Growth focussed investor Dunedin has today congratulated the businesses that have recently been named as the top exporters in the South East by the EEF/Aldermore Manufacturing Awards, a nationwide search for UK manufacturers that have excelled in exporting.
MRT Castings Ltd has been named regional winner of the Outstanding Export Award, sponsored by Dunedin, which seeks to recognise the achievements of manufacturers that have developed their export strategy to both reach new markets and enhance their presence in existing markets.
Internationalisation is one of the primary growth strategies that Dunedin adopts in order to add value to the businesses that it backs and partner Nicol Fraser offers the following advice on what any exporting strategy should incorporate:
"Exporting for the first time, or expanding existing exporting activities, can be challenging for a fast growing, still formative business. The prize for those that succeed is significant - and attainable for those with the right support.
While every business will need to plan according to its specific goals and needs, there are four crucial areas that all export strategies should incorporate:
• Market research: The right market for the business will depend on its demographics, social and political landscape, culture and economy, as well as the extent to which competitors are already operating there. Businesses should use every possible resource to conduct that research, from field-trips and local contacts to the support available from UK Trade & Industry.
• Product testing: No business should move into a new market until it has assessed whether there will be demand for its products and services. Selling through local distributors may be one way to test the waters before a full-scale launch.
• Team building: Export teams, whether on the ground or back home, need a blend of people with local expertise and senior management input. The former provide crucial insight on local culture and can build personal relationships in the new market; the latter ensure the company’s culture is embedded in its new venture.
• Internal communication: Exporters need clear lines of reporting as they branch out, with transparency about who is responsible for what – and how much autonomy local representatives of the business will have.
Building these mechanisms and structures from scratch isn’t easy, but that shouldn’t prevent businesses from being ambitious. There is no shortage of trailblazers that have shown the way as the Future Manufacturing Awards have shown.
For businesses that get the basics right – and draw on the support of those with a track record of export success – there is every reason to be confident of success on the world stage. Now is the time for businesses to step up and become the export stars of tomorrow.”
Nicol Fraser added: "To develop and implement a successful international export strategy is a great achievement for any business and the Outstanding Export awards celebrate this success.
“Many congratulations to the South East regional finalist, that is taking big steps to establish a position in global markets. We wish them well for the national awards in January.”