Ellis engineers Colombian export success

Posted on 6 Jan 2016 by The Manufacturer, Jonny Williamson

One of the world’s leading cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis has demonstrated the extent of the in-roads it has made into the Latin American market by securing its first export order from Colombia.

The North Yorkshire company’s Vulcan+ stainless steel cleats were specified for installation in an Electricaribe 115kV substation in Barranquilla, thanks to an order secured through Ellis’ local distributor, ACJ High Voltage Ltda.

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Ellis’ export sales director, Tony Conroy commented: “With most export specification news we tend to focus primarily on the details of the order, but in this instance it’s the fact that we’ve secured the order that commands the headline – the reason being that in Colombia we needed to create a market for cable cleats, rather than simply trying to sell our products into an existing one.”

In order to achieve this, Ellis – which began exporting to Brazil in 2009 and started targeting other Spanish-speaking Latin American countries three-years later – needed to convince a sceptical local market of the benefits of using cable cleats to secure power cables.

Conroy continued: “Colombia is home to some of Latin America’s most important energy companies.

“And while raising standards and a focus on innovation have always ranked highly, cable cleats haven’t – therefore our job was far more difficult than it would be entering a new market where cable cleats are already a well-established element of every electrical specification.”

What this meant in practice is that as well as identifying the right distribution partner, and becoming familiar with the Colombian market, Ellis needed to adapt its sales approach to incorporate back-to-basics information about cleats and their purpose.

The export sales director added: “It’s been a while since I’ve had to demonstrate the difference between what happens to properly cleated electrical cables in a short-circuit situation and those that are loosely, if at all, secured in a sales presentation, but it is still as effective a sales tool as ever.

As well as Colombia, Ellis is now selling successfully in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, and has distributors in Brazil; Chile; Peru; Colombia; Uruguay; Panama, and Costa Rica.