Who can take Harwin’s exporter crown?
Who can be the next Harwin? Last year the Portsmouth-based company won the prestigious EEF Outstanding Export Award for its range of printed circuit board hardware.
The company exports to 88 countries, with overseas sales worth 85% of the company’s total revenue.
Now the search is on to find the UK's newest stars of export with manufacturers invited to show how they're boosting sales overseas in this year’s awards, in association with DHL, part of the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards, which has 10 categories.
EEF, the UK manufacturers' organisation, and DHL are launching the international trade award at a time when exports are increasingly important, not just to companies but to the growth of manufacturing and the economy overall.
EEF Chief Executive Terry Scuoler said: “The 'march of the makers' is underway and UK manufacturers are leading an exporting renaissance that is crucial to domestic growth and economic recovery. Companies are opening up new opportunities in emerging markets and our award will recognise and celebrate their outstanding efforts and achievements."
Michael Andersen, DHL's UK Vice President Sales & Marketing, said: "It's an exciting time for international trade as companies look to new markets and seize new opportunities. Export promotes faster company growth and improves resilience and profitability, so we are delighted to support the EEF Innovative Export Award and to applaud the business stars who are achieving excellence overseas. We hope that this inspires others to win business abroad."
The recent export survey by EEF and RBS reported export growth among 65% of companies in 2011, with 70% expecting further expansion in 2012. Nine out of ten of the respondents were active in export markets and a fifth had experienced growth of more than 20% in the past 12 months. 50% of respondents expected exports to emerging economies to increase in 2012, with exports to China and India expected to increase by up to half within five years.
The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards will be judged in five UK regions across the UK. Regional winners will be announced in November at celebration events, sponsored by Santander Corporate Banking. The regional winners will then compete for the national awards at a prestigious ceremony in London in January 2013.
Other award categories recognise outstanding business performance in business growth; skills and people management; innovation, and environmental achievement. They also celebrate the achievements of apprentices and young engineering students – saluting budding young manufacturing talent.
Last year The judges were impressed by the fact that Harwin, faced with strong competition, re-invented itself and its distribution channels achieving significant success in export growth. The judges also praised the company for its well thought out and well implemented campaign, product innovation and careful research.
UK Trade & Investment CEO Nick Baird said: “They are a shining example of what can be achieved, despite working in a tough economic climate, if you take your business to the international arena. I hope their success will encourage even more businesses - of all sizes - to follow their example.”
Ben Green, Marketing Manager at Harwin plc, said: “We are delighted to win this award. By establishing relationships with global distribution partners, Harwin has strengthened its global brand position and increased sales in all locations of all products.”
The Awards are free to enter and are open to all UK manufacturers, with a closing date of July 20th 2012 For more information, visit http://www.eef.org.uk/awards