Update on the AMP7 spending cycle and Green Webinar title: UK Water Sector, Recovery Investment Plans

The UK Water Sector and the AMP7 spending cycle – Webinar

This webinar provides an update to the UK Water Sector and the AMP7 spending cycle and Green Recovery Investment Plans.

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland and British Water the webinar discusses the key topics facing the sector with insights provide by industry experts:

  • Lee Horrocks, Director, LCH Executive

  • Lila Thompson, Chief Executive, British Water

  • Matt Lewis, Water Innovation Portfolio Manager, Severn Trent

  • Paul Gardner, Managing Director, Glanagua (UK)

  • Mike Froom, BD Director, TE Tech solutions (part of the Trant Group)

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

    The Future of UK Ports – Overview, trends and opportunities

    As the UK ports industry enters a time of significant transformation, we hear from leading market experts on the latest trends and opportunities for Irish suppliers in the sector.

    This webinar examines:

    • Ports for offshore wind

    • Freeports

    • Port decarbonisation

    • Smart ports and digitalisation

     

    Contact our UK Cleantech Market Executive or gain key business insights with our on-demand UK webinar series.

      Why Export title

      Export Journey: Step 1 – Why Export?

      Why Export title - image of woman packing a box

      In a post-Covid world access to international markets, buyers, distributors and information is now at the fingertips of Irish SMEs thanks to increased digitalisation.

      When looking towards new markets, it is important to consider the potential benefits of exporting for your company such as;

      1. Diversification of market and reduced vunerability

      A well considered diversification plan can minimise a dependency on the domestic market and the potential exposure to domestic downturn.

      2. Increased revenue and scale

      Exporting opens channels to exponentially expand the home market and identify new markets to take advantage of globally. A larger market base delivers economies of scale, enabling you to maximise your resources.

      3. Improved profitability

      Your ongoing domestic operation should cover business-as-usual fixed costs, either directly or via other types of business financing, which should, in turn, facilitate a faster growth in your export profits.

      4. Best practice and knowledge

      Accessing global markets will provide additional benefits to an exporter, aside from increased revenues such as new ways of doing business, increased awareness of global best practice, cultural and international competitiveness, that could also bring benefits to your market offering in Ireland.

      5. Domestic competitiveness

      Considering your company’s export potential will increase its resilience against potential competition within the domestic market.

       

       

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      Export Journey: Step 2 – Assess & Validate

      Assess & Validate title and business people

      Before beginning your export journey you must clearly identify your target market.  You may have preferences based on previous experience, understanding of the language or culture or simply some connection with the market, though a good starting point it’s not enough of a reason to export to this market.

      Market Research will form the backbone of your export strategy as you begin to validate your plans.

      The key elements for consideration are:

      • What makes your product unique
      • Who are your competitors in your selected research market?
      • Who are the buyers in that market?
      • How does your product compare in terms of pricing?
      • How is the product sold in that market?
      • What are the local regulations, certification for selling your product and can you currently comply?
      • A clear understanding as to why you have selected this market as the potential first market.

      What supports are available?

      If your business is at an early development stage the Local Enterprise Office has the supports to help you plan, start and grow

      If you are are already supported by Enterprise Ireland you can contact your Development Advisor here.

      The Market Research Centre provides access to world class research databases to help client companies make better, more informed business decisions. Contact the Market Research Centre here

      Enterprise Ireland hosts events to assist companies’ growth plans – See our events calendar for details.

      Our Market pages and Going Global guides provide expert insights and contact details for our overseas offices.

      Learn how our Exporter Development team can support your growth.

       

       

       

      Positioning Strategy title and businessman

      Export Journey: Step 3 – Positioning Strategy

      Positioning Strategy title and businessman

      Your positioning strategy should set out what you will do to achieve a favourable perception in your new export market.

      Typically companies will try to achieve the same brand positioning regardless of the market. A coherent positioning strategy can be hugely advantageous, so it’s important when reviewing the export potential of your products/goods or services to consider the following:

      1. Customer profiles

      • What is your current USP and will this translate to your new foreign export markets ?
      • Do you understand your domestic customer profile? E.g. age profile, socio-economic grouping etc.
      • Are there other significant demographic patterns to your product or service’s usage?
      • Have you considered the need to modify your product/service to facilitate differences in language, culture and business environments?
      • How do you plan to deliver your services to foreign markets ? In person, via a local partner or using digital resources?

