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.”
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.”