Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
Concept Smoke Screen Ltd was formed in 1994 in Lincolnshire operating as the sales arm of its sister manufacturing business Concept Engineering Ltd in Maidenhead. The 2 companies currently employ around 30 staff in sales, administration and manufacturing roles.
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
The sole focus of Concept Smoke Screen Ltd is the design, sale and support of innovative fog generators in a security role. The premise is simple in the event of a burglary or raid, the Smoke Screen system will operate producing vast clouds of visually obscuring fog that hide property and deter criminals. Can’t see it? Can’t steal it!
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
We found out about EMITA through e-mail marketing. The benefits that we find most valuable are the regular updates on export events through the e-mail newsletters and the events themselves.
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
Concept Smoke Screen has always been active in exporting products to other markets, but this has been reactive. In the last 2 years, we have been focussed on increasing our export business and now we currently trade with around 54 countries globally. Of those the main markets for us are Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Israel. We are starting to see huge potential in Mexico, the USA, and Italy and are also actively investigating India and China.
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
The market in the UK has been extremely challenging during the financial crisis and it became apparent that in order to grow the business, we would need to investigate markets that had strong economies and a definite need for our product.
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Taking into account transportation and import duties for different market places, these can have a massive impact on the end user price.
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Don’t assume that you do business overseas in the same way as you do in the UK. Cultural and legal differences can all have a huge influence on whether you will successfully trade or not.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
As mentioned earlier, India and China are particularly interesting due to their burgeoning business economies and appetite for Western products.