In 2009 the US company Texas Instruments opened its new Benelux sales office in Eindhoven. This was a deliberate choice on the part of this leading manufacturer of semiconductors, so as to bring it close to its high-tech customers. “To us, Eindhoven is the heart of innovation.”
To the man in the street, Texas Instruments is most famous for its calculators. But these only make up one percent of the US company’s turnover, with its core business lying in the development and production of semiconductors. The company has built up an impressive range of products when it comes to embedded processing, and they are employed in almost every sector where high-tech solutions are the key to success – mobile telephony, the automotive sector, the energy market, medical applications and digital light processing being just a few examples. Computers and analogue systems aside, Texas Instruments’ chips are also increasingly found in wireless business applications, which require powerful processors and reliable high-end solutions.
“More feet on the street”
Texas Instruments is one of the big boys in its sector and the company, headquartered in Dallas, employs around 35,000 people and achieved a turnover in the region of US$ 10 billion in 2009. Europe is responsible for some 35 percent of that turnover and the company’s European distribution centre is located in Utrecht in the Netherlands. The central Benelux sales office in Eindhoven opened its doors in 2009. “That was a deliberate choice,” says Texas Instruments Regional Sales Manager Benelux, Thijs Tullemans. “The company opted to employ the strategy of operating in close proximity to its customers. In doing so, we both will and can manifest our long-term commitment to our clients and our business in an even more emphatic manner. Choosing to decentralise our sales activities and the resultant investment is also the result Texas Instruments’ anticipated growth. Our vision of ‘more feet on the street’ has led to the creation of 20 new sales offices across Europe, and from Eindhoven we stretch across the entire Benelux region.”
High Tech Campus
Selecting Eindhoven in Brabant was, says Tullemans, actually an obvious choice. “We’re at the heart of innovation here. Within a radius of 150 kilometres you can find approximately 50 percent of all industry in the Benelux that employs semiconductors.” It is not just the major companies like Philips, ASML and TomTom, and there are numerous other smaller companies that are permanent Texas Instruments clients. From Eindhoven we focus primarily on promising innovations and pilot projects,” Tullemans explains, “and here on the High Tech Campus alone we already have several dozen customers. The nature of open innovation prevalent on this campus was a pleasant surprise to us, and it results in a favourable business climate that perfectly suits Texas Instruments.”
The added value provided by the High Tech Campus could well see Texas Instruments spreading its wings even further in Eindhoven in the future. “We’re already seeing a rise in the number of people we are devoting to sales and support in the Benelux with regard to field research and engineering,” says Tullemans. “The open innovation network in which we operate here can result in us also offering companies customer-specific developments and working together with them as high-tech partners.”