A Black Country metal cutter has achieved its first international order with the sale of its specialist tipping bins to Canada.
Ridgeway Steel and Manufacturing designs and manufactures forklift tipping bins and associated materials handling equipment at its base in Brierley Hill.
The company has previously supplied its range of bins to food manufacturs, metal work firms and even pig farms.
It recently scooped its first international contract, a £100,000 order from a Canadian firm to produce specialist designed tipping bins for use at its brand new smelter plant currently under construction at Fjardall in Iceland.
Ridgeway Steel, which had sales of £2.2 million last year, was originally formed in 2001 and specialised in supplying and processing precision cut mild steel blanks.
Within two years of steady growth, the company moved to larger premises and currently trades from a 16,500 square foot warehouse facility.
A workforce of 13 operates seven guillotines and a narrow blanking line to precision cut steel products according to customer's individual specifications. In November 2004, the company recognised the growing potential in fabricated products and needed to expose its expertise to the potential market.
Director, Ian Detheridge contacted Business Link Black Country for advice.
He said: "We needed to increase company awareness and got talking to business adviser, Cherry Lloyd for expert advice.
"We identified that an immediate solution was to develop a website and a strategic marketing programme to promote our services in a professional manner."
Business Link's team of experts recommended a number of marketing consultants and Ridgeway Steel appointed the services of Dudley-based Nutcracker Design Associates to develop a website, as well as professional marketing literature.
Mr Detheridge said: "By February 2005, the new website was fully operational and generating more and more enquiries. It is thanks to the website, that we secured our first international order last month.
"Without BLBC's assistance to get the website up and running, and the ongoing management of the system, we would never have received this fantastic export opportunity.
"The web is generating interest from all around the world. We have had expressions of interest from companies in Japan and Australia which we are currently looking at.
"Increasing exports is one of the ways we are looking at expanding the company."
Ms Lloyd said: "We established a number of solutions to help build awareness of Ridgeway's expertise not only to the UK market but also globally and agreed that a professional marketing strategy and a dedicated website would raise the company's profile.
"We're delighted that our support and guidance has helped Ridgeway secure international interest."
Since the website was established, a number of customers have expressed an interest in being able to monitor orders online and Ridge-way has been in talks with Business Link to help introduce this facility, which should be fully operational by the end of this month. ..SUPL: