Rossi McKee, VP at Casino Technology, spoke exclusively to Gambling Insider to discuss the supplier’s global production strategy and what it takes to understand its customers.
Can you please tell me about your background before joining Casino Technology?
I graduated as a medical doctor but after graduation Milo Borissov, Founder and CEO of Casino Technology, invited me to join the business. At the time I didn’t have any business experience. I found it interesting and was curious about what is happening in the gaming industry. That’s where it started. Later on I had to catch up and got my business degree.
Joining Casino Technology didn’t seem like it would be a permanent move but, as people say, when you get into gaming you stay in gaming.
You manufacture and develop your product right across the world, what is the thinking in spreading your production line globally?
Casino Technology started as a local supplier but quickly expanded to other regions; initially to the east, later to the west. In 2005, we decided to cross the ocean and go to Latin and North America. By expanding internationally you obviously try to position yourself and look to see if your product is well accepted. What can you do to make it better suit the market and operator demands? Of course, you always have to look at the logistics of how you will supply the product.
We wanted to make our supply more streamlined and efficient. We currently have manufacturing facilities in several countries; two in Europe, some in North America, one in Mexico and we work with a partner supplying company in Asia as well. The logistics spread is very important in terms of operational efficiency and taking advantage of effective ways to produce the final product.
With your global development, do you find that certain products or certain parts of products are best produced in specific regions?
Obviously there are areas and countries that have higher and better efficiency in manufacturing and supplying certain products. For example, on the hardware side, countries in Asia have a huge opportunity. They are able to manufacture bigger quantities at a more cost-efficient rate. They have raised the bar in the last 20 years and they have really high standards.
A lot of the hardware products are much better to supply from Asia. There are other regions to go to if you are looking for more boutique, custom-made products. Those regions focus and specialise in the area.
Our unique point is that we keep our design and our engineering in-house. But after that we seek the optimal channels to supply from. For the software design we do a mix of some in-house and some third-party designers. We do keep the majority, about 80% to 90%, in-house. But certainly, there are areas where we find benefits in utilising the skill and experience of local third-party game designers. They are much more aware of some local specifics. In Asia and North America they are apparently different concepts.
How do you make sure you understand your customer?
That’s the question every manufacturer asks – where is the magic? There are different tools and methods of trying to understand that. We do surveys and focus groups and talk to operators and take their opinions. One of the main helpful things we found was to do field tests with customers and closely monitor the progress of the machine. We do all of this to try and figure out the expectations of the players and what they do and don’t like.
Prior to launching a big-scale product, we do field tests and, of course, we have to listen to all our employees from all our different locations to make sure we are building the best product.
What are some of the newer markets you are involved with that are exciting for you?
I can’t point to a specific market; there are plenty that are interesting to us. For every company it is very different. The market orientation depends on very many different factors. First of all, you have to constantly monitor the regulatory changes. These changes could alter the market completely. Another point is our main objective is to focus on our core markets and gain more and more market share. We do certain business planning with the goal to expand and explore one to two new markets every year. Next, you have to know if your product is fit for that market.
Gambling Insider spoke with Milo Borissov, CEO, Founder and President of Casino Technology, for a feature to be published in its November/December magazine; available here from November.