Cubic Telecom - MRC case study title

Market research vital for success in the German automotive industry

Cubic Telecom - MRC case study - Gerry McQuaid CCO

With businesses facing more and more challenges by the day, the need to find growth areas within your chosen sectors has become even more important.

For life sciences, pharmaceuticals, automotive and e-commerce, the DACH region, consisting of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, is a growing market actively looking for innovative solutions to push the sectors forward. In fact, in 2020 companies supported by Enterprise Ireland had exports from Ireland to DACH totalling over €1.8 billion.

One Irish company that has seen the opportunity within the DACH region is Cubic Telecom, a business that produces an innovative platform called PACE to bring 24/7 connected software in cars to a new level. The opportunities for such a platform are huge – in 2019, the global connected car market was valued at $63.03 billion, and it’s projected to reach $225.16 billion by 2027. Not surprisingly, as the centre of the automotive industry in Europe and home to many world-leading car makers, the German market has a significant share in this growth.

But when entering such a huge market as the German automotive industry, research is vital to ensure that any partnerships formed are strategic and sustainable – as Cubic understood from the very start. This is where Enterprise Ireland, and specifically its Market Research Centre and the Enterprise Ireland team in Dusseldorf, were able to help.

“We did not simply select Germany as a generic target market,” Cubic Telecom CCO Gerry McQuaid says. “We looked at the world’s biggest automotive manufacturers and decided which companies we wished to build a partnership with. This naturally led us to Germany, the home of some of the world’s top auto manufacturers.”

“We were very careful to take the time to understand what is required to do business successfully with large prestigious German companies and we had excellent support from the Enterprise Ireland team in Germany.” Cubic Telecom CCO Gerry McQuaid

Platform for success

Cubic Telecom’s solutions are indispensable for the whole range of services used by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) through the connectivity of cars, including entertainment, safety, driver assistance and vehicle management. Specifically, Cubic’s PACE platform enables cars and other devices to automatically connect to high-speed local mobile networks around the world securely and compliantly, while the PLXOR solution offers a single view of how content services are consumed across global fleets. And, its newest product, INSIGHTS, provides the business intelligence needed to see exactly how a fleet is performing, with real-time monitoring and alerting capabilities.

Already, Cubic has enjoyed much success, connecting over 7 million devices and vehicles in 103 markets across Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The company’s major opportunity in the automotive market is in its current partnership with the Volkswagen Group; already the company has established roll outs with OEMs like Skoda or Porsche, with more models to be added.

“We were delighted to partner with the leading automotive brands within Volkswagen Group and this partnership has been an intrinsic part of developing our business success in Germany,” says McQuaid

This strategic partnership was carefully planned and researched by the Cubic team. From their initial introduction into Germany, the Enterprise Ireland office in Germany supported Cubic’s progress within the automotive industry. With important connections across the German automotive and future mobility ecosystem, and a comprehensive overview of the economic landscape, the German office can advise companies not only in the early phases with finding the right approach and direction, but also with advanced business development when pivoting new sub-sectors or intensify current activities.

Guidance from the German office proved very supportive for Cubic when it was entering the market in the early days. It now provides German brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche with a fully digital experience for their drivers.

Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre also played a key role. Client companies can use the centre to gain access to company, sector, market and country information needed to explore opportunities and compete in international markets. This allows companies like Cubic to assess and validate a market before developing an export strategy with support from the local office.

In fact, the approach proved so successful that Gerry recommends it to any company seeking to enter new markets. “Start by considering the needs of the customer you are selling to, what solution you are selling, who you need to sell it to and what markets those target customers are in. Then leverage the Enterprise Ireland regional offices to get introductions to the people in that market who you need to meet.”

Learn how Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre can support your company’s export ambitions.

Recruiting in Germany

Finding the right person to represent your company internationally is one of the most important decisions you will make. Your company is judged not only by the products and services you offer but by the people who are offering them. Finding the right people to do this at an excellent level is a constant challenge at home and overseas.

Enterprise Ireland has developed this recruitment guide to provide Irish businesses with expert insights on executive search and selection from one the leading executive search companies in Germany and internationally, Signium.

