emita's April 'member spotlight on' is CNR Services International Ltd. You can find out more about this local company below from Chris Reckless, including the company’s overseas challenges, international achievements and aspirations for the future.
Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
CNR has delivered leading-edge engineering and design services to a wide range of industry sectors for over 25 years, catering to the aerospace and automotive, special purpose machinery, jig and tool and rail markets, to name a few.
Offering services from concept generation through to design, optimisation, and effective integration into manufacturing processes, CNRs dedicated team of specialist engineers, designers and scientists help customers achieve the results they are looking for.
CNR are accredited under ISO 9001 and all projects come under the control of our in-house Quality Systems in order to guarantee a high standard of service and project work traceability. CNR also has various client approvals including AgustaWestland & BE Aerospace Inc.
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
CNR offers a broad range of engineering and design services across many industry sectors, including CAD design, modelling and detailing, FEA analysis, all the way through to prototyping, testing and production integration.CNR also develops its own in house products and solutions which are developed and targeted at relevant sectors.
The Automated Transmission Laser Alignment System (ATLAS) is one of such products, and is a revolutionary new helicopter Tail Rotor Drive Shaft (TRDS) alignment tool for use in manufacture and maintenance.ATLAS offers the user up to 95% labour savings over current traditional methods, and improved component wear and lifespan, pioneering a new age in Helicopter Tail shaft alignment.
With expertise in seating environments including aerospace, automotive and rail, CNR have developed a miniature electro-hydraulic actuation system for these markets.Whilst this originally was intended to provide a lightweight, reliable seating solution it is also being further developed and future iterations are available for a wide array of applications, showcasing the engineering diversity of the company.
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
Been a member of EMITA and UKTI for several years. Benefits include, networking, training sessions, specific trade events, help and advice on doing business internationally.
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
We have done some international trade (USA) with one of our aerospace clients but nothing recently.
We have been assessing the USA and Europe market intensely for about 4 years going to various trade shows and contacting potential customers.
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
Expanding overseas allows contact and business with a greater number of companies, ranging from small to large.Several predominant aerospace companies, while having branches and bases in the UK, are headquartered and based abroad, which is often the key place to form a connection and establish a relationship.
In some industries, especially rotary wing aerospace where there is a greater concentration of aircraft, service centres, manufacturers and maintenance facilities, there is a significantly larger pool of companies to do business with.This is extremely important when the generation of new business becomes stagnant and in need of reinvigoration in a fresh marketplace.
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Breaking into a new market is never easy – especially when it is vast and there is no clear path.Perhaps the biggest immediate challenge is formulating a list of contacts with which to strike conversations and build on.However, what is particularly challenging for CNR when approaching North American aerospace companies and offering new technology and products is targeting the correct people.
An unwillingness to change existing procedures and methods of maintaining aircraft is common place – it comes at an expense.To combat this specific product benefits and “savings a business” or product will provide over current methods is extremely important; In order to properly understand these benefits, the correct and relevant staff members must be approached and involved.
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Understanding about specific country and cultural differences. Making your website Internationally friendly. Ways of handling payments / invoicing. (letter of credit etc) Learning which countries / states are commercially busy and can afford to buy in products and services.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
Looking at the future of CNR, we are targeting and expanding into the US and Canadian markets where there is a large concentration of sector specific companies that could become potential customers.We have had our gaze focussed on North America, have attended several trade shows to gain further insight and located the companies that we want to do business with.
The focus in these markets will primarily be company capability and product promotion and sales, but also a source of design and development work as we tailor products to suit the customer needs.This includes working with large, global companies based within the US and Canada as-well-as smaller businesses and organisations.
We recently exhibited at the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo for the first time (with a booth), and in doing so successfully launched our services and new aerospace products into the North American marketplace.We connected with several new businesses and organisations, and we look to strengthen and develop these relationships over the coming months and years to expand our international commerce – watch this space!
Click on play below to view the CNR International Services Ltd ATLAS Video.
East Midlands International Trade Association (emita) is a company limited by guarantee and is registered in England and Wales under company number 5568876. Registered office:3 Barrow Road Sileby LE12 7LW