Exporting for over 17 years, Global Pipe Components transport their products to far flung destinations including Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. We caught up with them to find out more...
What does your company do?
We are a supplier of valves, pipes, fittings, flanges, studbolts, gaskets and all other associated products to the oil & gas and petrochemical industry. We pride ourselves on our service and quality of products supplied to our clients worldwide.
When was your company launched, who by and why?
Global Pipe Components was launched on 1st November 2000, by managing director Richard Meldrum who had a background in supplying the product range in a previous role.
How long has the company been exporting?
We have been exporting for the past 17 years, export has been our core business which has expanded over the years.
What do you currently export, and where to?
We currently export a wide range of pipe components, ranging from line pipe, valves, fittings, flanges, studbolts, gaskets and some other associated products. The countries we are currently exporting to are Kazakhstan, Sakhalin, the Middle East and Azerbaijan to name just a few.
What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
The Aberdeen market was so condensed with other companies selling similar products to us, that Richard (MD) made the decision that we would enter the export market as soon as the company was launched. This did prove to be challenging, however with building up the relationships with key clients and putting in the ground work also paid off.
What is the the most challenging part of exporting?
The challenging part was breaking into the markets/areas in the very beginning. However we found once we have done the research correctly into these markets and made sure we were fully set up to deal in these markets we found this to be much simpler to work with.
Have language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and culture ever caused you any difficulties? How did you overcome them?
The language can sometimes cause some difficulties, however we employed a full time translator to help us with any language issues. Also the currency does fluctuate all the time so we make sure when providing quotations we quote to cover all increases/decreases.
Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and was it helpful?
Yes, we have received some support from Scottish Development International, who has supported us in reaching key markets with trade missions and introductions to potential new clients.
What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
We would advise researching the market correctly, and selling your company correctly as the opportunities are there.
Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in 5 years time?
In 5 years’ time we would be looking to open our third office worldwide, employing new personnel and hitting new key markets such as Iran.
Global Pipe Components have been shortlisted in the Small Exporter of the Year category at the HSBC Scottish Export Awards 2017 in association with Scottish Enterprise. Join us on 22 March to celebrate international trade across Scotland.