Pictured (L – R) are Chris Monroe, Smiley Monroe, and Alison Gowdy, Invest NI.
New export deals in the US and Asia look set to generate over a quarter of a million worth of sales for a Lisburn based manufacturer, following participation at ConExpo in 2017.
Lisburn based manufacturer Smiley Monroe has secured significant new business in the US and Asia, following Invest Northern Ireland support to exhibit at ConExpo. The two contracts are estimated to be worth £265,000.
Welcoming the contracts Alison Gowdy, Invest NI’s Director of Trade said: "Innovation and R&D are at the core of Smiley Monroe’s DNA as a company. Visitors to the stand at ConExpo learned more about its diverse product range by slipping on a Virtual Reality (VR) headset and enjoying an immersive, four minute product experience. This innovative way of selling its products helped it to win this new business and the company is now rolling out the experience at future exhibitions.
These new contracts now put the company in a stronger position to secure future export business in these markets and I hope that its success can inspire other Northern Ireland companies to consider exporting to grow globally.- Alison Gowdy, Invest NI
"Through fostering a partnership approach with the company including support to create 31 new jobs in 2014, Smiley Monroe has been able to scale quickly and invest in growth in international markets. These new contracts now put the company in a stronger position to secure future export business in these markets and I hope that its success can inspire other Northern Ireland companies to consider exporting to grow globally."
Smiley Monroe’s core manufactured products are hot spliced ‘Endless Conveyor Belts’ and Custom Rubber Parts, locally produced and exported to over 40 countries for use in equipment sectors as diverse as mobile crushing, screening, recycling and washing, environmental, bulk material handling and road construction.
ConExpo 2017 gave us a platform to meet potential customers from across North America...- Chris Monroe, Smiley Monroe
Chris Monroe, Smiley Monroe’s Global Sales Director commented: “ConExpo 2017 gave us a platform to meet potential customers from across North America to showcase our products for future business. With Invest NI support this was our first year exhibiting independently at ConExpo with a custom-built, outdoor booth. VR proved to be a fantastic way to educate customers about our diverse range of products and hopefully left a lasting memory of the Smiley Monroe booth.
“We’ve invested quite a bit of time in developing our knowledge of the market and since the last show in 2014, our export sales have increased by 27% and we’re keen to build upon this success. This new business is a direct result of our marketing efforts in North America and is a very encouraging signal as we prepare to expand our presence there.
“Feedback from the show has only bolstered our confidence in pursuing this strategy. We want to cultivate new business in the region and better serve our already established OEM customer base by rolling out our proven ‘Just -in-time’ delivery model. The first step will be in-country sales support by the end of 2017.”
Smiley Monroe is a family-run business, which was founded in 1979. It operates from premises in the Knockmore Hill Industrial Park and Lissue Industrial Estate in Lisburn and employs 140 people. It also operates a manufacturing facility in India to service the local market. Upon returning from ConExpo, the company reported record sales figures for the first quarter of 2017 – the best in company history and is on track for a record sales year.