On 7 June 2018 we ran our 8th Export Action Plan competition with BubbleBum (UK) Limited taking home the £3000 cash prize.
In the latest of our finalist case studies, we speak to Ecotile Flooring about their export plans and their tips for future entrants to the competition.
What does your company do at the moment and what’s next?
We manufacture PVC interlocking floor tiles for use in factories and warehouses. We are currently planning for the acquisition of another injection moulding machine to increase capacity.
How are the exports going?
Very well, we export to Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Asia. 40% of turnover last year was from exports.
How has the Export Action Plan helped with your exports?
It helped to clarify our thinking about which markets we should focus on next and how best to attack them.
How have you found the experience of the final today?
Nerve wracking! I hate public speaking but it was a good experience in the end.
What three tips would you give to other new exporters?
- Carefully research the market – who are your competitors?
- Get the price right – can the market support it and are there any hidden costs like customs documentation.
- If you’re going to sell through a local distributor do due diligence – how much time and money are they prepared to commit to promoting your product?
Enter your Export Action Plan into the Open to Export International Business Awards for the chance to win $5000 at a showcase final in Geneva this October.
About Ecotile Flooring
Ecotile Flooring is a privately owned UK manufacturing company founded in 1996. We produce high quality, durable PVC flooring suitable for industrial use. Based in Luton, Bedfordshire, the Ecotile factory adheres to ISO :9001 standards and we are also ISO :14001 accredited.
In 2017 we were one of only five companies in the UK to win two Queen’s Enterprise Awards. The first was for our success in International Trade and the second was for Innovation which recognised our role in developing a new injection moulding technique to increase the volume of recycled material we are able to use in our premium range of tiles by 30%.
At the end of our last financial year we calculated that over 40% of our turnover was accounted for by export sales. The majority of this volume goes to Europe where France is currently our largest market although we expect Germany to overtake this year due to the efforts of our directly employed representative there.
Recently we have also successfully established partnerships with companies much further afield such as Mexico, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. We attribute the global appeal of our product to its simplicity as you do not need professional floor fitters to install Ecotile and many of our customers do it themselves, which offers them greater flexibility and reduces disruption to their production.
Ecotile interlocking floor tiles can be loose laid over any hard surface including damaged, damp and contaminated substrates. They are tough enough to withstand forklift truck traffic whilst offering anti-slip, anti-fatigue and acoustic improvements on traditional warehouse and factory floors. The simple versatility of the interlocking tile system has attracted the attention of other market sectors, as well as industry and logistics. We have many satisfied customers in schools, gyms, retail, commercial property and hospitality.