      2. Market Pricing and Value Propostion

      • Consideration whether any necessary changes to make your product/service more appealing to foreign markets and customers?
      • If you’re exporting services, what makes them unique within global markets?
      • Have you benchmarked your services in a global context? Would they be considered to be world-class and stand up to stronger scrutiny?
      • Have you considered the cost implications of servicing overseas markets? Including FX rates and fluctuations?
      • Does your product have a shelf life and will this be impacted by time in transit?
      • Will your packaging have the same impact in a foreign market or can it be easily modified to satisfy new demands?
      • Are there any climatic or geographic factors that could affect the uptake of your product or service in other markets?

      3. Route to Market

      • Do you need special export licensing or documentation to export? i.e. technical or regulatory requirements localised to the market?
      • Are there considerations for the safe transportation of your product to global markets ? i.e. specialized containers or packaging materials?
      • Would transportation costs make competitive pricing a problem?
      • How efficiently does your target market process incoming shipments?

      4. Capacity to support

      • In the event that your domestic/export demand increases beyond current projections, will you still be able to look after both markets?
      • Will you be able to serve both your existing domestic customers and any new foreign clients?

       

      5. Further considerations

      • Do you require a local presence or representation?
      • Will your products/service require local professional support or can this be done digitally?
      • Will after-sales service be required ? Can it be easily sourced locally or do you have to provide it? Does you have the resources to provide it?
      • Are there legal / IP implications to consider when entering global markets?

      Once your positioning strategy is in development, it’s time to consider how to develop your export strategy and access your target market.

       

      Take the next step in the Export Journey

       

      Export Strategy title and port image

      Export Journey: Step 4 – Developing your Export Strategy

      The next step is your export plan. You may have ideas but you need to clearly communicate them in writing so that your whole team is clear on their responsibilities. Having a plan laid out makes it easier to spot pitfalls, gaps and even additional opportunities!

      The export plan is also key in seeking supports in term of financing or grants.  Don’t overcomplicate it, keep it clear and simple.

      The key elements of a successful export plan include:

      1. The Vision

      • What you are going to do. How you are going to do it. What your expected outcome is.

      2. Human Resources

      • Have you the staff, external support and expertise? Have you skills within your team to manage language and cultural differences?

      3. Financial Resources

      • Budget, Sales targets and Pricing – Consider the additional costs involved in selling into the overseas market. Establish a target price for the end user, taking into consideration currency, payment terms, freight and carriage charges, import duties and taxes, commission to partners and competitors’ pricing.

      4. Target Market

      • Why you have selected this market; who your buyers are.

      5. Your Product

      • Your USP and how it translates internationally. Are there external factors which could impact production or sales?

      6. Market Entry

      • Sales channels; marketing plan; regulations, language and local laws.

      7. Monitoring and Developing the market

      • Are you meeting sales targets?

      8. What’s next?

      • How do you plan to grow and scale?

      Access the Market Entry Page

       

       

       

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      Export Journey: Step 5 – Market Entry

      Market Entry title and businesswoman image

      Your next priority is for the execution of your company’s vision within new export markets. Key to this will be preparing the company for this change and subsequent increased demand from and servicing of new export markets.

      Consideration for a successful market entry should include;

      1.Identify and allocate adequate resources such as:

        • Financial resources i.e. cash required to sufficiently support overseas exports
        • Additional equipment or fixed assets needed to increase volume or backup global sales
        • People, including staff, suppliers or other valuable relationships in Ireland or overseas

      2. Defining where your first sales will come from

      Will your customers be a distributor which imports in larger quantities, or an overseas agenct or representative acting on your behalf or will it be a separate trading company of your own business?

      3. Developing your lead generation strategy

      Supports will need to be assigned to generate business leads. Will they be predominantly offline, online or a hybrid?

      Offline: fairs, events, conferences, network meetings or

      Online: website, social media, blogs etc.

      You will need to qualify and validate the leads, managing them through a Customer Relationship Management (CMS) system such as Salesforce.

      4. Marketing and communications

      Implementing a successful marketing and communication plan is vital for sustained sales in export markets.

      When developing a plan, it is important not to do a ‘copy and paste’ of the same marketing strategy from your domestic market as these are likely completely disparate territories. While it is logical that you should retain your company values and purpose, you will need to adapt your marketing and communications strategy to your new export market

      5. Implementing a sales process

      By implementing a sales process, you are creating a set of logical, repeatable steps that your sales team goes through to bring a potential buyer from an early stage of awareness to closing the sale. There are various stages that need to be considered in developing an effective sales process, such as;

      a) How will your company cultivate your sales leads?

      b) What preparation will you commit to in order to be ready to capture an overseas sale?

      c) What will be your sales teams approach to a prospective buyer?

      d) How will you adequately present or pitch your sales in an overseas market?

      e) Is your team setup to deal with buyer objections or queries?

      f) Have you experience in closing a sale in an overseas market?

      g) What follow-up work will be done post buyer presentation?

