Exporting to Germany: A Round Table – How to Export to Germany Successfully?
On 22nd April last Cequip (a Packaging Cluster) and Centrem organised a round table called “How to Export to Germany Successfully” at the Centre Metal·lúrgic in Sabadell.
Participating companies were welcomed by the Director of International Promotion of Plametall, Mr Josep Mª Campanera and were encouraged to share their experiences in overseas trade.
A Consultant from International Team Consulting, Ms Júlia Farré, highlighted the key points to be kept in mind to ensure successful consolidation of overseas sales, the elements to be considered when exporting and how to appraise the exportable value of a product or service, how to select target countries/markets, to choose the ideal channel through which to export and how to search for, short list and manage sales agents and distributors.
The participating companies specialised in the integration and implantation of engineering design, calculation and simulation software and technology. The manufacturing processes covered: casting; plastic injection; welding; forging; chemical compounding; corrugated cardboard; packing and cardboard boxes; manufacture of coffee-making machines; high-quality self-adhesive labels; sleeves and other packaging; leading providers of technology and manufacture of turnkey plants for meat processing; etc.
B2B Meetings between German Sales Rep and Spanish Manufacturers in Stuttgart
ITC organised this event in Stuttgart in which Spanish manufacturers from the metal industry met with German Sales Rep from the sector.
On the 26th January, total of 50 meetings were held in Stuttgart between commission agents and 7 Spanish companies all members of the Metallurgical Industries Manufacturers’ Union (CENTREM) which provides help to its members in developing their overseas trade. International Team Consulting worked with Centrem to select the participants, defining the profiles of the sales agents that fitted with the size of the individual participants, the bespoke search for each agent and, finally, the filtering of these contacts with the goal of matching individual agents to particular companies.
This is a made-to-measure service for each company which means that companies offering a very wide range of diverse products and services within the metal industry were able to get together with partners who are already representing complimentary products and have an established client based in Germany.
The main aim of the event was to put the manufacturers in touch with the right people, set up a lasting and stable sales representation and to establish business plans between the German agents and Spanish companies.
It is vitally important that proper follow-up continues after the initial meetings and negotiating agreements. We cannot stress enough the importance of continuing contact with the sales agent, paying great attention to the need for product training and continual support of the agent by the factory.
Exporting Cold-meats to Germany
The German market for cold-meats is just beginning to recover after a period in the doldrums and this reactivation is being felt in both increased sales and home production.
Total turnover for the German cold-meats industry in 2014 was € 18,160 million which was an increase of 3’38% over the previous year. On of the contributing factors to explain this rise was a lowering of pro prices of 1% respect to 2013, thanks to a reduction in costs due, largely, to lower raw material and energy costs.
Total production in Germany reached almost 1,470 tonnes in 2014 an increase of 0’7% over the previous year. This small, but significant increase, breaks a tendency seen over the previous years of decreasing production. German production had also suffered at the hands of imported cold-meats when foreign firms made concerted efforts to increase imports into the German market.
Distribution and Sales
Cold-meats are generally sold through the chains of discount supermarkets in Germany which represent about 44% of the total market. Their golden age started at the beginning of this century when huge growth in those years led them to attain the present position of close to 50% of the market.
The traditional cold-meat shops, butchers and delis traditionally played a very important role in the market, but pressure from the hard discounters has led to a significant loss of market share. Currently, less than 20% of sales go tough the traditional outlets of cold-cuts, butchers and delis.
When taking into consideration the nature of distribution in Germany, any company wishing to enter the market must contact specialised distributors familiar with set-up in the country. Depending on our target market we will want to contact those distributors with strong links to the discounters if we are looking for mainly volume, with distributors to more traditional supermarkets and chains for the mid-market and specialised distributors to the gourmet butchers and delis.
These gourmet shops are looking for something different and, very possibly, those distributors aiming at the middle may also have departments concentrating on a more up-market product.
Taking into account that the German market has, to all intents and purposes, stabilised, any product we wish to introduce should offer an incentive to the consumer as this situation means that anything you sell will be one sales less for your competition. Your quality/price relationship will be of paramount importance.
Once we have these factors in out favour, the next move is to carry out the search for possible partners, filtering the contacts unearthed and contacting those short-listed in the process.
Verband der Fleischwirtschafte.V.
Bundesverband der DeutschenFleischwarenindustriee.V.
The Automotive Industry in Germany
Last week our article spoke about the Automotive Industry in Spain and the importance of the industry in the economy.
Today we are going to take a look at German, Europe’s largest automotive market both from the standpoint of sales and that of production. Over 30% of cars made in Europe are produced in Germany and 20% of new cars registered every year are sold on the German market.
In 2013, the German automotive industry churned out 13 million vehicles, that is over 17% of the worldwide total. The production of passenger cars was 5’4 million which confirmed Germany’s leading place in Europe.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this is the leading motor of the national economy. Sales reached a total of € 361,000 million in 2013 placing firmly in the number one spot as that is the equivalent of 20% of total sales in the country. The industry gives jobs to some 756,000.
German manufacturers of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles exported € 200,000 million in 201 which was up 3% on the previous year’s figures. 77% of these vehicles wen to export marketsin 2013.
Betting on R + D
German automotive firms invested € 18,000 million in R+D in 2013 which, to put it in perspective, is one third of total worldwide automotive investment.
The German automotive industry is a leader in R+D both at home and in Europe as this also one third of total German investment in R+D and provides employment for 95,000 people.
If further proof were needed of the importance given to R+D in Germany, it can be found in the fact that 9 of the 10 companies that registered most patents in 2013 were from the sector. In 2012, 51% of sales in the industry came from products that included some element of innovation.
The companies involved are well aware of the need to maintain a high level of investment in R+D so as to maintain the leading position in the world market. Some 40% of companies will be increasing spending on R+D this year.
For any firm contemplating moving into the German market, the following are the channels which should be taken into account when selecting the one most suited to an individual company’s requirements and needs:
- Direct contact with potential customers: working personally with German manufacturers with factories in the country.
- Sales agent or distributor. Ideally, one who is already supplying the industry with compatible components.
- Business partners. Form an alliance or joint venture with a local company that wishes to expand the range of products they are already selling into the industry. Whist it is probably the most difficult when searching for the ideal partner, it is by fair the best as far as easing market-entry is concerned. When going hand-in-hand with an established local company that knows the rules of the game and the standards expected by the customers, many a door is opened with greater ease than going it alone.
VDA: Verband del Automobilindustrie.