Our team of Düsseldorf-based market advisors are available to help you grow your businesses within Germany, Austria and Switzerland and to advise on the vital process of international recruitment.

Download our guide to recruiting in Germany and find the right people to grow your business overseas.

graph with export data

Using market intelligence to inform your export plan

The saying that ‘knowledge is power’ is certainly true of successful exporting. Companies must understand their customers’ requirements, cultural considerations, market trends and what competitors in the market are doing, in order to succeed.

Insights gained from high-quality market research are essential for good business decisions for companies with the ambition to grow, export and, indeed, survive. While successful products and services are built on sound market research, a continual process of keeping up-to-date with business intelligence is required, which can be time-consuming and costly.

 

Market Research Centre

That is one reason Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre is such a valuable resource. It is the largest repository of business intelligence in Ireland and contains thousands of world-class market research insights, available to Enterprise Ireland supported companies.

Reports include company, sector, market and country information, which help businesses to explore opportunities and compete in international markets. We use databases from blue-chip information providers such as GartnerFrost & Sullivan, Mintel and others, which provide authoritative, verified information that is independent and reliable. Some of these reports cost tens of thousands of euro individually, so the value of accessing the service is immense.

 

Using market intelligence to assess new markets

The Market Research Centre is staffed by eight information specialists who help clients locate the most appropriate sources of knowledge for their requirements. The specialists can track down niche market intelligence that is not available through internet research and can also facilitate access to industry analysts to provide bespoke briefings that deep-dive into subject areas.

While the UK and European markets remain vitally important for exporters, increasingly diversification into more distant markets is a strategic option. Critical to all such business decisions is access to authoritative market research.

 

Using insights to make an impact

An example of how the centre helps companies to explore opportunities in overseas markets is workforce travel company Roomex. Over the last two years, the company has targeted the UK and Germany and is now looking at the huge potential of the US market. Information specialists helped the company gain valuable insights by providing access to global company, country, market and sector data which helped the Roomex to analyse their target customer and competitor base.

Enterprise Ireland’s research hub offers access to extensive predictive research on future trends, which is invaluable for companies interested in innovation. Knowledge of what might impact a market next provides an opportunity to develop new products or solutions. There are huge opportunities arising from disruptive technologies, such as driver-less cars, but also risks to companies which are not looking ahead

Growing your business

Companies which are serious about exporting, growing and future-proofing their business should put continuous research at the heart of their strategy. If your company is considering expanding into new markets the Market Research Centre’s extensive resources and expertise should be your first port of call.

Contact the Market Research Centre today.

Celebrating half a century in Belgium

Established in 1971 as the Irish Trade and Technology Board Belgian department, the Enterprise Ireland office in Brussels is celebrating its fiftieth birthday. And while there have been many changes in the five decades since its opening, one thing has remained constant and that is the level of support and assistance Irish companies continue to receive as they enter and scale the Belgian markets.

There has long been a strong relationship between the two countries and Richard Engelkes, Interim Manager of Enterprise Ireland Benelux Region, says for Irish companies wanting to expand their portfolio into Europe, Belgium, with its large ports at Antwerp and Zeebrugge, is the gateway.

“Belgium is Ireland’s second largest trading partner globally (the first being the US), with a total of €17.8 billion in 2020,” says Engelkes.

“In fact, it goes both ways as imports of Belgian goods to Ireland was €2.4bn in 2020 – so there is a very good bilateral trade agreement between Ireland and Belgium.

“Equally important for Irish exporters, Belgium is the 4th largest export market in the Eurozone and the 8th largest globally. The EU, in particular the Eurozone, is of great importance to Irish exporters as its proximity, the single market and single currency, a large customer base, supply chain patterns and our longstanding relationship are just some of the reasons why the region is crucial.”

 

Location is key

And, according to Engelkes, thanks to its location at the heart of Europe, Belgium, is key.

“It boasts four ports, three airports, very good rail and road links and water connections, making it a gateway for markets all across the zone – it is also the headquarters of the European Union and NATO,” he says. “So continuing a strong business relationship with Brussels is very important for Irish companies.

