D.E.S – growing overseas

D.E.S is a delivery service for printed mail and parcels. SME caught up with Phil Coleman, chief executive of the company, to find out more…

What is your vision for the future? Are you looking to expand?

Yes, absolutely. In less than ten years I want to be able to say I have founded one of the UK’s largest international delivery companies. Growth planning will be key and I have a clear vision of how we can get there.

Luckily I have had to learn great levels of patience over the years, so even though our growth may look unsustainable, its often the result of years of planning and understanding.

What countries do you operate in?

We have clients in Asia and the US.

What is the next country to target?

Our main focus is still UK export but we are growing our specialist knowledge and expertise in the Central and Eastern European countries, complimented by our partnership with the Austrian Post Office.

What is your global plan?

To set up offices in Asia and the USA to manage inbound e commerce traffic into Europe.

How much research goes in to setting up overseas expansion? Do you visit the places you are looking to sell to?

Yes, always. Each overseas partnership or client that we work with is the result of a relationship based on trust and understanding, and clear communication towards expectation on both sides.

What have been the main challenges for exporting?

Customs and clearance procedures are something that we have very little control of and timing wise there can be frustrations on the client’s side if communications are not clear. We have learnt to build the correct procedures and lines of communications to make this experience as smooth as possible for all involved.

What cultural differences have you encountered, and have they affected the way you do business with certain regions?

Having travelled so much growing up I really do not see the world, or its people or cultures as being that divided or different. I am always keen to learn so much about how businesses operate in different countries. So I find it really stimulating to learn how each company wants to operate as a business, not necessarily how their local culture dictates the way the want to.