Mastering the art of exporting

Hawk takes home the 2010 Exporter of the Year Award with a highly commended going to Flashlube. Emily Mobbs writes.

Hawk Measurement Systems is an ultrasonic level technology provider that supplies measurement devices for both the level/vol umes and flow rates of solid and liquid materials.

Over the past two years, the company has reaped the benefits of an improved export strategy and its success has been recog nised in this year’s Endeavour Awards, taking out the Exporter of the Year Award.

Hawk traditionally sold its products into the export market via a combination of direct sales, distributors and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). In recent years however, it has also pursued Joint Venture (JV) partnerships, said to provide it with greater control over export sales.

According to the company, the JV model has been extremely beneficial and now delivers approximately 70% of its export revenues.

On commenting on the award winner, the judges noted Hawk’s significant contribution to Australia’s export industry.

“Hawk is an outstanding suc cess story, and a world leader in ultrasonic measurements instru mentation. They provide an out standing service to Australia’s core strength exports: mining and minerals,” the judges said.

Hawk managing director, Les Richards, was on hand to accept the award which he said was recognition of 20 years of hard work.

“Being in manufacturing export and research and develop ment is a hard road. It’s a very difficult process and you need to be determined, you need to have great hope and you need longevi ty,” Richards told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

The managing director says exporting products can often be inconsistent and difficult to manage and structure, which is one reason Hawk implemented the JV model.

“The JV concept involves a sales outlet that solely sells Hawk manufactured and designed products. So the point of the joint venture is to have a ready market for our R and D output,” Richards said.

Richards adds however, JV models are not suitable for all products.

“Our products are very technically and application oriented but if you’re selling a commodity type product then you don’t need it.”

The company says its JV part nerships have given it greater scope for export growth into key targeted markets such as: China; North America; South America; and South Korea.

Hawk is also pursuing new JV relationships in Germany, South Africa and Japan. The company plans to establish these within the next 12 months.



Flashlube, a provider of products for automotive needs, has been awarded a highly commended for its efforts in exporting to Europe.

The company says its Flashlube exporting program has been an ongoing project since 1999 and aims to capture market opportunities through the rising popularity of LPG/CNC vehicles around the world.

In an effort to get the program off the ground, Flashlube attend ed regular meetings with Austrade to better understand the rules and regulations in EU countries as well as seek avail able assistance for exporters in Australia.

It also sponsored and partici pated in various EU Auto trade shows to gain publicity and understand the market culture and needs. As a result the com pany has moved to position itself as a high-end quality product in the European market.

It has also upgraded its plant and equipment to ensure produc tion capability and regularly vis its distributors to plan and cap ture market opportunities.

By exporting its product, Flashlube has increased its sales, profit and workforce, established global brand awareness and set up a European warehouse with Australian staff.

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