HP appoints Saudi assembly boss

HP has appointed Louay Helaby as manager at its production plant operations in Saudi Arabia. Helaby will be the single point of contact for channel partners dealing with the plant and will oversee the sourcing of components from the local market where appropriate.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 3, 2004

Louay Helaby, recently appointed manager at HP’s assembly facility in Saudi Arabia, will be the prime contact for channel players dealing with the plant. Helaby’s responsibilities will include supply chain control, new product introductions and product flow management. “As the HP eye for the factory, I am in charge of ensuring smooth runnings of the assembly plant and on keeping a close watch on quality control,” said Louay Helaby, production plant manager, HP Middle East. “I am pleased to confirm that production is well underway and that we are producing a diverse line-up of PCs, including the HP Compaq d320. We are currently producing over 500 PC units per day with a potential capacity of 600 Desktops on a daily basis.” HP’s Saudi Arabian assembly line opened in November 2003. The new factory will help open up government contracts in GCC, which currently have legislation to encourage purchases from local assembly facilities. HP’s assembly line has the capacity to produce up to 250,000 units a year and will also help the vendor compete against white box vendors and drive into the SMB customer segment. Christoph Schell, general manager PSG at HP Middle East, recently explained to CME the benefits the new facility offers HP: “The price value relationship we get out of the plant suits the specific needs of the Middle East market. If you compare on a unit-to-unit basis, assembling in Saudi can be between 6% and 15% cheaper than importing, depending on the specification and components used.” “The price is one advantage but we also become empowered locally to run the plant. HP is run on a centralized basis but the local plant offers increased flexibility. We can buy components through HP’s worldwide agreements, but if we can get a better deal locally, we can use it to our advantage,” he added. Helaby started with HP Middle East 4 years ago as technical consultant based in Saudi. After the merger, Helaby took over as technical specialist for the Personal Systems Group for Bahrain, Levant and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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