Exporting their products to some 37 countries globally, everywhere from Alaska to Azerbaijan and from Ghana to Greece, we caught up with Online Valves, one of the finalists in this year's HSBC Scottish Export Awards in association with Scottish Enterprise.
What does your company do?
We are a stockist and distributor of pipeline valves, fittings, flanges, pipe, gaskets, stud bolts, hubs, clamps and electrical cables. We supply all types of valves, both manual and actuated; topside and subsea. Providing a single item supply or a complete flexible package tailored to an individual client or project needs.
When was your company launched, who by and why?
In 2012, by Dave Sim, because he became disillusioned at his current employer.
How long has the company been exporting?
Since day one.
What do you currently export, and where to?
We export our entire product portfolio and supply to some 37 countries worldwide, such as Ghana, Kazakhstan, Sakhalin Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, USA, Canada, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Norway, Azerbaijan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Qatar, Brazil, Singapore, Austria, Vietnam, Malaysia, Turkmenistan, Greece, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Italy & China
What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
We had previous experience in exporting and this was an easy target for us, happening from day one.
What is the easiest part of exporting?
For us, the provision of fast valve stock solutions
And the most challenging part?
Maintaining the best relationships long distance, with phones, emails & visits
Have language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and culture ever caused you any difficulties? How did you overcome them?
Language barriers can be troublesome, but we have used google translate... and also utilised locals to translate.
Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and was it helpful?
Yes, from Scottish development international. They helped us a lot during our growth.
What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
Go in aggressive and whole-hearted.
Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in 5 years time?
Just opened another company, Online Cables in UAE: stockists & distributors of cable.
Online Valves have been shortlisted for small exporter and scottish export team of the year at the HSBC Scottish Export Awards 2017 in association with Scottish Enterprise. Book your tickets now and join us to celebrate international trade.