How companies can learn from Global Insulation Logistics' international business model
Whatever a person's views on Brexit, canny business owners will see an opportunity to flex their international credentials by appealing to new markets. Free trade on services will be a priority for whichever party forms a government in December. Statistics show that UK services stagnated in October 2019 as Brexit was delayed once again, and as has been widely reported one of the key issues crippling British business at present is that uncertainty about the future relationship not just with the European Union, but countries outside of the bloc as well. The UK’s private sector has contracted in four of the past five months in the wider service industry.
Not much can be done about the situation until Brexit is resolved. However, The Parliamentary Review looked at what the environment could be like for businesses post-Brexit who are looking to international markets and how they could make the most of the circumstances. We spoke to Greg Hodge, director of Global Insulation Logistics who install fire rated insulated enclosures for a range of industries and are based in South Wales. Hodge outlined Global Insulation Logistics' strategy and how they have managed to expand into international markets,
"One of our very first projects was for an in-flight catering provider. We utilised a composite panel system for the walls and ceilings, along with specialist doors to form the main production areas. We also constructed ingredient storage rooms, goods inward facilities and despatch chillers for Gate Gourmet at Nino Aquino International Airport in Manila. After proving ourselves to the client and gaining their confidence, we were retained to undertake refurbishment works in the Gate Gourmet facilities in Hong Kong and Shanghai. This was the perfect grounding for us to learn the basics of exporting British goods abroad and gave us the confidence to consider any type of project anywhere on the globe.
"We have now delivered in some of the most far-flung and trying locations and have sampled a colourful mix of cultural and ethnic experiences. These have tested us to the limit yet given us some of the most wonderful life experiences you could wish for. We operate in countries from Ethiopia and the Philippines, where you’re greeted with a smile and often presented with gifts they can least afford, to the more affluent settings of the UAE, Oman, and Moscow, where you have to fight for every penny.
"We have established partnerships or representation in Dubai, Manila and Hong Kong, and have successfully delivered across Europe, from Stockholm, through Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Marseilles, Cyprus, Istanbul, St Petersburg, and have completed numerous deliveries around London."
The Review also brought up the issue of Brexit, something that has certainly been on the minds of both Hodge and his co-director Martyn Roberts,
"As we look to the future, it’s impossible not to mention Brexit. As businessmen, operating in a sector where a substantial contribution to our turnover is in continental Europe, it’s been painful watching the negotiations being played out in the media. We know that whatever is agreed between the negotiating parties of the EU and UK, this will only be the starting point. It will actually be small businesses like us and other larger corporate companies that will have to make it work. Governments and treaties don’t conduct business, commercial entities like us do, and that will never change.
"We will not be daunted, we will keep our heads, roll up our sleeves and do what we always do: apply ourselves, look for the positives, and just get on with it. Business is business, that’s the way it is, that’s the way it’s always been, and that’s how it will continue to be. As long as you have something that someone wants, and they are satisfied that you are the best option to provide it, a deal can be done.This is also why we as a company are primed and raring to go, continuing with what we do best: delivering British products and services to our customers across the globe."
Despite the Brexit doom and gloom rhetoric throughout the media, the example of optimism and innovation set by Global Insulation Logistics is something other UK-based businesses can take heart in. As Hodge states; the role of small business in the success of any post-Brexit Britain cannot be underplayed.