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Vfb2012 exporting for growth lascar ben savage


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Venturefest Business Masterclasses - Exporting for Growth

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Vfb2012 exporting for growth lascar ben savage

  1. 1. Ben Savage
  2. 2. Introduction Lascar Electronics company overview Devising our strategy How we implemented this strategy How has this helped our business? Lessons learned
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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?
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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)
  12. 12. 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!