New jobs are being created at an automation engineering company after it increased turnover from nought to £400,000 after winning customers in the US.
RNA Automation, based in Castle Bromwich, has seen its export sales rise by 50 per cent in the last year after winning deals at an event in Chicago.
The company, which manufactures specialised equipment for high volume production, has seen sales to the US grow to account for 12 per cent of its £4 million turnover.
Sales manager Andy Perks said the company – which had no export sales four years ago – benefited from UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) assistance.
He said an overseas market introduction service (OMIS) report on the US from UKTI’s commercial staff in the market was crucial in showing the company the best tactics to reach it.
He said: “The report helped us to understand the marketplace and showed us how to go about selling to the USA, recommending that we deal through agents.
“This advice was spot-on. We followed it through, won new business following the exhibition and we are now selling into the medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and automotive sectors in the USA.
“We estimate this business is worth about £400,000 this year – an increase of 50 per cent on the previous year – and have just taken on three trainee engineers to deal with the demand.”
RNA Automation, which was established in 1983, has 35 employees making feeding systems and specialist handling equipment at its headquarters on Hayward Industrial Park.
The company is now looking to grow sales into Ireland after establishing the US as a key market.
In December 2009, the company joined UK Trade & Investment’s Gateway to Global Growth programme, which offers a tailored, needs-based service with training and ongoing support for exporters with two to ten years’ experience.
This includes an in-depth export review, assistance in formulating an international trade strategy, networking opportunities to share best practice and signposting to funding streams such as financial support for market visits.
International trade adviser Mark Sankey, based at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, helped the company to appoint an agency in the US to get its feet off the ground there.
UKTI also organised a recent trip to Philadelphia to meet clients there.
Mr Sankey said: “RNA is an excellent example of an innovative engineering company that is winning new business in overseas markets and taking on new staff, having maximised the services and support available from UK Trade & Investment.”