Bedfordshire firm opens more doors to international trade
Jewers Doors, a family-owned business based in Biggleswade, recently completed a prestigious contract to supply new doors for an Asiana Airlines airport hangar at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. With 50 per cent of the firm’s revenue coming from exports, this order represented the latest in a series of global contracts for the company which designs, manufactures and installs aircraft hangar doors for commercial airlines, armed forces, corporate jets, VVIPs and royal facilities as well specialist industrial doors for numerous applications.
Established in 1983 by Nigel Jewers and now run by sons Chris, Mark and Jonathan Jewers, the company has sought UKTI support in recent years to help consolidate its position as the leading global supplier in this specialised industry. In 2005 the company responded to an overseas business opportunity on the UKTI website and was referred for support to UKTI’s sector specialist for the airports and aerospace sector.
“Our principal overseas markets are the Middle East, the Far East and Europe,” say Chris Jewers, Managing Director. “We were interested to find out more about how UKTI could help us to build on our achievements in these territories, initially through overseas trade shows, which offer a great way to meet new customers, launch new products and assess the competition.”
In 2006 the company secured a UKTI Trade Access Programme (TAP) grant, which enabled it to exhibit at the Airport Build and Supply exhibition in Dubai. The company has since exhibited at other trade shows in India and China, with support provided through the TAP programme.
“Exhibiting at overseas trade shows provides UKTI clients with a number of advantages,” said Lucy Lambden of UKTI’s Customer Services Team. “Most obviously, they offer opportunities for attendees to raise the profile of the business, introduce and promote new products, seek agents and distributors, and ultimately provide companies with the opportunity to increase their sales and exports.” Lucy added, “However, a significant proportion of firms participate in trade fairs for other reasons, such as relationship building, gathering of market information and to assess the competition.”
Jewers Doors has also participated in UKTI export development programmes for new and experienced exporters – Passport to Export and Gateway to Global Growth – both one-year programmes which assist UK companies with development of export strategies to target new overseas markets. Both programmes helped Jewers Doors establish an on-going relationship with UKTI and its trade advisers.
The company has also taken part in UKTI’s Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS), which provided advice on researching new and existing export markets, enabling Jewers Doors to fine tune its future strategy. “The EMRS identified that the United Arab Emirates was a continuing ‘high growth market’ for our sector,” says Chris Jewers, “which enabled us to focus our export efforts effectively, both here and in other viable target markets.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently the UK’s largest civil export market across the Middle East and North Africa. It is the UK’s 13th largest export of goods market, at around £5.1 billion, and is designated as one of UKTI’s High Growth Markets.
The Phoenix industrial doors division of Jewers Doors, headed by Phoenix Director, Mark Jewers, recently returned from TRAKO, a rail exhibition in Poland which had UKTI support. Mark Jewers says: “UKTI were the dominant visitors to our stand and always offering their services within their respected territories. The interpreter they provided was well educated, spoke perfect English and soon taught himself about our product range.”
UKTI has played an important part in supporting the international success of Jewers Doors: during 2013-14, in excess of £1 million of the company’s export trade was attributable to the help and assistance they received from the organisation.
“The advice we have received from UKTI has been of significant value to Jewers Doors in terms of helping us tap into new overseas opportunities,” says Chris Jewers.