The development of a company’s exports can be brought down to one simple goal – increasing its sales. However, execution of a multidimensional strategy to conquer foreign markets involves many changes throughout the operational model of a company. The consequences of such decision are multifaceted. What else, apart from increase in sales, does WIŚNIOWSKI get by deciding to export?

Making a decision on the commencement of sales in foreign markets is never easy because it involves not only new challenges and possibilities to increase sales but it can also uncover some imperfections in the company’s organization. Such a decision is always a great risk. However, the Management Board of WIŚNIOWSKI, in choosing exports, had a slightly easier task to fulfil due to the fact that the company met the basic condition to effectively enter foreign markets – it has been the leader in sales in the domestic market. Currently, sales in the domestic market is still very high but the dynamics are not as high as in foreign markets.

Foundations for future development of the company

Export sales is the key for further development of the company. It changes the face of the most essential pillars of the operation: sales, marketing methods, production and the products themselves. As a consequence, the business model and the market position of the company must also undergo change.
Exports allow us to reduce overhead costs by increasing production of particular products. Exports constitute 30% of the sales value of the company and its stable growth is accompanied by a constant rise in domestic sales. The increase in export sales leads to achieving returns to scale and development for the company.
Exports provide more possibilities for sales and a chance to learn new experiences, allowing us to improve not only the manufactured products but also to modernise the machine facilities and introduce new IT solutions. Being open to foreign markets has made WIŚNIOWSKI concentrate more on development and research activities, both for creating new models of products and introducing modifications to already existing products for the needs of local markets. Due to direct contact with foreign distributors the company can take advantage of the most recent market trends and adapt its range so that the company can leave the domestic competition behind. From the strategic point of view, export sales is building yet another foundation for future development of the company. Sales to foreign markets is diversification of risk and an opportunity to become independent from the local economic situation.

An individual approach

In comparison to the domestic market, the Western European markets vary in their basic attitude to construction. Their greater part encompasses overhauls and renovations, construction of new buildings is secondary. The traditional Polish approach to residential construction is no longer present in the Western European markets. The situation is caused by greater mobility of society and the willingness to migrate, as well as by the costs of constructing a house.
Therefore, our products in that sector had to be equipped with renovation frames and other solutions to help in assembling the products in renovated openings.
Apart from differences concerning the products, there are those related to the suitability of given products in individual markets. For instance, in France steel products, such as doors, windows or facades are very popular, but then in the Czech Republic or Slovakia aluminium is preferred. In Belgium or Germany the customer in 90% of cases chooses a steel fence as a symbol of durability and sturdiness. In Italy the aesthetics of the products is one of key elements to be considered, for example, and in order to meet that market need coated fittings for sectional doors were introduced while the standard offer includes galvanized ones.
Another excellent example that exports mean not only unlimited possibilities but also the necessity to fit the market is the UK. Although the metric system has replaced the imperial one, sizes are still calculated according to the old standards and typical sizes for the British market and untypical for continental Europe.
The Scandinavian markets are distinguished by purist design, dominant not only when it comes to interiors but also outside the buildings. In the Scandinavian countries only natural wood is used, without any wood imitating materials. The most preferable colour range is: whites and trendy colours, such as shades of grey, charcoal and black. These counties also present a different attitude to business – potential partners take a long time to decide on selecting a new supplier, and differences in price, even a significant one, is not a decisive factor in changing the supplier. However, when they do decide they prove to be loyal business partners.
Apart from numerous differences among various markets there are common trends. For EU countries it means minimising the heat transfer coefficient of products. The EU regulators effectively implement new provisions concerning the energy supply of buildings and therefore, all of Europe is slowly heading to passive housing solutions. WIŚNIOWSKI follows that trend, offering “warmer” solutions, such as CREO doors, PRIME or UniTherm garage doors.
Expansion of the company into foreign markets means full readiness to change: constant modification of proven sales strategies, modifications introduced to products which had once been deemed as perfect in their form, as well as seeking and testing new business models. WIŚNIOWSKI, despite being the leader in the domestic market, constantly seeks new paths and does not stop improving and implementing its bold visions of development. At the moment we are working on expanding big. We can achieve our goal not only due to a well-prepared corporate identity and a great brand but mostly by offering innovation. This includes PRIME, a new generation in doors, the high-speed V-KING gate or modern solutions offered by SlidePro suspended and slide doors. It’s a new class of products in terms of joinery and fencing. Moreover, it was the foreign markets that inspired us to create all these solutions.

Text: Aneta Szymczyk-Miraś