Around the World in 80 Trades: Trig Avionics
- What does your company do?
Around the world there are many general aviation aircraft that fly with Trig Avionics equipment installed. We design and manufacture transponders and VHF radios that are used by pilots. A transponder indicates an aircraft’s position, providing electronic visibility in busy or remote airspace. A VHF radio is needed to communicate with air traffic control and other aircraft. Our products enhance flight safety and are highly innovative, manufactured here in the UK, sustaining high technology skills and jobs.
- When was your company launched, who by and why?
Trig Avionics was started in 2004 by CEO Andy Davis - he saw a market need for high quality, compact avionics that would appeal to a wide range of aviation customers, from glider pilots through to business jet customers.
- How long has the company been exporting?
Trig have been exporting since our first product was launched in 2007.
- What do you currently export, and where to?
We export a growing range of aviation products; transponders, VHF radios, GPS equipment and antennas. We have developed and established sales channels through a network of over 600 Approved Trig Dealers in 42 countries.
- What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
From the outset Trig was an international business. Globally there are a limited number of companies that have the capabilities and knowledge to design certified avionics and aviation is of course a truly international arena.
- What is the easiest part of exporting?
Knowing that we had to do it - from day one it was clear that exporting had to be central part of our business. In this respect everything that we have achieved has been through a determined effort to make this a reality.
- And the most challenging part?
The most challenging part of exporting includes the restrictions placed upon our product sales by regulators and the need to secure bespoke approvals in the various countries that we sell into. This can add significant cost and delay on to any product roll out. Markets such as China still remain closed to European aviation companies due to their aviation rules and regulations.
- Have language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and culture ever caused you any difficulties? How did you overcome them?
English is the international language of aviation, but we work hard to accommodate foreign language needs. All our sales materials are translated into German and French and we format materials for the USA. In our team we have staff with a variety of languages and a Distributor with expert foreign language teams. We trade in Sterling, Euros and Dollars so we work hard to avoid grey imports whilst meeting market needs. Happily the aviation community is connected by a shared passion for aviation – this makes the business of etiquette a little easier - once you talk about flying the world becomes a smaller place!
- Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and was it helpful?
Trig was able to draw upon an in-house team with many years experience of international trade. In recent times we have been aware of the services of Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International who can provide practical support and expertise.
- What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
Make certain that there is a demand for your product in that specific market and make sure you understand the competition. You must be clear about how you can grow market share and make sure you can provide first class support beyond a product purchase.
- Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in 5 years time?
Trig Avionics is a growth company. We have ambitious plans to introduce more new products into both existing and new markets. We will continue to innovate and develop products that pilots want to have installed in their aircraft, becoming a significant market leader in global aviation.
Published: 15 February 2017