Question posted by Colin Frankland, for Lisclare Limited (t/a PolyWeave) in WA8
20 September 2012

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Greetings all.....

My company manufactures a range of patient specific hoisting slings for hospital use, which are 'disposable' in the sense that they are unique to specific patients and are disposed of at the end of their stay in hospital. They are an essential weapon in the fight against hospital acquired cross-infections such as MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and C.diff (Clostridium difficile). With a low unit cost, they are also a proven budget-friendly alternative to expensive laundering and replacement.

In the UK, we are an established and accredited supplier to the NHS, but we are looking to extend our activities to European exports, through a Distributor network.

Can anyone please advise on how best to take our first steps towards exporting to Europe, particularly EC countries? How can I find out about events, exhibitions, trade missions, etc to target markets?

In the UK, these products are marketed on a hospital-by-hospital basis - but does this approach differ in the different overseas markets?

I would very much like to hear from interested parties and would welcome input......

Best regards,
Colin Frankland

11 responses

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Dear Colin

Thank you for your enquiry. We can certainly help you finding a distributor in Belgium for your hoisting slings. We do this through our OMIS (Overseas Market Introduction Scheme) this is a chargeable service whereby we contact companies on your behalf to find out whether they are interested in representing you on the Belgian market. This service can be ordered either direct from us or through my colleagues in your region. You may wish to contact Diane.Smedley@ukti.gsi.co.uk.
If you send me your email address I will let you have our explanatory brochure re OMIS.

I hope this helps

Kind regards

Nadine Vandenbroucke
UKTI Belgium

20 September 2012 Response given by UKTI Belgium,
on behalf of UKTI Belgium in Brussels.

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Dear Colin,

Thanks for your question.

As a starting place for entry into Europe, I would consider visiting Medica, the largest healthcare exhibition in Europe taking place from November 14-17th 2012 (www.medica-tradefair.com). UKTI does have a presence at the exhibition and this is organised in conjuction with ABHI (http://www.abhi.org.uk/export/exhibitions/medica/medica.aspx). Sites for exhibiting are usually booked up earlier in the year, however it would be a good idea to have a chat with someone at ABHI to see if anything else is available. If nothing else, at least spending a day or two walking around the exhibition (you really need a week !!) will give you an idea of the competition as well as an opportunity to meet with UKTI commercial officers that will be UKTI stand.

As you will be aware each market operates in it's own unique way and therefore the purchasing system will be quite different. Another area you will need to check is that your product is CE marked. In most cases this is accepted in the majority of EU markets, but some might have some additional regulatory requirements - just worth checking at least.

I hope this gives you something to start on, but please come back onto the forum or email if you need any further help.

Kind regards,

Anil Vaidya
UKTI Life Science Specialist (Far East & Asia Pacific)
anil.vaidya@uktispecialist.com

21 September 2012 Response given by Anil Vaidya,
on behalf of UKTI London in SE1.

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There are 2 places I would signpost you to as you start to consider exporting your product into new European Markets. Firstly, Invest NI. This agency is committed to supporting the growth of businesses within Northern Ireland. Part of their website is dedicated to ‘Selling outside Northern Ireland’ and includes details on how they can help both in terms of practice advice and financial support, link below. This site also carries details of events as well that you may want to consider attending.

http://www.investni.com/index/selling.htm

The second key area I would urge you to consider is to approach a bank(s) and speak to their overseas Trade Specialist and get a feel for the support and guidance they will be able to provide. Banks that have dealt with your target countries will be privy to large amounts of information and their years of experience will be invaluable in ensuring you put in place the right type of facility to allow you to trade both safely and quickly.

The very best of luck to you – feel free to contact me if I can be of any further help.

Chris Lynch
Director Trade Finance
Santander Corporate Banking
Santander UK plc
christopher.lynch@santander.co.uk

21 September 2012 Response given by Ian Nash,
on behalf of Santander Corporate & Commercial in Reading.

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You are an accredited supplier to the NHS but looking to activities to European exports through a Distributor network.

Can I sugest that you give me a call and we can talk through your European Route to Market. It's John Hall at +33 4 72 9 66 55 (office) or +33 6 8171 3942 (mobile).

An excellent, if somewhat overwhelming expo is Medica at Dusseldorf. This is a must see and is all Europe not just Germany. It is November 14 to 17. Check out the web site. Finding a hotel now will be difficult.

In the UK these products are marketed on a hospital-by-hospital basis - but does this approach differ in the overseas markets?
Yes. You will find each country has slightly different ways of doing things. UKTI has offices in about 100 countries, and all staff know their way around the market. Here in France we have French healthcare sector specialists who can help you.

