Suffolk medical business secures first international contract

Suffolk medical business secures first international contract

Medical trolleys and couches designed and manufactured in Suffolk will soon be used by healthcare providers across Spain after a Debenham-based medical furniture business secured its first Spanish distribution contract, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The five-year contract will see Seers Medical provide more than 120 treatment and examination couches, medical seating and patient transfer trolleys to hospitals and care homes across Spain each year.

Seers Medical secured the deal with Hidemar, a medical distributor based in Madrid, after exhibiting at MEDICA 2018 in Dusseldorf – the largest trade show in the world for the medical sector, attracting more than 5,000 exhibitors from 70 countries.

DIT helped the Suffolk company to exhibit at MEDICA 2018 through its Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) – part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign. TAP provides grant funding for firms to gain market knowledge and make new contacts through exhibiting at trade shows overseas.

DIT also supported it in overcoming challenges around the strict regulations that govern medical equipment, which differ from country to country. International Trade Advisers (ITAs) at DIT helped Seers Medical navigate these issues in Spain and across other markets, providing in-depth advice on how to register its products with the relevant bodies.

DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign aims to help more businesses explore new markets overseas. The campaign is currently showcasing more than 30 UK businesses – encompassing every sector and region – to inspire and support firms up and down the country to export.

Matt Clarke, marketing manager at Seers Medical, said: “We are an ambitious business and know that there’s demand for our products worldwide. The Spanish market was one of the few countries in Europe we were yet to do business with.

“Exhibiting at MEDICA 2018 enabled us to meet representatives from Hidemar face to face and showcase our products, ultimately resulting in our first Spanish distribution contract.

“All of our products are designed and manufactured in Suffolk. This has helped us increase our exports as our customers trust that everything is high quality and durable. Exports make up more than half of our sales, and we expect this to increase following the contract with Hidemar.

“I’d recommend that anyone interested in exporting makes the most of the support and resources available for companies of all sizes. There’s plenty of free exporting courses, opportunities to network with overseas buyers and market research available. If we can export our equipment worldwide, other British brands can, too.”

Seers Medical is a market leader in manufacturing medical furniture for the healthcare sector and counts the NHS as a customer. The business currently exports to 83 countries including Germany, Australia and the US.

Thinley Topden, Head of Region for DIT East of England, said: “Seers Medical is renowned in the global healthcare sector and its products are used by national healthcare businesses across the world, including the NHS.

“MEDICA 2018 was a great opportunity for Seers Medical to forge valuable new overseas contacts. The Spanish distribution deal is a real win for the business and will help it to build its reputation further across Europe.

“I would encourage any business that would like to get advice on its export strategy or is interested in attending trade shows to get in touch by phone or email. We have a network of expert International Trade Advisers located across the East of England that can give tailored support.”

Companies looking for support should call 01707 398 398 or email eastinfo@mobile.trade.gov.uk. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.