PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BLACK COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL
FROM DUDLEY – TO THE WORLD
Dudley-based commercial furniture manufacturer Boss Design’s innovative products can now be found in workspaces across the globe – thanks in part to the help it has received from the Department for International Trade.
The company was set up by Brian Murray in 1983 and began its export journey within the first ten years of life. It now has manufacturing sites in Dubai and the USA as well as showrooms in London, Manchester, Chicago and Dubai and boasts a global turnover of £40m.
The company – which supplies corporate customers such as Barclays, RBS, British Airways, Etihad and BT – has enjoyed a close working relationship with DIT and its adviser, Marion Doherty, over a number of years, with Philip now taking on the role of an Export Champion.
Senior Manager, Philip Duggan said, “DIT is our first point of call for any information about overseas markets, and never fails to provide us with excellent help and background research.”
The specific help from DIT has seen the company exhibit at a number of trade events such as Orgatec in Cologne, events in Italy and Neocon in the USA, and Philip says it is targeting growing exports to 25 per cent of the business from the current figure of 20 per cent.
Current markets include the USA, Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, with Philip attributing the success to the research the company carries out on new territories and partners prior to any expansion.
“We have achieved between £300-400,000 extra sales as a result of the support we have received from DIT and it has been an excellent relationship which we look forward to continuing,” Philip told Prosper.
PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES – WESTFIELD TECHNOLOGY GROUP PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE OF TRADING WITH THE EU.
Westfield Technology Group, headquartered in Dudley, design, manufacture, assemble, certify and distribute cars and electric vehicles around the globe.
Their autonomous electric vehicles can be found in airports from London to Australia with their Pods transporting passengers from parking lots to terminals and their autonomous Road Sweepers keeping airport runways and aprons clear of debris, or moving cargo and bags between terminals and aircraft.
Meanwhile, their Pods in tourist attractions around the world provide visitors with easy access to beautiful and historic places, including UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The company currently imports its parts from Canada, Australia, the US and Europe, whilst exporting to Australia, China, the US, Middle East, Korea, Europe and the ASEAN Region.
Working closely with their local International Trade Adviser, Marion Doherty based at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, the company has benefitted from opportunities across the world, tapping into her expertise, and that of her colleagues in British Embassies, enabling discussions to take place with key decision-makers and identifying potential partners in-country.
Operating in the aftermarket sales, Westfield’s outlet in Kingswinford takes care of distributing and shipping car parts for their own vehicles, across the UK and the world. Seats, wheels, tyres, brakes, bodywork, paint, wiring, batteries, gearboxes, motors and engines, a whole array of parts and components are imported from around the world and assembled at Westfields’ facilities in the West Midlands and Dorset.
So, taking action in recent months to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period, was paramount to Westfield’s plans, in order for the company to continue trading with the EU and understand the new rules for exporting, including changes to processes and licensing, “Not only do we need to prepare for the components, the suppliers and the customers, but we also want to ensure we have a smooth transition for our employees. We have used the employer toolkit to support the process for EU citizens,” said Julian Turner, Chief Executive Officer for Westfield.
Reaching out to their supply chain, to ensure they will have stock for the end of the transition period, Westfield and have contacted dealers and customers making them all aware of what needs to be done to register vehicles and fit homologated products to existing vehicles.
“Some of our vehicles consist of 5000 parts and if we can be prepared then you can too,” said Julian.