I look forward to talking to you, John

21 September 2012 Response given by John Hall,
on behalf of UKTI France in France.

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Dear Colin,

We would be happy to support Lisclare Ltd to enter the Portuguese market. We can provide you a market research to identify a list of potential distributors in the market or you may opt to participate in our event next November in Lisbon - Innovation in Healthcare. Having the Health Cluster Portugal (HCP) as our partner, we are planning a session to take place during their 3rd Annual Conference in Lisbon. Established in 2008, HCP has more than 120 members, embracing the whole spectrum of healthcare and life sciences in the country – companies, hospitals, government and public sector, academia and R&D bodies.

While the Portuguese Government implements measures aimed at the sustainability of the National Healthcare System (SNS), we are aiming at organising a delegation of British suppliers to visit Lisbon at the time of this Conference and have a bilateral and targetted meeting programme organised by UKTI.

Also I would like to add that many Portuguese companies are developing business/setting up branches in Portuguese speaking countries such as Angola/Mozambique/Cape Verde and this could be an opportunity to develop business in such countries.

As soon as we´ve got more details on this event we will let you know.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Kind regards,

Cláudia Luís

17 October 2012 Response given by Claudia Luis,
on behalf of UKTI Portugal in Portugal.

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Colin,

As you are looking to export, Wallace-Stewart Consulting can provide advice on the correct Value-Pricing-Strategy and processes, which you should establish for the markets in which you will operate. Implementing a clearly defined Value-Pricing-Strategy process can increase margin levels and profitability as part of an overall sales and marketing review.

Before exporting we recommend that you analyse the global, regional and local challenges you face when aligning the correct Value-Pricing-Strategy across the different markets especially as the acknowledged level of service or product specification may vary.

Furthermore, we advise on a structured pricing and discount process including the interaction between sales and marketing. Product and SKU financial reporting hierarchy, customer segmentation, market pricing analysis, list price generation, product discount structures, customer discount levels, exclusive pricing requests and data conversion. These factors can then be integrated into your business system or reporting programmes.

In addition, Wallace-Stewart Consulting provides advice on the various product marketing elements as part of the overall pricing process, which include the marketing mix, product launch milestones, inventory levels and product life cycle management.

Our pricing software QQ2, which can both analyse line item profitability and the impact on margin levels works on a number of platforms, which include excel and numbers; thus the ability to work on the iPad.

Please let me know if we can be of assistance with your European Pricing.

Regards,

Robert Stewart
Wallace-Stewart Consulting

18 October 2012 Response given by Robert Stewart,
on behalf of Wallace-Stewart Consulting in CW1.

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Colin,
I realise that you are seeking distribution and markets - neither of which I can assist with unfortunately. Don't forget to budget for insurance - it is not a large cost and I would be happy to provide you with quotes so that you can factor the costs into your pricing.
Kind regards

John Mitchell
Export and General Insurance Services Limited

25 October 2012 Response given by Dr John Mitchell,
on behalf of Export and General Insurance Services Limited in RG23.

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Have you thought of having your website translated into other languages so that clients in the EU can find you more easily? We are currently carrying out a great deal of website content translation for companies seeking to promote themselves to clients not only in France, but also Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and the fast growing north African markets of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Feel free to get in touch if we can help,

Kind regards
Cheryl Salmon

5 January 2013 Response given by Cheryl Salmon,
on behalf of The French Translation Company Ltd in MK45.

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We are a shipping agent and can help with the export of your products so if you need any help in shipping or prices then please contact us.

Kind regards
Dave Eales
Excel Shipping Limited
Tel 01708 515151
e mail davide@excelshipping.com

10 January 2013 Response given by David Eales,
on behalf of Excel Shipping Limited in Hornchurch.

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International corporations like Eli Lilly, Novartis and Interlab, to niche enterprises exporting for the first time, trust CAPITA to translate documents, patents, contracts, websites, product specifications and even voiceovers in various languages for video content - and we always deliver on time, and within budget.

We specialise in LifeScience and Pharmaceutical industry. So whatever your requirement, we have a solution for you.

Regards,

Andrew

16 October 2013 Response given by Andrew Holland,
on behalf of Capita Translation and Interpreting in Manchester.

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We are able to beat corporate bank rates on foreign currency exchange. Due to the fact we are a trading name of Ebury Partners (whose turnover last year was in the region of £1bn), we have virtually no overheads and so can substantially undercut banks and competitors. We carry out all the necessary KYC checks in line with FCA regulations and maintain a fervent desire to ensure all our clients receive the fastest, most efficient service possible.

Please send me an email on b.porcas@flo-fx.com or visit our website at www.flo-fx.com for more information.

8 November 2013 Response given by Bryony Porcas,
on behalf of Flo-FX in E1.

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