‘Linking exporters is vital to their success’

Richard Carr, managing director at Mechan at a round table discussion hosted by NatWest and EEF exploring the issues faced by some manufacturing SMEs in South Yorkshire.
Richard Carr, managing director at Mechan at a round table discussion hosted by NatWest and EEF exploring the issues faced by some manufacturing SMEs in South Yorkshire.
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Does your business have a plan for exporting and has it changed in recent years?

Richard Carr, managing director at Mechan, said: “We export sporadically due to the nature of railway projects globally.

“For example we are close to £1m for overseas orders at the moment but that may be different next year.

“The pattern we find is that we are a good one or two years behind the competition in Germany.

“We will go to potential markets to find our German competitors have established themselves already.

“There is a need for education on export for SME businesses in the UK. UKTI has been very good for Mechan’s exports due to their contacts in the British Embassy 
which they use to open doors for UK businesses.”

Col George Kilburn, MBE, clerk to the Company of Cutlers, said: “Linking exporters is vital to their success and development.

“I think manufacturing in this part of the world is very strong. Organisations such as the South Yorkshire International Trade Forum are already doing much to help but having a central body to support it alongside similar organisations to coordinate help with export issues would be valuable.”

Andrew Tuscher, regional director north at EEF, said: “I think there is a place for trade associations and other bodies to work on ways to support SMEs looking to export. Also there needs to be an element of education to help firms develop their exports which a central body could help with.”