Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
Morris Vermaport was established in 1979 in Nottingham, UK where it remains today. The Group currently comprises Morris Vermaport Lifts, Scarborough Lifts and VERMAPORT®, our international shopping cart conveyor business We employ 86 people worldwide. For more information please see www.mvlifts.co.uk
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Morris Vermaport Limited has been involved in the design, installation, refurbishment and maintenance of lifts in the UK since then. In this time we have established a business that provides new lifts from reputable suppliers to large scale key accounts from the hotel and construction industries to working directly with major facilities management companies throughout the UK.
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
Becky Rix, our Head of Corporate Communications introduced us to UKTI and subsequently emita. Becky had previous experience working with both at a local charity that she supports. We particularly find the training and webinars useful which help to reinforce and impact our export planning.
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
It is our VERMAPORT® shopping cart conveyor business that currently trades overseas. There are currently c 450 units in situ worldwide, with 50% being located throughout the USA. We also have units in
- South America - Panama
- Europe – Germany, France, Sweden, Cyprus and Austria
- South East Asia – Hong Kong
- Caribbean – Dominican Republic
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
Following a MBO within the company a year ago there has been renewed energy and enthusiasm for international sales and for VERMAPORT® in particular as part of the Group’s growth strategy for the next 5 years
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Getting to grips with legal and financial procedures relating to each market and finding the right partners to work with and represent VERMAPORT®
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Working closely with our ITA we developed an export marketing plan which looked at both our internal structure or ‘level of preparedness’ as well as the external opportunities which required careful execution. Being ready for export internally I would say was the most helpful piece of advice.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
We are very excited about the future development of our VERMAPORT® business. Our MD has just undertaken a 2-week research trip in the US which has been invaluable for our own product and market knowledge. From these findings we now hope to appoint a team of service & maintenance agents to work on a dedicated refurbishment and modernisation program of existing units whilst developing relationships with our top tier retail customers Target, Kmart and IKEA in the longer term for new installations.