Photography: Harrison Photography
Pictured is Stephen Acheson, Managing Director of Acheson and Glover, and Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director.
Fivemiletown-based Acheson and Glover used market information from Invest Northern Ireland to achieve a 50 per cent growth in sales last year of paving and walling products in Great Britain.
Acheson and Glover, ranked as the 15th largest producer of concrete and quarry products in the UK and Ireland, turned to Invest NI’s Business Information Centre for current market data on opportunities for paving and walling products in Britain. The company, which has business in Britain and the Republic of Ireland, used the data to develop a new business strategy to accelerate sales in Britain.
The success of the new business was announced by Stephen Acheson, Managing Director of Acheson and Glover, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director.
Dr Kell said: “The success which Acheson and Glover is enjoying in Britain is immensely encouraging. This ambitious company has used the service that our Business Information Centre offers to access up-to-date and highly detailed information about markets such as Great Britain and much further afield and across the broadest range of business sectors to shape their new strategy. This strategy is delivering real benefits for the company in terms of sales.
“The information held by the Information Centre in Belfast is readily available for Northern Ireland businesses wishing to grow their business. Our expert staff can also assist companies, both large and small, to source the data they require to develop their business.”
Mr Acheson, outlining how Invest NI’s Business Information Centre helped the company, said: “The research provided solid evidence of the opportunity in Britain for our quality paving and walling products of around £170 million in this market. We matched this against our relatively small market share there in 2010 and this led us to look closely at our distribution strategy in particular.
“Our paving and walling products are sold in Ireland through a combination of our own outlets and sales through builders’ merchants. However, the market research showed that distribution in Britain is almost 100 per cent through builders’ merchants.
“We decided to address this by means of a very focused and tailored PR campaign that targeted the independent builders’ merchants there and recognised them as our potential customers.
“We also launched a new website and developed a year-long advertising campaign called ‘Talk 2 Stuart’, which emphasised our highly responsive services to merchants. Our PR campaign recently won the award for the best use of advertising at the Construction Marketing Awards, beating Redrow Homes and Caterpillar.
“As a result of this new approach, sales of our paving products increased by 50 per cent this year and we have now secured a major contract to supply up to 70 new builders’ merchants in 2012.
“We found the Invest NI Business Information Centre provides an excellent source of current market data. It played a critical role in formulating our new strategy. We intend to make regular use of the facility in future.”