“And despite the difficulties faced by every sector during the pandemic, the world is slowly rebuilding and there are many opportunities for Irish SMEs wanting to enter the market or scale their business in the Benelux countries and beyond. There is already an advantage for Irish companies as their reputation is good, with many firms well established in the pharma and life sciences sectors. There is also a lot of opportunity in the construction sector as well as engineering, precision engineering and packaging. Hydrogen is also a growing opportunity and there is a strong interest in building smart cities with an emphasis on sustainability, so innovative solutions will do well in the region.”

A reputation for innovation

The acting regional manager says innovation is something which Irish companies are known for, so this reputation is advantageous to firms who are looking to enter the market. They are also known for being flexible, reliable, and adaptable, qualities respected by Belgian companies.

“Irish firms have also shown a strong commitment to EU standards and regulations as well as being adept at solving complex technical challenges.” says Engelkes.

“But I would say that while for the most part, doing business in Belgium is similar to Ireland, the main difference is the language (with French, Dutch and German spoken). So Irish firms doing business here, should be aware that although most Belgians are highly proficient in English, it is advisable not to assume so and to at least attempt to learn a word or two – this will serve as an icebreaker and can be very helpful in building a relationship.”

 

Enterprise Ireland support

Irish companies which are already established in Belgium include RKD Architects, PM Group, Combilift, CXV Global PPI Adhesive, and DPS Engineering, to name a few – and the role of the Enterprise Ireland Office in Brussels is to assist companies like this in scaling their business but also to help others enter the market. This could involve market research, consultancy, getting involved with events (live or virtual), introductions and promotions or publicity – so if they have an idea, Richard and his colleagues can help with getting it into newspapers and online.

“We also work in conjunction with our Enterprise Ireland colleagues in Amsterdam and have strong relationships with the Embassy of Ireland in Belgium, the Embassy of Belgium in Ireland and the trade agency, Flanders Investment and Trade, as well as close cooperation with Belgian ports, such as the Port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge,” he says.  “In addition to this, Enterprise Ireland also supports expansion into the Eurozone with award-winning training courses, which are available to clients.

“Robert Troy, Minister for Trade Promotion, opened an Enterprise Ireland webinar in March, entitled ‘Belgian/Irish trade:  Maximising Trade Flows in a new European Union’. He also visited Antwerp in May which shows the Irish government’s dedication to fostering strong bilateral trade relations with Belgium.

“So, after 50 years in Brussels, the future for Irish businesses continues to look bright and we at the Enterprise Ireland office, are looking forward to continuing success for the next 50 years and beyond.”

Click here to learn more about trading in Belgium or download our Going Global guide.

Title - market research the key to Roomex's international success

Market Research: The key to Roomex’s international success

TItle; Market Resarch the key to ROmmex's international success. Photo of CEO Gary Moroney

Knowing your customer is the first rule of success in business, but when you’re entering a new market or exploring a new sector, often the important data that you need is hard or expensive to obtain. Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre helps to solve this problem for its clients, by providing access to a wide range of reports containing company, sector, market and country data – basically the information you need when exploring opportunities in international markets.

This type of information is vital for every business, but especially for a growing company like Roomex, which specialises in workforce travel across the world. “Market research is really important for us,” says Roomex CEO Garry Moroney. “We use it in three ways – to understand the travel industry, the competitors, potential partners etc; then we use it to analyse our target customer base, companies within the different verticals, the size of the companies within the sector in a country, who the top companies are; then the third area is customer needs analysis. We have found Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre very useful for the first two areas.”

“We have over a thousand customers and it’s paramount for our sales process to know those customers. We have a lot of big customers but we also have a long tail of smaller customers; getting that data and lists of potential customers is so important to us.

“The Market Research Centre was invaluable in getting us that data, and the fact that they have the data for so many countries is also great.” Garry Moroney, Roomex CEO.

