have more stock, which is vital in this line of business, and higher quality. For example, we provide all of our products with a two-year guarantee, when sometimes even the brand who created the product sells it new with only a one-year guarantee.”
And why do you specifically say the stock is important?
Jelle continues: “Many of the electronic components in use inside factories and assembly plants are old. Some of them are so old that you can’t find them anywhere, and obviously, most of the time, you won’t find them new. That’s why JC-Electronics has a massive advantage because we keep a huge stock of industrial electronics to refurbish, and we have a really powerful network of sellers that we tap into regularly to keep buying these old components to refurbish and repair them.
This, for many industries, is vital. Because if you have a, let’s say, 30 or 40-year-old factory, you might not want to change—or you can’t change it because it is not economically feasible—the entire setup of your factory because one of your old industrial electronics components failed and there isn’t a spare part to be found in the entire world. When this happens, you can rest assured that JC-Electronics will have a solution. And that is incredibly valuable. If you are looking for industrial electronics that are scarce or out of production, we have 300,000 pieces of electronics in stock by purchasing worldwide. We are the only company capable of this.”
Originally, JC-Electronics was a traditional physical B2B business. They sold via resellers, and their contact with the end consumer was limited at best. However, this all changed.
Was JC-Electronics a traditional brick-and-mortar business before using e-commerce?
“It was more a physical B2B, a copper and electricity business if you want, but yes, it was a physical business model. We used to sell through resellers most of the time. That was how we sold our products and how we got our clients. But this changed once we got our webshop.
Before the webshop, we used to have 20 to 30 new clients per month, at this moment this has increased by 1000%. So yes, e-commerce has become fundamental for JC-Electronics. It really exploded. And one
of the reasons is because, with e-commerce, we reach directly to the end customer.”
Has this been an improvement for JC-Electronics’ business model?
“Yes, I think so because we lose less margin, and this is also good for the customer because they pay less. And keep in mind that it can also be an advantage for the resellers, but they have to add extra value. If they only ship boxes from A to B, they won’t be able to offer the end customer anything extra. But they add value in other ways, offering a great service, providing efficient installation of the components, or even advisory. And we are totally fine with that. We still provide our products and services to our resellers. I think that this shift into e-commerce, and the fact that we can now interact directly with the end customer, has been beneficial for the quality of the entire business model,” says Jelle.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the process of creating the JC-Electronics webshop?
“JC-Electronics wanted to increase its client base and to have e-commerce, and to that end, we tried first with a company that, unfortunately, was not able to deliver a proper solution. Because of this, we decided to join forces with Youwe, and it was the right call. In less than half a year, they created an MVP version of the shop. And it was obviously something to improve, but it was also viable. This allowed us to start to tread the road of e-commerce and see how it fared for JC-Electronics. Then, the second version of the webshop was already connected to all the services, and it was a custom development by Youwe based on Magento. And so far, it has been excellent.
Our webshop customisations are mainly focused on the products. Because we sell products in different levels of condition. For example, you usually sell products that are new, but we sell new and refurbished. This is something we want to have easily accessible for all potential clients: to understand if it’s new or
refurbished, the difference in price and if it’s in stock.”
Can a client request something specific via your e-commerce? Like, for example, some specific configuration or a specific spare part?
“What they can do is, first, ask for our repair service. When they do, we go to our stock to find the components or parts needed to refurbish the client’s product back to be fully functional. They can also add customisations to the product. If they have a computer—for example—they request to add more memory to it. You can add extra options.”
Can we surmise JC-Electronics’ digital journey with two key metrics?
“Firstly, I have to say that our total sales are now 50% online, which is massive. Because it means we have
50% less administration. This is due to the fact that our e-commerce created by Youwe is fully automated; it connects directly with the ERP, and it does the whole sale process. There is nothing manual to be done. Every order that gets into the webshop is handled automatically. On the sales side, there is no one needed to handle this anymore.
Secondly, there is the fact that before we used to have about 30 new clients per month. And now there
are around 300 new clients per month, which is ten times bigger. That’s quite a lot!”
What can you highlight about your partnership with Youwe?
“I think one of the greatest things from our partnership with Youwe to develop our webshop was the fact that Youwe helped us prioritise things in the most efficient way possible. This is incredibly valuable. To have a partner with the expertise and knowledge to provide accurate counsel in this kind of e-commerce creation process is fundamental for success. They really know our company, our needs, and
that’s why they were able to help us.”
Currently, JC-Electronics sells products in more than 100 countries, which firmly positions them in the realm of global brands. This is a challenge that JC-Electronics has tackled successfully due to a combination of high-quality products and services, as well as a deep dedication to providing a fast, reliable, and globally accessible stock of scarce parts and components.
Do you have your e-commerce localised?
“Yes, we do. We have a lot of European languages in our e-commerce, but our customer care service speaks most of the major global languages. This means that, no matter where you come from, we will most likely have someone who can communicate with you at a native or close to native level. Additionally, we are very focused on the quality of the products we send out. That is something that is vital if you plan to become a global brand because reputation issues at a global scale could be your end.”
Regarding JC-Electronics mid-term goals, let’s say for the following five years, which one would that be?
“We really care for our DNA. The biggest part is the people working on refurbishing products. They are our heart and soul. And these people are curious; they want to know how things work, and they want to do things better, easier, faster, and more efficiently every day. Thus, we are testing tools to provide JC-Electronics with a faster, better, and easier refurbishing process and taking care of preserving and improving our JC DNA.
For us, the quality of our workforce and their processes is far more important than the revenue. We care for our team, and we want their job to be improved in meaningful ways. If we provide high quality and high availability, we know the turnover will be amazing. Ultimately, we care about our DNA above all,” Jelle continues.
Another fundamental part of JC-Electronics’ DNA is its ‘circular economy’ concept. How do you handle
social responsibility and sustainability?
“We pioneered the circular economy when it was not a trend. And if you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. Why should we discard or throw away a piece of equipment that is fully functional and that we can keep using for the next decade? We can fix things and refurbish them. If they worked before, they can work again.
Sustainability is efficient, healthy for society and the environment, and it is profitable. We have more than
twenty years proving this. Without really intending to, JC-Electronics became a pioneer in ‘circular economy’ and at the same time the living proof that a business can be sustainable, environmentally friendly, keep the highest level of quality, and be profitable at the same time,” Jelle concludes. ••
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.