Picture by Michael Cooper
Pictured (L – R) are Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI, with Charlene Thompson of Acksen.
Newtownabbey-based Acksen, a specialist in datalog devices for monitoring and tracking electricity voltage, has won its first business in Poland following participation in an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.
The company agreed a distribution deal in Warsaw during the mission in April and has recently secured its first business there for its leading-edge Electrocorder datalogger. In addition, the company used the mission to form a partnership with a distributor in Prague, Czech Republic.
The business in Poland was announced by Charlene Thompson, Acksen’s Sales Manager, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, during a visit to the company, which employs four people, at its premises in Whiteabbey.
Dr Kell said: “Acksen’s success in Poland and the Czech Republic is an excellent example of how a smaller company can expand business by its participation in our extensive trade programme. Smaller companies accessing markets through participation in trade missions, especially if it is their first time to that market, benefit from being part of a larger group that includes more experienced businesses. Participants encourage, mentor and support each other during their time in market and such relationships continue to exist when they return to Northern Ireland.
“Both Poland and the Czech Republic are keen to take advantage of innovative technology from the UK to ensure increasingly costly power supplies are used as effectively as possible. This focus provides great opportunities for our local technology leaders.
“To help smaller companies in particular to develop opportunities in these important markets, we’ve recruited the expert services of market advisers in Warsaw and Prague. The advisers provide companies with essential market information and also assist with lead generation. Their contacts are used to organise full meeting programmes for Northern Ireland companies visiting the market.”
Mrs Thompson, commenting on the contract with Mera, an equipment distribution business in Warsaw, said: “At the core of our business growth strategy is development of a global network of representatives with the knowledge, experience and contacts to market our dataloggers professionally and proactively.
“We look, in particular, for well-connected representatives able to devote time and provide commitment to selling our systems. This means we tend to avoid our systems being handled by companies with a large portfolio of products.
“Taking part in the Invest NI market visit to Poland and the Czech Republic enabled us to interview a number of potential representatives, to look closely at their operations and to identify the best business for in each market. Mera in Warsaw met our requirements and produced business faster than we had anticipated.
“In Prague, Invest NI’s Trade Adviser pinpointed seven potential business partners for me to interview, and we subsequently signed an agreement with a business which has an impressive network of clients in the Czech Republic and neighbouring markets including Hungary.”
Formed in 1993, Acksen is a locally-owned company that has been assisted by QUBIS, Queen’s University’s business development organisation. The company now sells its dataloggers, which provide a continuous record of electricity supply, to clients throughout the UK, including Power NI, as the US, Australia and other parts of Europe. The company is ranked in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 of Ireland’s fastest growing technology companies.