      6. Relationship building

      Relationship building is a key factor in developing sustained sales in export markets. Any company considering to expand globally is undoubtedly looking for a return on their initial investment, and companies looking for better business returns are strongly encouraged to place an emphasis on relationship building.

      Companies can quite often focus on the transactional, revenue generation portion before they consider relationship building. However, as is the case in much of the world, relationships based on mutual respect and trust outplay singular transactions. Relationships need to be worked on and require different approaches for different markets.

      Take the next step in the Export Journey

      Scale title and background image of modern city

      Export Journey: Step 6 – Scale

      Scale title and background image of modern cityYou are now successfully exporting to your first market. Now begin to build on this success and grow your exports.

      You will now have built up a good relationship with the overseas market team and keeping up to date on buyer trends and external factors impacting these trends will enable you to stay competitive.

      Factors to consider in your plans to scale exports:

      1. Resources

      Do you have the necessary resources both in terms of staff and finance to meet the demand of a new market?

      2. Capacity

      Do you have the manufacturing, packaging, logistics, linguistic capacity?

      3. Environmental

      Have you considered your carbon footprint; requirements of buyers?

      4. Sustainable Growth

      How will this impact your current financial standing? Will it strengthen or dilute your position in the market?

      5. Adjacent Markets

      Is there potential in the adjacent markets where buying patterns, pricing and local regulations may be similar?

       

      How can Enterprise Ireland support your growth?

      If you are are already supported by Enterprise Ireland you can contact your Development Advisor here.

      The Market Research Centre provides access to world class research databases to help client companies make better, more informed business decisions. Contact the Market Research Centre here

      Enterprise Ireland hosts events to assist companies’ growth plans – See our events calendar for details.

      Our Market pages and Going Global guides provide expert insights and contact details for our overseas offices.

      Learn how our Exporter Development team can support your growth.

      Grian Water – Innovating to Target the Environmental Impact of Food Waste

      “There is no downside to our technology. It makes so much more sense to treat food waste at source. We wouldn’t have been able to go live and launch our product without the Innovation Voucher Programme from Enterprise Ireland” – Kieran Coffey, CTO, Grian Water Ltd.

      Globally more than a third of all food is wasted – affecting people, planet and profit and leveraging emerging technology is one of the most vital ways to innovate to target food waste and fight climate change.

      For Clonakilty based Kieran Coffey, this issue has been front of mind for many years. A mechanical engineer, he has always been interested in sustainability and the environment and established Grian Water to innovate around the potential of anaerobic digestion as a technology to generate renewable energy, lessen GHG emissions and recover nutrients as well as playing a role in meeting the climate change targets under the Paris agreement. His company developed MyGug, a micro-scale anaerobic digester for the treatment of food waste that turns organic matter into renewable fuel that can be used in homes and small businesses.

      In Ireland, households now produce over 250,000 tonnes of food waste annually which equates to a cost of €700 worth of food being thrown out per house every year. Food waste now contributes to 8% of the world’s GHG emissions and the estimated global cost of this is €1.2 trillion of profit lost every year. This is against a backdrop of about 870 million people in the world going hungry every day.

      “Having worked for many years in waste water, anaerobic digestion was always on my mind. I wanted to find a complete food waste treatment system solution and the idea was to design something on a micro-scale that would integrate into domestic and small business settings and that would operate in all weather and climate conditions,” explains Kieran.

      With the support of the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Scheme, Grian Water approached Wisar Lab, based at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. The Lab is a wireless and embedded systems group that provides electrical and electronic solutions for established companies and technology start-ups. The company wanted to develop a low-cost micro-controller solution using wireless connectivity and cloud storage to monitor the digester’s performance over time. They developed a cost-efficient printed circuit board collaboratively and have already installed it in domestic and small business settings for longer term testing and to gather overall performance data. “There has been a great reaction, particularly from food businesses that are interested in sustainability and want to reduce their carbon footprint,” says Kieran.

      “People are not aware of the potential energy that they are throwing out with plastics and other types of wastes. Once food waste is mixed you’ve diminished its value. It’s harder to handle. It makes so much more sense to treat it at source whether you are a household or business user.” Grian Water is now working with Wiser Labs on a new Innovation voucher from Enterprise Ireland. They aim to work towards complete sustainability in processes and systems and a complete packaged unit.

      Advising other companies to avail of the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme, Kieran says that “the key thing for me was talking to a key figure in Enterprise Ireland. Find out what you want to improve or achieve with your own product or process. Be clear on your own vision of where you want to go.”

      To take your next step towards Innovation visit Innovation Vouchers.

      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.

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      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.