Introduction Lascar Electronics company overview Devising our strategy How we implemented this strategy How has this helped our business? Lessons learned
Lascar Company Profile Established in 1977 Voltmeters to the sensors industry Primary route to market through distribution US sales office and HK production office established in early 2000’s. USB data logging range launched in 2004 Custom design & manufacturing service Sell to a diverse range of industries
Devising an Export StrategyIdentify possible routes to market: Direct Sales to overseas customers/users Overseas distributors selling to end users in distinct industries and territories US Sales Office growing business in both North & South America
Devising an Export StrategyIdentify obstacles to be negotiated Data Logging range sells to a variety of industries: Limited sales resources Lack of expertise/contacts in a number of these industries Very limited foreign language skills within the business Low-cost, off-the-shelf solution: Most business ‘low’ typical order value Travel to EU (and further) is not economic considering this
Our Export StrategyFocus on distribution Previous success with distribution for displays products Ability to have niche distributors for different industries Local language spoken by distributors Distributors understand local business needs, customers can buy products locally Relatively easy management from central location
ImplementationHow did we go about growing overseas distribution? Passport to Export with UKTI Find and choose distributors Devise attractive distributor package Translate technical documentation Manage and grow accounts
Finding distributors Existing distribution network helped to promote Website setup to encourage distributors to contact us Data sheets translated into main EU languages Who are our competitors selling through? Bi-annual Electronica show in Munich (’08/’10) with UKTI funding
Choosing DistributorsOur selection criteria is based on: Are they an established business with a specific business plan for selling our products? What is their route to market? Web/Direct? How will they promote the products? What stock holding can they commit to? Intangibles: Can we work with them? Do they seem motivated? Do we trust them?
What we offer to distributors Discounts from our list price (initially 30 to 35%) Incentive for hitting target Technical & marketing material supplied ‘Hands-off’ agreements Monthly email newsletters (new product info / special promotions / application information) Regular contact by phone / email / skype
What results have we seen? Over 40 overseas distributors supported by Lascar in UK. Distributors all over the world including EU, Japan and India Total exports have grown from £400k to exceed £2m (i.e. larger than company turnover in 2004)
Lessons learned Language can be a barrier; select companies you can converse with easily Good working relationship key to making the partnership successful Keep the new products coming; good distributors love new things to sell Keep numbers manageable and select carefully Enough resource and time to build good relationships Don’t overcrowd the marketplace Having a great product helps enormously!