Turn­ing chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties

Cather­ine Beard dis­cov­ers an ex­porter that’s reap­ing the re­wards of some hard work.

Exporter - - VIEWPOINT - Cather­ine Beard is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ex­portNZ.

“We have never shied away from is­sues; we see them as a chal­lenge to grow and in­no­vate. We grab hold of them and sort them out. We did that very quickly for China and we’re now sell­ing the new IP we de­vel­oped all over the world. Those de­ci­sions we took four years ago have been in­stru­men­tal in giv­ing us tech­nol­ogy that re­ally sets us apart in meet­ing the ag­gres­sive needs of 24/7 dairy­ing any­where.”

Dean says a lot of their suc­cess is due to their peo­ple.

“Ev­ery area of our busi­ness is full of un­be­liev­ably tal­ented, pas­sion­ate peo­ple look­ing for ways to im­prove the busi­ness. We in­vest in the right peo­ple; we com­mit to on­go­ing train­ing and devel­op­ment and, as a con­se­quence, we re­tain our peo­ple.

“We’ve put a lot of en­ergy into our in­ter­na­tional busi­ness for six to seven years, as a de­lib­er­ate strat­egy to di­ver­sify and strengthen busi­ness and re­duce re­liance on one mar­ket.

“The US is a sig­nif­i­cant and de­vel­op­ing mar­ket for us. We set up a branch in Wis­con­sin in 2008 and we’ve just bought an Amer­i­can com­pany which man­u­fac­tures com­ple­men­tary tech­nol­ogy to ours – plus it is all-Amer­i­can de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing. Ul­ti­mately, to be suc­cess­ful you have to have a blend of good ideas and re­spect what drives the lo­cal mar­ket. Hav­ing a dis­tinctly Amer­i­can flavour to Waikato Milk­ing Sys­tems is go­ing to be valu­able.”

The global ex­pan­sion doesn’t stop there.

“This year ex­pand­ing into Western Europe,” says Dean, “which is typ­i­cally the main mar­ket of our ma­jor com­peti­tors. We’ve nor­mally kept out of it; but not now!

“The busi­ness is per­form­ing ex­cep­tion­ally well – our tech­nol­ogy is unique, very prac­ti­cal, so­phis­ti­cated and easy to use. If a farmer is ac­tively us­ing tech­nol­ogy six months af­ter they pur­chased it then in my view it’s valu­able. It has to be ro­bust; it should last 20 years.”

Dean says the com­pany’s aim is to be num­ber three in the world for milk­ing sys­tems – af­ter DeLaval of Swe­den and GEA of Germany.

“De­mand for our tech­nol­ogy and sys­tems is grow­ing around the world; some of the Euro­pean dairy in­dus­tries are some of the old­est and most chal­leng­ing – so yes, we are go­ing to re­spond to, and grow, that de­mand right across Europe.”

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