Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012
Surviving and thriving
GSPK Circuits Ltd is a global manufacturer and supplier of printed circuit boards, based in Knaresborough and Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire - not Korea or China as you might expect. With an established market in the UK, this company has gone from strength to strength since it was established more than 40 years ago and is now active in over 20 countries worldwide with offices in Spain, Ireland and China. This is testament to the manufacturing expertise and capabilities of the UK manufacturing industry and proof that UK companies are still very much part of the competitive, innovative and international high technology manufacturing supply chain.
Its success is partly due to the quality of the product but also innovation and an international perspective. GSPK Circuits Ltd has managed to ride out the declining market in the UK by looking overseas and working with UKTI to set up offices, in Spain for example, and embarking upon trade missions to the Czech Republic and Portugal. Since it first began exporting in 2007, the company has utilised a range of UKTI services from the programme for first time exporters through the for experienced exporters.
In June 2010 GSPK Circuits purchased Boroughbridge PCB Manufacturer Kelan Circuits Ltd and merged the two businesses, trading under the GSPK Banner. This was a direct result of Europe’s requirement for multilayer circuit boards.
Export is becoming increasingly important for this company now and it is continuing to grow year on year. With approximately 38% of total turnover now generated by international sales and plans to expand further into the international market GSPK Circuits Ltd, from their base in North Yorkshire, no longer wish to increase their turnover in the UK and are looking globally for further growth now. European Sales Manager, Ian Kenyon explained that there are three key challenges the company has faced so far when expanding into the international market. It was in these areas that support from the Yorkshire and Humber UKTI team was most valuable.
An example of how UKTI were able to support GSPK Circuits Ltd to expand so successfully is in Germany. Until a few years ago, there were a few customers in Germany however the market was generally declining. All customers were serviced from the UK and the language and cultural barriers of this distance and divide, combined with the travel costs, were preventing the business from growing in the German market. It was time to be pro-active and begin the search for a German agent, which is where UKTI support proved incredibly valuable.
UKTI had a history with the company, having worked with the original founder of the Technology Park where the company was established and GSPK Circuits’ former Chairman, Graham Keddie OBE. Through this established relationship Managing Director Steve Lloyd knew to get in touch with UKTI and they worked together to commission OMIS () reports for each region in Germany to identify and search for a suitable agent.
The information generated through the OMIS reports informed which region was chosen to appoint the agent in, and recommendations from the British Embassy then helped to select the right calibre of candidates for the role.
One of the region’s International Trade Advisor’s, Peter Tweddle describes GSPK Circuits Ltd as “an excellent example of how high class manufacture coupled with management sales drive can grow the business internationally and enter new markets. Exports from the UK are continuing to go from strength to strength.”
Ian explained that if they had the opportunity to go through the process of internationalisation again, they would probably not do anything differently, but would most certainly use UKTI again.
If you are based in the Yorkshire and Humber region and are interested in developing your business overseas please contact:
Tel: 0300 365 1000