Thinking a step ahead
P3 Medical Limited produces medical devices for the healthcare market; working closely with clinicians, their products are developed for use in operating theatres. Established in 2001,P3 Medical was already successful in a wide variety of export markets spanning Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East.
An experienced exporter,P3 Medical had enjoyed the support of their International Trade Advisor, Rob Thompson, and gained useful information and contacts through the UKTI Passport to Export, and Gateway to Global Growth programmes. However, with a network of 150 distributors and a keen desire to continue to expand the export business, but with a support team of only 3 people, there was a realisation that some further help was required; it was harder to define quite what that help might be. Then fortunately, P3 was introduced to the Export Communications Review.
An action plan
Anne Hegmann, Business Development Manager at P3, explained how this introduction took place, "Originally, we were just looking to translate our existing website into local languages; but when we were introduced to Susan Roe, an Export Communications Consultant, it became apparent that there were additional areas of communication which could benefit from further improvement."
The Export Communications Review provides practical, impartial and straightforward advice to help companies improve their communications to overseas markets; each review is conducted by a communications expert and is tailored to the company’s individual requirements.
Susan met with Anne in the P3 Medical offices, and spent a couple of hours to understand the company’s goals and put together a communications action plan with them. As Susan highlights, "This is a clear example of how even proficient and experienced exporters can benefit from help in improving their communications."
Simplify and clarify
It was apparent that the first hurdle was to simplify and clarify the website. Using her knowledge and experience, Susan was then able to provide Anne with a concise report, clearly laying out recommendations for improving the website, increasing the company’s visibility overseas and helping potential customers understand the benefits of working with P3. Anne was delighted, "The report was so well structured, and really easy to follow – it was like having a work-plan to tick off."
Indeed, Anne was so delighted that she commissioned Susan to do further reviews. There is no limit to the amount of Export Communication Reviews a company can have, and UKTI match-funds the first three.
P3 Medical’s route to international markets was through a network of 150 global distributors, so an effective communications strategy and awareness of different languages and cultures waskey to building and maintaining successful liaisons with this important group. However, with limited resource the task was becoming increasingly difficult. Susan worked with P3 Medical to derive country specific strategies to enhance their communications with distributors, and thereby improve relationships.
Focus on specifics
"Our second review with Susan really helped us to think one step ahead, and now we are more focused on our specific relationships with our distributors and also how they promote our products in their markets. It’s been so useful!"
P3 Medical has been thrilled with the overall result: as a consequence of the first review, the visitor numbers for the P3 Medical website have increased dramatically and there have already been some new leads directly via the improved website.
The second ECR was equally as beneficial: "It has been so important to find the best method of communication for each distributor – for example we now use Skype for our Japanese colleagues, our Arabic distributors prefer phone, and EU culture normally means we use email. We also plan far more carefully for our meetings with distributors, and are much more aware of how best to communicate across different cultures. We would never have seen this without Susan’s help"
Anne also found it useful that the reviews linked together, helping P3 Medical improve their overall communications. "I have found the whole experience so useful, and I’d recommend it to anyone!"
Countries: South West England