emita is pleased to announce Minden Systems Ltd as February's Member of the Month. You can find out more about this local company below from the Managing Director, Les Brooker, including the company’s overseas challenges, international achievements and aspirations for the future.
1.Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
Minden have been designing and manufacturing centralised Dust Extraction systems since 1985. originally based in Bury St Edmunds, the company moved to Daventry in 2006 when it was purchased from it’s German parent company by the current owners Les & Kathy Brooker. It currently employs 7 staff and moved to its current premises on the A45 at Braunston in May 2010, having outgrown it’s previous premises in Daventry.
2.Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Minden specialise in the design, manufacture and Installation of high velocity
( 40 - 50 m/s )centralised Dust extraction systems, the systems use a side channel blower to create a vacuum, as opposed to other fan based systems. This gives the extraction its high velocity and power. It’s main dust plants range from 3 – 11kw and can service up to 24 multiple outlets over distances up to 150m in length. It prides itself on the power and longevity of its systems.
Minden had traditionally sold to the UK Automotive sector and has blue chip customers such as Aston Martin, BMW, Red Bull, Mercedes F1 amongst their clients. But, having been involved in manufacturing and export in a previous role, Les recognised the opportunity that exporting offered to a company like Minden. Combined with the UK credit crunch we also realised that exporting helped spread risk and increased volume.
Our products are increasingly being used in other sectors wherever dust is a problem, industrial solutions in carbon, graphite and recycling have all seen installations in the past 12months.
3.How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
However, exporting can be quite a challenge to get started and I found EMITA offered an ideal support organisation that could be called upon to give both general motivation and specific advice.
It also offers the opportunity to network with like minded companies and share the experience of others.
4.How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
Minden has only been ‘active’ on the export side since 2007, but is growing in new countries each year, 2011 saw first time sales in Russia, Australia and China. This resulted in a 100% increase on our 2010 exports and we hope to achieve similar results in 2012?
5.What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
Minden was a great British product just waiting to be sold in to other countries!
6.What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
The biggest challenge in achieving our export goals is that we have had to finance this growth out of our own UK results and profits. No assistance from banks or other sources, this has slowed our progress and potential.
7.What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Make sure you find the right partner, don’t just pick the first that comes along.
8.What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
We are quite optimistic about the potential for the future, in 2012 we will establish a separate Minden International identity to push our sales further and faster. In 5 years we hoped to have achieved global coverage with either a partner or operation on most countries and continents. China and Russia offer great potential for our products and perhaps a joint venture in America. All controlled from my yacht in the Greek Ionian?