What More, the Burnley-based manufacturer of plastic storageware and cleaning products, has secured its first export order to South Africa.
“The England soccer team may or may not bring back the World Cup from South Africa,” commented director Tony Grimshaw, “but they can now bring home some Wham storage boxes!”
Grimshaw told HousewaresLive.net that the customer is a “major European player, and the initial test order is worth £15,000”.
He went on: “We got the introduction via an existing Australian customer and took it from there. We’ve built up a great relationship with our Australian customer – our service and our products have had a tremendous reception. They had no problems at all recommending us to the buying director of the South African company when asked, who do you buy your plastic products from? The Aussies will be taking 20 containers of our products over in June, July and August.”
What More has always exported to the Republic of Ireland. Then, in 2008, the company made a major investment in new machinery, moulds and automation, giving it enough spare capacity to fulfill its growth predictions in the UK for the next few years, plus an excess worth some £10m.
“We decided to use the excess and attack the export market,” said Grimshaw. “With a lot of help and encouragement from Steve Samosa, the export guru at BHETA, we decided to move as of February 2009. We had one export customer, Ireland, but by February 2010 that was up to 14 countries.”
What More now exports regularly to the USA, Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Nigeria, Italy, Cyprus, India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Ireland and now South Africa.
“It’s hard going, especially when, like me, you can’t speak even English properly,” laughed Grimshaw. “Ordering a beer in Spain was as good as it gets, but quality doesn’t need translating, it’s tangible. Then the level of service shown during the first order gets you your repeat order.”