Speaking the language of its customers is reaping rich rewards for Stourbridge engin eering firm Vanguard Foundry.
Vanguard, based in Bott Lane, Lye, is a privately-owned company specialising in the manufacture of high integrity ductile iron castings for the turbo-charging, diesel engine, agricultural and general engineering sectors.
The firm joined UK Trade & Investment's Passport initiative - a flagship scheme that gives new exporters the train-ing, planning and ongoing support they need to succeed overseas - in February.
Following advice from UK Trade & Investment's international trade adviser John Pilley, based at Black Country Chamber of Commerce, the company translated its website into Dutch, French, German and Italian.
It then wrote to all previous overseas contacts from these countries in their own languages, inviting them to look at the website.
As a result of this, Vanguard Foundry has already won three orders, worth nearly £52,000 in total, from a Dutch company which produces air conditioning systems for offices and ships.
More orders could be set to follow at the company which employs 75 people, while Vanguard is exploring possibilities in Germany, Belgium and Japan.
Sales director Wayne Moseley said: "The strategic advice from UK Trade & Investment has been excellent, and helped us gather momentum since joining Passport.
"In the past two months, we have also been on two market visits with support from the Passport scheme, one to the Intermat Show in Paris, and one to the Asme Turbo Expo in Barcelona and are currently following up more than 20 strong leads.
"In July, I'm going to Germany, where I have three days worth of appointments with potential customers.
"We are now looking to take on new staff taking our workforce to over 80 to deal with the anticipated demand from overseas."
Overseas sales have increased with the growth of the company from one per cent of turnover five years ago to around ten per cent this year.
Managing director John Willetts said: "Three or four years ago very little of our production was for the over-seas market, but that has increased.
"It may not sound much, but when our sales have gone up from £1.8 million in 2001 to £5.4 million last year that shows how much our exports have increased. We have to do this because much of UK manufacturing is in decline."