Exports is a topic that is very close to my heart. As well as TDSi’s considerable international reach in exporting, I am also actively involved with the BSIA (British Security Industry Association) as the Chairman of the Export Council and have been championing it for many years now.
TDSi’s export sales have grown steadily since I bought the business 12 years ago, when they stood at about 25%. They are now at around 42% and export sales are growing even faster than those in the UK!
There are a number of reasons for this of course. Partially I believe this is because high-quality UK-source security systems have an excellent reputation in overseas markets, particularly in China and Asia. Despite the fact that China is often considered one of the ‘workshops of the world’, Chinese buyers are incredibly savvy when it comes to purchasing the best solutions for their needs and will happily buy from more specialist providers in the UK.
Another important (if initially unexpected) benefit to our exports has come in the aftermath of Brexit. Since the Brexit referendum in June last year, we have seen some rather interesting results. Because of the referendum and the uncertainty that followed, the value of the UK Pound has fallen against other major currencies such as the US Dollar and the Euro. As TDSi designs and manufacturers all its systems here in the UK, we are finding that actually, we are even more competitive against our US and European competition!
This means we can offer better value for money to export markets and it is probably one of the key reasons why our export sales are growing faster than our business in the UK. It also means that cost increases for UK customers have been minimised by currency fluctuations, which has been a win-win situation for all concerned.
Whilst there is still a level of uncertainty in the UK with regards to exports and trading, TDSi is very well geared up to meeting the challenges ahead. Despite an obvious lack of clarity on where trading with the EU will be in the next few years, there is a huge world market for excellent UK security products. As a business, we are very optimistic that we will be able to continue growing in many different and important overseas markets in the future.