NAA Event Review: Business Excellence Members Networking Meeting, Scorpion Automotive, 5 December 2013, Chorley
The recent Business Excellence meeting at Scorpion Automotive was a fascinating insight into the world of vehicle security and tracking systems, as well as an interesting lesson in how to expand a business into India. There were also presentations about free consultancy to see if your fleet would benefit from electric vehicles from the Energy Saving Trust, as well as from GrowthAccelerator, and UKTI
You sometimes never quite know what you’re going to learn from a Business Excellence meeting – in the case of the visit to Scorpion on 5 December, all attendees had a fascinating insight into the world of vehicle security and tracking systems, as well as finding out how Scorpion has successfully opened a division of its company in India.
Scorpion’s Managing Director Mark Downing gave a guided tour of the company, and it soon became clear that a lot of thought had gone into the business over the last few years, with heavy investment in R&D, resulting in high-tech products that were now being used by the likes of Toyota and Subaru, and an enquiry had recently been received by McLaren.
As well as producing items such as tracking devices, Scorpion owns the intellectual property behind the products, and even has staff running a response centre for the tracking devices 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. NAA members saw how Scorpion’s staff could zoom right in to a vehicle’s position from a satellite if there was a concern that the vehicle had been stolen.
Mark Downing also told the story of how Scorpion had formed a company in India. There were certainly a number of challenges to overcome, such as a five-month process to gain a bank account, but the potential opportunities in India made the investment worthwhile – particularly from the huge two-wheeled market (which is 77% of the total vehicle market, representing 16 million motorbikes!). A key factor in the successful opening of the Indian office was finding the right person to lead the business in the country, who was then responsible for recruiting an effective team. The Indian subsidiary will manufacture Scorpion’s products locally – in some cases products will be redesigned to meet the cost needs of the Indian market. Mark said that he sees the Indian market sales overtaking those of the UK office in due course!
Free advice about electric vehicles for your business
There was also a presentation from Caroline Watson from the Energy Saving Trust about the Plugged in Fleets Initiative. Caroline explained the cost-saving benefits to businesses from running electric vehicles. Businesses are currently eligible for a FREE review of their fleet to see if electric vehicles could work for them. However you need to be quick as there are only 25 remaining spaces left, which need to be filled by the end of January. You can find out more about how other organisations have successfully introduced electric vehicles – cars and small vans – by watching a video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpmmakRJBOU
You can contact Caroline Watson at the EST at: Caroline.Watson@est.org.uk
If you’re serious about growing your business then you need to speak to GrowthAccelerator. GrowthAccelerator helps you with the things that you don’t know that you need help with – as well as the things that you do know that you need. The initiative, which will help 26000 businesses, provides subsidised coaching from business experts and match funding for Leadership and Management training. GrowthAccelerator is for businesses that are registered in England, employ fewer than 250 people and turn over less than £40 million. The service is completely tailored for the needs of different businesses.
Barbara Singleton, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), explained how UKTI is there to help companies that want to export. UKTI has teams of expert advisers located across the globe, to help companies fulfil their international ambitions. It can assist companies at all stages of the business planning cycle, from inception to completion – whether you’re a seasoned exporter or just beginning to expand overseas.
Through a range of unique services, including participation at selected trade fairs, outward missions and providing bespoke market intelligence, UKTI can help you crack foreign markets and get to grips quickly with overseas regulations and business practice.
UKTI’s North West International Trade Team has over 25 International Trade Advisers who can provide support tailored to your needs, including financial subsidies, export documentation, contacts in overseas markets, overseas visits, e-commerce, export training and market research.
For more information contact Barbara Singleton at UKTI NW: Barbara.Singleton@uktinorthwest.co.uk