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2013: STI Focuses on Building an International Business

2013: STI Focuses on Building an International Business

This year Surface Technology International’s management team has been out in force trying to widen its footprint in the global marketplace and to meet the challenges of its customers.

Managing Director, Simon Best spent the first two weeks of the New Year getting the Philippines factory focused on 2013 and building out their new business strategy. “I have every confidence that our Cebu facility will be a CEM to be reckoned with this year,” he said. “Not only have we begun to extend the factory by another 10,000 sq. ft. but we started 2013 with a big step forward by achieving certification to AS9100 Rev C – a rarity in the region. Our quality ethos and a culture of excellence should allow us to develop and win new business for the Cebu factory – and the team is highly focused on emulating our established UK factory in terms of procedures, quality and strong customer service.”

In February, the next journey for Simon, along with Co-Director Tony Best and International Development Manager Martin Gower-Smith, was to Bangalore for Aero India 2013 – the biennial equivalent of the Farnborough Air Show. “We are researching a number of key new markets,” explained Martin, “and have been investigating opportunities for STI’s UK and the Philippines platforms in India for some time now.  Aero India was the perfect occasion to see a number of potential new partners in one place and gather as much intelligence as possible: a very full week was spent on a mix of customer meetings and hosted factory tours, including HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.) and various Tata Group Companies.”  

“We travelled as part of a Trade delegation arranged by the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space Organisation (ADS) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), who arranged the company visits, the trade stand and meeting rooms and we received invaluable help and support throughout our time in India from both organisations in making introductions and explaining the details of important local conditions such as the Military Offset Programme of the Department of Defence Production. As part of the programme Mr Ian Feltham, the Deputy High Commissioner in Bangalore, along with his Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) colleagues hosted a large pre-show reception for Philip Dunne, the UK Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, which offered further networking opportunities with key Indian companies as well as giving us the chance to discuss the barriers to export with a key UK Government Minister. (See Philip Dunne’s press release: http://ukinindia.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?id=855326282&view=PressR) We have much to think about as we review the takeaways from the trip and plan our next steps in such a key expanding market.”

Most recently, STI’s UK platform exhibited at the Southern Manufacturing Show at Farnborough.  Simon Cruddace, Commercial Sales Director, who lead the team at this event explained: “It was important for us to be at this show to keep our customers abreast of our overall development, especially in our Philippines manufacturing capability. It’s always a good venue to catch up with lots of our customers in one space and discuss our industry, new technologies and the economic challenges they face. It also allows us to talk about our own views of the marketplace and what STI can offer, without it being such a hard sell.” 

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