A Coventry company whose anti-terrorism products protect high-profile sites around the world from vehicle attacks is celebrating a decade of government help with expanding into international markets.
Safetyflex Barriers has been assisted by the Department for International Trade (DIT) at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce since 2009, and has seen exports grow to over a third of its business.
Safetyflex invented and manufactures ‘Truckstopper’ bollards and barriers, which can halt an 18-tonne vehicle travelling at 50mph.
The company has benefited from several DIT programmes to help reach new markets and grow business overseas, and received funding to help create a strategic export action plan and exhibit at international trade shows.
It has also received advice from numerous commercial teams within embassies, including the US and Australia.
Rob Gerrard, director at Safetyflex Barriers, said: “When we began exploring the overseas market, we sought advice from the DIT before drawing up an export strategy focused on partnering with in-territory distribution partners.
“With that approach and with DIT support, we have since landed major contracts in Europe, the US and Australia to help secure a range of locations including government buildings, sports venues and public realm projects.
“We have also recruited distributors in Germany, South America, Belgium and Sweden, and are now exploring markets in India, Middle East and Asia.
“Export now accounts for 35 per cent of the business and is expected to grow to 50 per cent in two years, so is making a significant contribution to the success of Safetyflex.”
Safetyflex marked the 10 years of DIT support by presenting Parminder Hayer, international trade adviser from Department for International Trade at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, with a miniature bollard.
Parminder said: “Rob and his team are a real international success story – but one very much started and based in the Midlands.
“Our relationship has been long-term and that continuity has allowed Safetyflex to plan its export drive in a strategic way and has therefore brought impressive returns.
“We have connected them with the embassy network, introduced them to security specialists across the world, provided intellectual property advice and helped them internationalise their marketing material and website.
“They are now a globally-renowned company and a shining light to others on how to approach building export as a key aspect of their business.”