Agents help tools reclamation business tap into overseas markets


The recession in the UK forced Sheffield engineering company Numill to look to Europe and south-east Asia for sales.

Anne Wilson started as book-keeper at Numill in 2000, became boss in 2006 and is now leading an export drive into south-east Asia. Photograph: Shaun Bloodworth

Anne Wilson started as book-keeper at Numill in 2000, became boss in 2006 and is now leading an export drive into south-east Asia. Photograph: Shaun Bloodworth

When Anne Wilson joined Numill as a book-keeper in 2000, exports accounted for less than a fifth of the tool reclamation company’s business. A management buyout and a recession later, Anne has built international trade into half the business “and that proportion is likely to rise still further”, she says.

The tool reclamation company has been reconditioning equipment for engineering firms since 1969 – “quite simply, we take old worn tools and make them good as new”. But the process was virtually unheard of in south-east Asia until Wilson visited Singapore on a trade trip and made contact with a distributor. That led to business in Malaysia, where Numill’s reclamation process meant a drill used in the aerospace and oil industries could be reconditioned and put back to use for around 30% of the cost of buying a new one. Now Wilson hopes the region will provide a gateway into China.

For more on this story, please see the article from The Guardian here.

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