 

Working through emergency situations

Roomex is described as a business travel company, but it is actually quite different to the traditional corporate travel business as it specialises in the workforce travel market. Garry explains further: “We work mainly with industries like construction, engineering, and manufacturing with our customers ranging from some of the largest construction companies in the world with revenues in the billions, right down to smaller SMEs. Our top market is the UK. We’ve had a sales team operating in the UK for a few years now; we also established a sales presence in Germany in 2019, another very important market for us. We also have partners across the world, including South Africa, and we have users in about 20 countries.”

Because of its concentration on workforce travel, Roomex also escaped the worst of the effects of Covid-19 on its business. “Our travellers could be described more as blue collar workers, perhaps in the construction industry, who may be travelling as part of a project and perhaps to more rural areas. Our workers travel to build, to install, to inspect, to maintain – all those jobs that can’t be done without travelling. A lot of our travel is also domestic, so wouldn’t be as affected by travel restrictions. So we are lucky to be coming out of the pandemic in a relatively strong position and are back to about 100% operation.”

 

Big ambitions

Garry joined Roomex as CEO in September 2019; prior to this, he was founder and CEO of two successful start-ups, Similarity Systems and Clavis Insight, both of which were acquired after much success. Garry’s goal with Roomex was to take an already successful company to the next level. Having avoided the worst of the business downturn during the pandemic, Roomex is now in a position where Garry can start putting his ambitious plans into action – with the help of Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre.

“When the first lockdown happened, we went into emergency mode, then we were in recovery mode. Now we’re out of that so we’re back to invest and expand stage. We’re hiring new people, and hoping to develop our product according to our product roadmap and looking to expand into more markets.

“We started expanding in Germany in 2019 and continued at a reduced level during the pandemic, but now we want to invest more time, resources and people in the German market.” confirms Moroney

Similarly we want to expand into the US market, as it’s a really important market for us. In both of my previous companies, our success has been heavily built on what we achieved in the US – it’s a great market for Irish companies. Our goal is to become a global leader in workforce travel management.”

Having the support of Enterprise Ireland has been hugely important for every one of Garry’s businesses, especially as they expand into new markets. “Enterprise Ireland supported both Similarity Systems and Clavis Insight, and Roomex as well over the years in areas such as employment and R&D, and we’ve also found their overseas offices really useful when exploring new markets. Having the support of these country experts and access to the Market Research Centre is invaluable when looking at such huge potential markets as the US.”

Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre is an important resource for its clients with ambitions to expand into international markets. Learn more here.

Offshore WInd farm

For SMEs in the marine sector, the world is their oyster

The Marine Ireland Industry Network (MIIN) is made up of companies and key stakeholders across this very broad sector. And coordinator, Liam Curran who is also a Senior Technologist with Enterprise Ireland and specialist in the industry, says despite the current global situation, the future for SMEs in this area is bright as development and investment continues.

“The ocean economy in Ireland is resilient and where there are challenges there are also a wealth of opportunities,” says Curran. “This has been recognised by the current government which has made a commitment to develop a new integrated marine sustainable development plan, focusing on all aspects of the marine, with a greater focus on sustainability and stakeholder engagement.

“One key area Enterprise Ireland is specifically interested in is the role of technology and SMEs and how we can collectively position Irish enterprises at the forefront of a digital revolution in the marine/blue economy.” says Curran 

“This goes across all marine sectors, but Enterprise Ireland views the emerging Offshore Renewables sector as a key area of opportunity for Irish marine industry capability – and this sector, particularly Offshore Wind, will play a critical role in Ireland’s decarbonisation agenda.”

 

A rapidly growing sector

The MIIN co-ordinator says the industry as a whole has been growing steadily for a number of years and work has also focused on strengthening established marine industries such as fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism and the marinisation of existing industries such as ICT, food, clean/green and finance into a range of marine related markets.

“There are some great examples of Irish companies identifying and targeting these opportunities, including Bio-Marine Ingredients in Monaghan who extract high value lipid and protein products from Blue Whiting, a fish which was previously considered low value by the seafood processing industry,” he says. “The production of high-end bio products from marine biological materials is an emerging growth area in the Blue Economy.

Wicklow-based Voyager IP specialise in providing high end connectivity solutions to the superyacht industry, while Vilicom provide communications systems for the Offshore Wind industry. And because of Ireland’s location at the edge of the North Atlantic, we can benefit from one of the best offshore renewable energy resources in Europe.”

