By Dan Munro, Owner and Managing Director at PJ Valves
This year we received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade, in recognition of our overseas growth and export strategy. We have been acknowledged and commended for our work in creating an international business. But that is just the start – we feel we still have a long way to go.
When it comes to international trade, many may dip a toe in the water, but if you jump in with both feet how do you ensure you swim rather than sink?
Here’s our guide to surviving in uncharted waters…
Carefully navigate your way
Our ambition to increase our overseas reach came about due to our strong relationship with our customers. The majority of our clients are international – they wanted to lean on our knowledge and skills to help them prosper in an international market. But even so, before diving in we took time to
analyse these markets, especially in the US where we worked extensively with clients to understand
the opportunities and barriers of entering these new territories. Indeed, our main success to date has been the US where we have seen tremendous growth in our team and client base.
Make use of local knowledge
As we have travelled we have learnt a great deal along the way. In Singapore, we have immersed ourselves in the structured business culture where long hours and commitment to the industry
shines through. From working with partners in the US, passion and chemistry with clients is a large
part of the business, which has furthered our understanding as to what being a supplier is all about.
Such an array of approaches has allowed us to understand our markets more, whilst blossoming as a
company ourselves. But it’s not all been a one-way street – we have made savings for our clients, in
places they may not have looked before.
Staying the course…
The continuous fluctuation of the oil price has led many companies to cut their workforce and rein in
growth. At PJV we decided to commit to the wider oil market with the belief that we could increase
our support to clients in this harsh environment. We understand the pressures our customers face
on a global scale and have adapted our pricing models to reflect current market conditions.
Making the most of your investment
Investing in manufacturing facilities in India and Italy and expanding our global teams has allowed us
to provide a more tailored product and service. Owning our own factories means we can offer
competitive prices and have control over the design process – delivering a more streamlined and
value-adding service by collaborating with our customers every step of the way. This has bolstered
our international growth dramatically and allowed us to create technical advantages for our
In fact, it is this commitment to investing in our factories, alongside our global outlook that have
been significant factors in winning this accolade.
So having taken the plunge where do we go from here?
We want to continue to expand our teams, focusing on quality, especially in North America and Asia
Pacific and look to develop new locations near to our customers. Our aim is to ensure we recruit and
retain the best talent, and keep learning from these international markets, which will allow us to
flourish even more as a business.
Winning the Queen’s Award gives us even more motivation to keep pushing in these international
markets and to become even better in places where we are already established. So, we’ve learned
that even if the water doesn’t look quite right, you might want to try it out after all.