An innovative project which sees ambitious firms teamed up with private sector mentors and grant opportunities has proven successful for one Sheffield business.
When Tufcot wanted to branch into the marine sector, Department for International Trade (DIT) introduced them to Lloyd International Communications to produce a strategic plan, which is already paying off.
Tufcot offers composite bearing solutions to various industries around the world, continually developing the number of sectors they export into. One industry Tufcot was interested in exploring was the marine sector.
“We’d scratched the surface, but we’d not got a marine plan together. That’s where we got involved with DIT, it’s been a real success since then,” says Greg Majchrzak, managing director of Tufcot.
In 2018, Tufcot’s international trade adviser (ITA), Paul Garnett suggested Tufcot work with a third-party company to bring export knowledge and provided Greg with a range of suppliers to choose from. Tufcot trusted Paul to make good suggestions and welcomed the idea of working with a consultant.
He added: “DIT has always been great in terms of identifying what is considered best for Tufcot.”
Greg chose Lloyd International Communications who specialise in in-depth reviews; they analyse a company’s current export position and look at ways for them to expand into a new sector and accelerate overseas success.
With Mary Cousins, director of Lloyd International, they developed an action plan to target the marine sector. The project included an international communications review, market research, as well as website internationalisation.
To help fund the project, Paul recommended Tufcot apply for the Exporting for Growth* grant. “Without funding we would have probably reconsidered going down this route,” says Greg.
The funding was welcomed by Lloyd International Communications as it would enable Tufcot to implement their suggestions. Mary explained: “So often we visit a company and they say, ‘that’s a great idea but we haven’t got the money’ whereas with a little bit of funding that can be overcome.”
With Tufcot now growing year on year, Greg considers DIT and Lloyd International Communications to have been imperative to the company’s development.
“Without Paul, we would never have found Lloyd International Communications, and we probably wouldn’t have even been looking,” says Greg.
“I can’t say enough about how invaluable Paul and Mary have been in terms of us progressing to that next level, I’d not even question working with other private sector companies suggested by DIT.”
“It’s crucial for private sector companies to become involved with DIT, otherwise they’re not going to get past reception,” says Mary, who believes DIT is a great organisation to work alongside.
“It’s a good relationship for lots of reasons, one of them is the quality of the referrals. DIT make it their business to know who the exporters are in this region so is ideally placed to act as a broker for new business development. Any supplier can be helped to find good clients if they work with DIT.”
If your company provides a service that can help businesses in Yorkshire & the Humber to grow a global business, speak to DIT. Telephone +44 (0) 300 365 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Enterprise Growth Solutions, in partnership with DIT is delivering the contract for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which provides £6.7million of funding for first time, but also experienced exporters as part of the Exporting for Growth programme.