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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
19th February 2020 Issue no. 495

Your industry news - first


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Next stop, the World for Essex security technology company

An award-winning Essex firm which designs and manufactures impenetrable GPS tracking solutions for the disruption of serious crime and terrorism is planning on going global after having worked with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to expand its sales activities across key international markets.

Hidden Technology Systems International Ltd (HTSI) has been going from strength to strength since its first steps into the exporting world in 2003 and is now exporting to 40 different countries - accounting for 89% of its turnover - and boasts an amazing 693% growth in the last three years.

For the Rayleigh-based company, success has come thanks to a sharp export strategy and the judicious use of all support available in a sector where growing a client base is a daily challenge. HTSI International Marketing Director Chris Nyland explains:

"Our line of business was always destined to be international. We secured long-term supply contracts early on with high-status organisations around the world such as the US Defence Department or, closer to home, UK Police and UK Government. This really helped us get our business off the ground rapidly and we were soon able to enjoy a high level of repeat custom and customer referral. However we are now finding that, with public sector cuts in the UK and elsewhere, it is increasingly crucial for us to expand our client base.

"Interestingly, demand for our products within the private sector has been rising sharply recently. A number of blue chip corporations and banking organisations are now using our products to protect high value assets or their VIPs and this is a market we would very much like to develop. But how do you reach out to potential new clients in an industry where it is just not conceivable to advertise? The answer is simple: intelligence - something UKTI does fantastically well."

UKTI is far from being news to HTSI, however. The company, through Chris's team, has been keeping in touch regularly with both UKTI East and UKTI Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) since the early days, using the organisations as first ports of call for advice and guidance on how to approach new markets and how to identify new client bases in unfamiliar territories. It was UKTI who helped HTSI identify all key players on the US market and ultimately get involved with the US Defence industrial procurement programme. It was them again who advised the company on their submission for the Queen's Award for Enterprise, International Trade - a prestigious accolade they received earlier this year.

And HSTI is continuing to use UKTI's services to build an understanding of new markets and get a feel for their potential client base. The company recently used UKTI's Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) to explore the state of the market in Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands and Belgium and is planning on entering the Pakistani market in the near future.

Chris continues: "We are incredibly proud of our achievements so far. We have punched above our weight and have succeeded in creating a dynamic, fast-growing international business - and we are definitely hungry for more.

"There is a lot that we can do to build on this: many future events to attend, many new people to meet, many new deals to be struck. We have become experts at using the intelligence we get to the best effect and know how crucial it is to research markets and identify key players prior to deciding whether to make a move.

"We have also come to realise that there is nothing quite like having somebody on the ground to help service, maintain and develop a particular market once it is established. So while we have been able to use the services of distributors successfully in certain settings, we know it is time for us to be there ourselves. This is why we are now seeking investors to further grow our business and create dynamic sales forces based in ten geographical areas across all continents - a new chapter in HTSI's success story and one where business support organisations like UKTI are sure to have a role to play!"

Steve Toogood, HTSI's dedicated International Trade Adviser at UKTI East, comments:

"HTSI is an amazing company driven by ambitious, strategically-minded people who know how to turn challenges into assets. I have had the chance to see them grow over the years and can say that the Queen's Award they received earlier this year is well deserved.

"We at UKTI are pleased to have been able to help them on their journey. We provide a range of help for UK firms wanting to grow their overseas trade, including help with trade missions, events and training, communications reviews and in-country market research from our dedicated teams in Embassies and Consulates around the world, as well as providing general day to day support. We would urge other firms thinking of developing their export strategy this year to get in touch and see how we can help."

www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000

17th October 2012

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