 

A focus on sustainability

According to the marine expert, developing this in a sustainable manner is going to be key in supporting our clean energy transition.

“It has the potential to make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the Irish electricity system, as well as the potential for providing employment in small coastal communities which are unlikely to attract foreign direct investment,” he says.

“Examples of MIIN companies in this area are Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions, who work globally for the offshore wind industry, while Inland and Coastal Marina Systems fabricate and install pontoon systems for harbours and have been winning work in the UK installing mooring systems for Crew Transfer Vessels.

“Currently, the development of the offshore renewables sector in Ireland is high on the government’s agenda and much care is being put into developing the National Marine Planning Framework and new consenting regime to ensure this is done in a fair and sustainable way.”

 

Ample opportunities

Curran says that in order to take advantage of this, companies in the sector should consider how they might pivot capability to meet the needs of the offshore wind industry.

“This is a huge area of opportunity for Irish marine SMEs, both at home and in export markets,” he says. “Galway based Bluewise Marine have done exactly that, offering experience in areas such as marine and fisheries science, engineering, health & safety management, and community engagement, as well as a range of technical and operational project management supports to assist companies to select and develop offshore renewable energy sites, coordinate marine surveys, engage with the local supply chain, and manage stakeholder relationships.

“In Killybegs, the marine engineering capability has been built up around the pelagic fishing industry but is now also looking at how skillsets could be applied to the offshore wind sector – and marine fabrication companies like MMG Welding and Seaquest Systems, amongst others, have the capability to be part of this rapidly growing industry.”

 

Research is vital

The senior technologist recommends that companies which may be interested in entering this sector should join MIIN and attend events (currently online) to meet the best industry innovators – but says it is also important to research the sector beforehand.

“The marine sector is very unforgiving of products or services which haven’t been properly ‘marinised’ and built to withstand everything the North Atlantic winter will throw at them,” he says.

Curran confirms “We are fortunate to have a suite of testing facilities available for companies to trial and validate their products or services” 

“These includethe Lir National Ocean Test Facility at UCC and the Galway Bay Marine & Renewable Energy Test Site. We also have an excellent maritime training facility at the National Maritime College of Ireland.

“In addition, the marine research ecosystem in this country is very active nationally and internationally, while SFI has supported research centres, like MaREI, to help Ireland stay at the forefront of marine research.

“So any SMEs who are interested should log onto the Marine Ireland website to get an insight into the vibrant marine ecosystem which exists in Ireland.”

Webinar title: Climate Action Funding & Supports - Manufacturing sector

Climate Enterprise Action Fund Webinar Series – Manufacturing Sector

The transition to a low carbon world has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investments in a sustainable future accelerates.

The manufacturing sector has the capability to address many of the problems in our society, including the threat from climate change. However, as the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the sector faces significant challenges in reducing its own energy consumption.

This webinar includes the following guest speakers who will share their sustainability journey, as well as provide helpful advice to companies of all sizes:

  • Nick Reynolds – CSR Advisor, Business in the Community

  • Patrick Beausang – CEO, Passive Sills

  • Andrea Cawley – Commercial Director, Automatic Plastics

  • Patrick Buckley – Managing Director, EPS

Watch the Climate Enterprise Action Fund webinar series here.

CEAF ICT & Services

Climate Enterprise Action Fund Webinar Series – ICT & Services

The transition to a low carbon world has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investments in a sustainable future accelerates.

ICT has the capability to address many of the problems in our society, including the threat from climate change. However, as the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the sector faces significant challenges in reducing its own energy consumption and environmental impacts.

Similarly, there are many ways in which services can be part of the green economy and drive sustainable development. Business services can contribute to increasing sustainability for processes and products across industries, and speed up the transition towards a green economy.

Within both sectors, sustainability is now recognised as a priority issue.

