Ahead of our virtual events in the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector, which are designed to kickstart exports in what is a fast-growing industry for the UK economy, we spoke to Kate Richards, director of Precision Dippings Manufacturing.
Based in Bristol, Precision Dippings Manufacturing specialises in the development of rubber-dipped products for a range of different industries.
As well as undertaking contract manufacturing in the dental, veterinary, marine, and healthcare sectors, Precision Dippings Manufacturing has designed its own product - the hugely successful Bloccs waterproof protector for plaster casts and dressings.
Globally, the market for healthcare products and services is growing, as national governments deliver more healthcare capacity and quality to their populations. Spending on healthcare is rising too, with reports suggesting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% per year over the next few years.
The global environment has proven conducive to Precision Dippings Manufacturing’s growth and expansion overseas as Kate explains:
“We’ve recently started selling our healthcare products to the US. We also export to Australia and various countries in Europe and our export sales have grown by a third in the last three years.”
In recognition of their innovation in the healthcare sector and rapid global expansion, Precision Dippings Manufacturing has won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, receiving an innovation award for its Bloccs waterproof covers in 2016 and again in 2019, it achieved another for international sales.
“DIT (the Department for International Trade) has supported us in many different ways,” Kate continues. “In the beginning, when we first launched our new product, they helped us research which markets would be most suitable.
“We were also matched with suitable partners and distributors in the countries concerned and attended several overseas medical conferences and trade fairs, including Medica in Germany and Arab Health in Dubai, which helped us make even more connections.
“We were given the opportunity to travel to orthopaedic conferences in Australia and the US and benefitted hugely from support and training in how to prepare for an international exhibition.
Due to the company’s success in selling is Bloccs product online, DIT has helped Precision Dippings Manufacturing accelerate its global growth identifying key eCommerce platforms and establishing their presence to reach new markets around the world.
“DIT’s digital specialists advised us on the need to adapt our website so it’s localised and appropriate for each of the countries we supply to,” says Kate. “That included translating it into a variety of different languages and taking cultural differences into account when designing each version.
What advice would she give to other healthcare companies looking to increase their overseas sales?
“It’s very important to do your market research and ensure you’re targeting the right countries. My other strong recommendation is to make the most of the support available.
“In our case, International Trade Adviser, Peter Hollingsworth, has proved invaluable. As well as answering many of our questions, he has helped us make some excellent contacts.
“DIT has a large overseas office network and being put in touch with people who live and work in relevant countries has been extremely useful.”
Upcoming events in the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector:
DIT are hosting a series of virtual events to help businesses kickstart their exports. See below our planned events as well as recordings of past events.
•Internationalising the South West's Digital Healthcare - view recording of webinar
•Exporting the best of the South West: Taking Healthcare & Life Science companies international - view recording of webinar
Exporting the best of the South West: Taking Healthcare and Life Sciences companies overseas
Find out about the latest events organised by DIT within the Healthcare & Life Science sector, hosted by South West DIT Sector Specialist Jamie Shaw.