UK Trade and Investment
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Export - UK Trade and Investment
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) provide services to small and medium-sized British enterprises (SMEs) to encourage them to trade internationally both professionally and effectively. Under contract to UKTI, a team of market research professionals deliver UKTI’s Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) which encourages companies to conduct and use marketing research in the development of market entry strategy for new overseas markets. The EMRS has been on offer to businesses for 45 years; as part of this advice, SMEs are advised how to prioritise potential export markets.
In August 2013, the EMRS team were commissioned by UKTI to expand the market selection element of the service. They had already developed an effective research process to assist businesses in their prioritisation of potential export markets - countries are scored on their relative position with regard to relevant criteria and then are charted on two dimensions of demand and ease. An Excel software program had been written to manipulate the data and chart the result. However, this Excel solution was limited in that it was only usable on PCs or laptops, had problems with compatibility and the EMRS team had problems with centrally updating the data and controlling access to the software. They came to StyleTech for a solution.
What We Delivered
StyleTech recognised the need for a web-based database solution to create a central hub of information which could be updated by all members of the EMRS Team as and when relevant comparative information on foreign markets for UK businesses was discovered, or when the compilers of the country comparative information released fresh data.
Being online meant UKTI could open it up to all clients as well as their personal International Trade Advisers (ITAs). At the same time, StyleTech introduced a set of security restrictions to limit use of the tool only to those companies which had the service and then only allowing them access to relevant parts of the software - different to the access for the EMRS team.
Once StyleTech demonstrated the solution, it became apparent that UKTI could use the tool to add many more useful functions such as changing the size of the bubbles to reflect a third dimension or identifying a list of the top countries in a given criteria; StyleTech were very happy to accommodate these enhancements.
The ResultsWithin 18 months of the system being introduced, more than 1,200 companies have benefitted from this new UKTI market selection service. Both the EMRS team and businesses alike have found the web-based software easy to use and intuitive. The companies are so impressed, it has resulted in their ITAs being more confident in advising all their clients to take up the service.
WHAT THE COMPANIES SAY ABOUT THE TOOL
“Thank you for your help and access to your modelling tool which was inspiring”
“Very enlightening. Thank you for the market selection map - I am sure it is going to be a great help in guiding us in the right direction.”
“Thank you for the link to the market selection map. Really useful information and just what we need in terms of planning thanks again.”
“Thanks for spending the time helping me with the market mapping. I think that this exercise will make a real difference”
WHAT UKTI SAID ABOUT US
"StyleTech have enabled us to provide UKTI clients with a professional and effective solution to their exporting problems that is affordable, user-friendly and particularly fit for purpose. We are on the national stage – we cannot afford to make a mistake; because of the care taken by StyleTech to deliver a professional and high quality product, this solution is now a mainstream service promoted by UKTI and its representatives and is making a significant difference to many companies’ decisions with regards to their foreign trade." - Export Marketing Research Scheme