Export Awards shortlisted: Semperfli
Shortlisted for the PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards Micro Exporter of the Year Award 2020, we meet Ann Kitchener, director of Semperfli Fly Tying Materials Ltd, to tell us about the company and how they are proud of their innovation.
Semperfli is a manufacturer of specialist fly tying materials for the niche fly fishing market. Producing our own products onsite in Selby, we sell our products worldwide to distributors or stores. We are now recognised as a leading and fast-growing company in our market.
Our company has grown each year and in 2019 our growth was 53%. Previous years we grew at 44%.
We are proud of our innovation. We have established unique and market-leading ‘best in the industry’ products. Our flagship product is called Nano Silk, which is a virtually unbreakable tying thread which has revolutionised the fly tying world thanks to its strength yet being so fine. It has however sold outside of the fly fishing market - clients have included Nasa Consultants, medical companies (for cataract, heart and MS research), London theatres and film companies.
In 2019 we launched a waxed tying thread: a higher quality material and better value than others in the market. Within three months of launch, we hit our annual target for sales of this product. Within six months of launch, we had doubled our annual target.
We offer extensive technical resources to our international customers by way of our interactive catalogue, online B2B ordering and an online library of images and data.
We provide the highest level of customer care to our partners. We use Skype, Facetime and Zoom for meetings. We have people in-house who speak German, French, Italian and Spanish, all geared to servicing our clients as best we can.
We use technology to do demonstrations e.g. we presented demonstrations to two different clubs in South Africa from our office in Selby via Zoom, to deliver an interactive session where questions could be asked of the presenter throughout.
We attend or sponsor international exhibitions throughout the year or partner with our clients in-store for open days.
We are proud to be working with around 60 of the world’s very best ambassadors (Pro Tyers) who demonstrate our products in their country at exhibitions/in-store/online/in classes.
Social media is important to us as it helps us communicate our message and advice to tyers worldwide. We have a great following worldwide that is increasing daily. We often do live demonstrations either ourselves or with our ambassadors.
Our export represents 80% of our turnover, with clients in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Latvia, South Africa, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa, Japan and Ireland to name a few.
We are known for a quality product range and we work closely with our partners to ensure they receive the best support. This means we ‘follow the sun’, working in different time zones with our clients. We want them to be proud to be a Semperfli partner.
We are creative in how we communicate with our customers, using technology to its best. So Skype, Facetime or Zoom are ideal ways of keeping in touch for meetings or demonstrations.
It is nice to be able to see each other in meetings, despite the miles between us. It helps build relations. Thanks to this, our US partner is seeing exponential growth in our product sales with 2019 at over 240% growth!
We also offer a white-label product range for other overseas companies, i.e. we produce their products for them to their brand. We do this for a number of major clients and it is an area of our work that is growing internationally.
Outside of these events, every day we are in contact with our clients around the world to manage their accounts.
Export is our major focus and our efforts will not diminish. We will recruit partners in new territories such as South America, for example. We want to have our products as accessible as possible for all tyers to help meet the demand.
In countries where we already have dealers or distributors, we will do our best to service them further to increase the range they carry or recruit additional stores in those countries to ensure that fly tyers have easy access to products.
We will continue to innovate our product range, bringing out new and creative materials for our customers. Our goal is to inspire fly tyers worldwide with the very best products and be known as the company tyers can rely on.
Northern Powerhouse Export Award
We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. It means a great deal to us to have such recognition for our endeavours. Indeed our partners around the world are pleased for us too, as working together in such a niche environment brings us very much together. Our successes are very much their successes too – we could not do or achieve what we do without each other!
PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, in association with HSBC, seeks to recognise the most entrepreneurial exporters from across the Northern Powerhouse.
For more info visit www.northernexportawards.co.uk.