For many years, Minkon-Fortafix has supplied its high temperature and fire-resistant products and solutions to a number of global markets. The company has a long-established network of resellers, as far away as the USA and as close to home as the Republic of Ireland. Working with a select group of trusted partners has proved to be a successful approach for the company, delivering wider penetration for the Fortafix brand and a significant growth in international business.
Building upon an enviable reputation for quality and service, Minkon-Fortafix has continued to extend its reach, and recently the company has decided to adapt its approach in one of its major markets by creating a stronger presence on the Continent with significant moves into Germany and Austria.
The company has no plans whatsoever to move manufacturing into Europe, but to establish its own office in the region. Mark Sickling, general manager, explains, "The Fortafix brand is proudly British and will remain so. Our aim is to grow our business development and customer services capabilities there, so that an even stronger network of resellers and industrial users can be established. This commitment is an important investment in our European customers."
The company's decision to further develop its position within the market has come after a great deal of research and analysis, and after having overcome a number of logistical hurdles. Mark explains, "Europe has always been of importance to us, but there exist further opportunities within European manufacturing sectors that simply cannot be ignored. It's not been easy, and changes to the political landscape have meant greater barriers to doing business, but our expertise, and the quality of our products, cannot be matched on the Continent and our initial prospecting of high value clients has given us a great deal of confidence and hope in the future."
Choosing Germany in particular makes sense to the company. As well as having offices in South Korea and Poland, Minkon-Fortafix's parent company, Minkon, is actually headquartered in the country. Mark explains, "Germany, as everyone knows, is a manufacturing powerhouse and presents the brand with lots of opportunities as a result, however, Germany is the sensible choice because we have a natural support network already in place. This means we can establish ourselves more quickly, with greater ease and with fewer problems."
Mark continues, "If all goes well, as we expect it to, Germany and Austria will provide the perfect springboard into the rest of the European market. We have stage two and stage three plans which include Spain and then France. In fact, we've already begun work in this area. It's all very exciting and reflects the confidence customers and users have in the Fortafix range of high temperature and fire-resistant products and solutions. This isn't only a great result for our business and for our dedicated team based in Teesside, but is, at its core, a good news story for British manufacturing."