Ten Lessons Learned About Globalisation
“At an IAMCP Spain social event in Marbella during 2014, we had the privilege to meet and hear Fernando Martín talk about the internationalization process of his company AERTEC Solutions.* Fernando’s presentation “Learning to Be International” was interestingly articulated in “ten lessons learnt”, reflecting on their experience. We asked Fernando to re-work his presentation into a blog post, which he kindly did, so today we thank him and AERTEC Solutions for sharing their solid advice with you on the TBK Consult blog. Their “lessons” are useful for most technology-based businesses.” Wagner Moll, TBK Consult.
As the Marketing Manager for AERTEC Solutions, I’ve seen my company’s globalisation process first hand.
It all began 13 years ago with our first contract outside Spain. Since then, we’ve managed to carry out projects in 19 countries spread out over the five continents. We’ve made many mistakes along the way, which could be summed up in these ten lessons we’ve learnt:
- Lesson 1 – Go Out And Compete
Nobody’s waiting for us out there. We’ve got to be aware that the geographic market we’re targeting already has its demand covered, probably by services and/or products very similar to our own, which are already perfectly adapted to existing needs. Get ready because you’re going to have to “fight your corner”.
- Lesson 2 – Base Yourself On What Truly Differentiates You
- Lesson 3 – Don’t Go After All Opportunities
It doesn’t make sense to chase up each new opportunity. Analyse each of them, measure up your strengths and those of the competition and then size up your real chances. Go in with everything you’ve got, not half-heartedly, but only fight for those opportunities where you’re truly competitive due to your capabilities and experience.
- Lesson 4 – Choose The Countries Where You’re Going To Work Well
In a globalisation process, it doesn’t make sense to sell everywhere in the world right from the beginning. Study the countries where you consider you can work and choose only the countries where you can compete better due to cultural knowledge, ease, demand and the competition.
- Lesson 5 – Get Ready To Change
When you start to sell abroad, it’s essential to ensure you’re ready for it. You’ll probably have to adapt your organisation, your current capabilities and/or add even more capabilities (market research, international finance, foreign legislation, cultural knowledge, language skills, etc.).
- Lesson 6 – In Order To Become Global, Start Within Your Own Company
Is your workforce international? Are they ready to spend long periods away from home living in other cultures? If the answers to these questions are no, you’ve got to recruit different people for your workforce, multicultural people with an international vocation, who feel comfortable in the new environment and with new circumstances.
- Lesson 7 – Your Representative Or Agent Is Vital
He or she is going to represent your company in distant places. Values, culture and know-how have to be led by this person in the destination country thousands of miles away. You have to take into account that knowing the local market is just as important as properly conveying your own corporate culture and know-how.
- Lesson 8 – Visualise Your Company as a Global Company Right From the Start
Today a company is global right from the start. Globalisation processes will either be easier or more difficult depending on your company’s structure right from the beginning. All details count. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the market is becoming increasingly global, even though your activities have begun at home.
- Lesson 9 – You Need A Plan
It may seem obvious, but experience has shown otherwise. It’s essential to have a plan. It’s necessary to design a comprehensive plan in order to minimise mistakes, including any deviations from it and the corresponding contingencies. This is the only way to minimise risks and, thus, avoid losing money.
- Lesson 10 – Don’t Forget The Internet
The Internet is a very powerful global communications channel. Sometimes, however, we’re not aware that it must be nurtured on a daily basis to squeeze the most out of it. Upload content, structure posts and pages properly, measure, analyse and review, over and over again.
Have you come across any of these lessons yourself?
AERTEC Solutions is a multinational engineering and consultancy company specialising in aeronautics. It has undertaken projects and studies in 21 countries, in addition to participating in the world´s largest aeronautical programmes, with reference projects at over 70 international airports. Its value proposition is based on expert knowledge that embodies the essence of the aerospace industry, airports and aviation. It shares a comprehensive vision which comprises the airport life cycle (design, development and operation) the aircraft industrial cycle (industrialisation, manufacture and testing), and the design and development of aerospace & defence systems.
*AERTEC Solutions was an internationalization success story presented by the Spanish Foreign Trade agency ICEX.