WARSAW, POLAND — Danish hearing aid maker, William Demant Group, announced the opening of its new Demant Technology Centre in Poland. The new facility will house the company’s software Research and Development (R&D) division. The location in the new Q22 office building in Warsaw will also house other Demant companies, such as Oticon’s Polish subsidiary, Oticon Polska.
The announcement of the new R&D division in Poland comes approximately one month after the company said it would be implementing cost cutting measures, such as the closure of production facilities in Denmark and the US, and a shift in the company’s R&D from Switzerland to Denmark and Poland.
Outsourcing to less expensive destinations is nothing new in business, and this holds true in the hearing aid industry as well. Within the past two years alone, William Demant’s major competitors, GN Hearing and Sonova, have both significantly increased investment in less expensive production facilities in Asia.
Eastern and Central Europe, due to a lower cost of living and lower wages than in Western Europe, has become increasingly attractive for international business investment over the past decade.
Poland, a member of the European Union, has been ranked as a top destination for software outsourcing — with some companies reporting as much as a 50 percent reduction in costs for labor alone, compared with those found in major Western European countries, such as Denmark.
The William Demant Group, one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world, currently operates subsidiary companies in more than 30 countries, and sells its products in more than 130 countries.
“Poland has a great R&D investment potential thanks to its modern R&D infrastructure and access to well-qualified and talented specialists. In William Demant, we consider a strong R&D set-up as a core element of the business and thus a means to further develop our position as a leading hearing healthcare company that makes a life-changing difference to people suffering from hearing loss… With our new set-up in Warsaw, we are able to meet a fast growing need for more and more specialist in software development while also securing an optimal R&D output in a competitive way. We want to create a location where skilled and experienced specialists develop state-of-the-art innovations that can reach and help even more people worldwide.”
–Søren Nielsen, COO, William Demant Holding and President, Oticon A/S