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When acs was approached by a prospective client interested in purchasing some furniture for his office in Kampala, Uganda, it is fair to say that the company was nervous. John Harley, joint managing director at acs Office Solutions, said: “We engaged with the client and a contract had been placed with us, but we were unsure of what to do next.”
John contacted Northamptonshire Chamber’s International Trade Team to discuss the contract. “I went to the Chamber’s International Trade Team and they helped by explaining exactly what was required - from the practical logistics of the project, to the legal documentation,” said John. “Without this support and training, it is doubtful that we could have executed the project on time, delivering the client satisfaction which has now led to other opportunities to export for the client in other countries.”
The project was carried out and delivered on time and saw 50 workstations - complete with seating and screens - boardroom and reception furniture, a kitchen, break out room furniture and mobile storage solutions exported, delivered and installed by acs fitters in the client’s city centre offices in Kampala, Uganda. By coincidence, through acs’ membership of Northamptonshire Chamber’s Business Alliance Group, John Harley received an invitation to a round table meeting with Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment around the same time. During the meeting, Lord Green discussed his aim of boosting the number of SMEs that export and getting those that are considering exporting for the first time to enter new international markets.
John said: “My feeling after the round table meeting was that we should not necessarily be shy of exporting. Initially I had seen this project in Uganda as a one-off, but the meeting got me thinking about it differently. We definitely want to export more in the future. At this stage, our activity is supporting client requests rather than aggressively marketing the service. However, we now know how to do to it, whereas we had previously avoided doing it!”
If you’d like to know more about what the Northamptonshire Chamber’s International Trade Team can do for you and your business give them a call on 01604 790921, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow them on Twitter @ChamberMKExport