A specialist manufacturer is finding export growth to be plain sailing, thanks to help from regional export experts.
Hartlepool-based AMI Exchangers, Europe’s leading marine industry heat exchanger manufacturer, is operating successfully in markets across the globe, following support, guidance and funding from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Operating primarily in the marine sector, AMI Exchangers has accessed funding to support trips to Thailand, Malaysia and Poland, attending one of the most important European trade shows for the marine sector.
It has also received investment to help upgrade its overseas marketing material and re-vamp its website.
As a result, AMI has been able to develop new relationships with international customers and generate new sales overseas, primarily in South East Asia, but also securing work in the Caribbean, Channel Islands and the Middle East.
“The DIT has been magnificent for us, supporting our efforts as we continue to explore overseas markets and secure work in a host of countries around the world,” said AMI Group marketing manager Andrew Glover.
“Our international trade adviser, Manuel Fantin, has been incredible and has helped us access grant support, trade missions, help with our marketing and website – he’s been so helpful in every regard.
“We have seen significant growth in South East Asia, instructing an agent to sell on our behalf in that region, but we have also spent time over there meeting clients and establishing good relationships – there’s nothing quite like visiting somewhere yourself and shaking hands with customers. Something we look forward to doing again once the pandemic is over.”
For 30 years, AMI Exchangers has been Europe’s leading heat exchanger manufacturer, designing, developing and manufacturing the equipment at its plant in Hartlepool.
Primarily working in the marine sector, it specialises in making air coolers, shell and tube heat exchangers, as well as supplying plate heat exchangers, and air conditioning coils and oil and water radiator units.
In 2010 it secured the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the export category and exports around 99% of its output.
In recent years, the business has moved into the industrial sector, specialising in projects in petrochemical, power generation and food production, notably making oxygen coolers for hospitals across the EU – turning units around quickly to help hospitals swamped by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Despite the ongoing impact of Covid, it’s an exciting time for AMI with our expansion into the industrial market and Teesport achieving freeport status, which should see a huge increase in traffic at the port, offering us a real opportunity to win more work,” added Andrew.
AMI tapped into the Department for International Trade’s “Expanding Tees Valley presence in international markets” programme, an initiative supporting Tees Valley SMEs by helping them successfully sell products and services overseas.
Julie Underwood, executive director of international trade at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “AMI is an absolute pleasure to work with. A company with traditional engineering skills and a completely modern outlook with a desire to break into foreign markets and new sectors. It refuses to rest on its export laurels and, having operated successfully in overseas markets for decades, continues to seek out new markets and new clients.
“We’re proud to support Andrew in his efforts to expand their global operations, enhance AMI’s digital marketing offer and upgrade the company website. And it’s great to see them reaping the rewards of their hard work.”