This webinar includes the following guest speakers who will share their sustainability journey and provide helpful advice to companies of all sizes:

  • Yvonne Holmes – Chief Sustainability Officer, AIB

  • Andrea Carroll – Sr. Susutainability Programme Manager EMEA, Amazon Web Services

  • Laura Costello – Strategy Director – Purpose & Planet, Thinkhouse

  • Eanna Glynn – Head of Sustainability, BidX1

  • Brian Minehane – Account Director & Sustainability Programme Lead, Ergo

 

Watch the Climate Enterprise Action Fund webinar series here.

    Webinar title: Climate Action Funding & Supports - food and Beverage sector

    Climate Enterprise Action Fund Webinar Series – Food and Beverage Sector

    The transition to a low carbon world has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investments in a sustainable future accelerates.

    The food & beverage sector has the capability to address many of the problems in our society, including the threat from climate change. However, as the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the sector faces significant challenges in reducing its own energy consumption.

    This webinar includes the following guest speakers who will share their sustainability journey and provide helpful advice to companies of all sizes:

    • Deirdre Ryan – Director of Origin Green, Bord Bia

    • Owen Keogh – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Lidl Ireland

    • Louise Brennan – Head of Technical, O’Brien Fine Foods

    • Rosaleen Hyde – Operations Manager, Ballymaloe Foods

    • Padraig Mallon – Sustainability Director, Kerry Group

    Watch the Climate Enterprise Action Fund webinar series here.

      UK packaging webinar title

      The UK Packaging Sector Webinar – Opportunities and Challenges

      Few sectors have been affected greater by the COVID-19 pandemic than the packaging sector. The increased demand on food packaging with the upsurge of people eating at home and companies forced to rethink their packaging as minimalism made way for health and safety, the packaging sector was forced to change quickly to the ‘new normal’.

      Now as a post-pandemic world looks somewhat in sight, it’s time to reassess the UK market and re-evaluate how Irish packaging suppliers can take advantage of the £11 billion UK packaging sector.

      In this webinar, Andrew Finch, UK Packaging Consultant examines the UK packaging sector and discusses:

      • State of the UK market post-COVID-19 and post-Brexit

      • Opportunities for Irish packaging providers in the market

      • Latest demands from UK multiples and key industry stakeholders

      • Sustainability outlook in the UK

      • How to best engage UK packaging buyers

      Gain key business insights with our on-demand UK webinar series.

        Net Zero UK – UK Local Authorities & the Net Zero Challenge – Webinar

         

        The UK’s 408 local authorities will play a crucial and defining role in the UK’s net zero challenge with responsibility for:

        • overseeing the adoption of innovative zero carbon technologies

        • investing in climate-resilient urban infrastructure

        • driving energy efficiency through building retrofitting

        • placing a greater emphasis on environmental criteria in procurement policy

        This Enterprise Ireland UK webinar discusses how this evolution is reflected in procurement practices, with local authorities giving increasing consideration to social value and carbon emissions and what this means for Irish SMEs in the sector.

        Speakers include:

        • Todd Holden, Energy Policy & Programme Lead, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

        • Steve Turner, Business Director, Connected Places Catapult

        • Bret Willers, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability, Coventry City Council

        • Christopher Hammond, Network Membership Director, UK100

          Gain key business insights with our on-demand UK webinar series

           

          Net Zero UK – UK Agriculture & the Net Zero Challenge – Webinar

           

          Enterprise Ireland UK hosted a webinar examining the net zero ambition of the UK agricultural sector and the implications for Irish SMEs working in the industry. Michael Haverty, Partner with The Andersons Centre, delivered a comprehensive briefing and Q&A session, which included:

          An overview of the UK’s policy drivers for net zero in agriculture, including, the Agriculture Bill, Environment Bill and the role of the devolved administrations

          • Carbon markets; The scope for direct payments to farmers for sequestration

          • Food industry initiatives; Consumer pressure, Retailer commitments to achieving net zero e.g. Co-op, Tesco, Sainsbury’s

          • Food processors and net zero commitments e.g., Arla, ABP

          • Farm level net zero implications; net zero agritech trends, implications for inputs usage

          • How Irish SMEs can maximise on the opportunites in this space

          Gain key business insights with our on-demand UK webinar series