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IMO plans to go global via the Web

01 November, 1999

IMO plans to go global via the Web


The electrical and automation component supplier IMO Precision Controls is aiming to expand into a global operation through a partnership with Farnell and the introduction of a Web-based ordering system.

At present just 10% of IMO`s business is outside the UK, but group commercial manager Andy Brereton hopes to boost this to 25-30% within five years. Over this period, he is aiming to raise IMO`s total turnover from around £20m to £30m.

IMO has suffered major blows in recent years when two of its key suppliers - Omron and Control Techniques - decided to sell their products directly. Following these losses, the company decided not to rely so heavily on single suppliers and has spread its portfolio to include more than a dozen suppliers. Its catalogue now contains about 7,000 items.

The company is also making greater use of distributors and aims to obtain more than half of its business through this route. Earlier this year is agreed a deal for Farnell to put around 1,500 of its fastest-moving products in the mail-order company`s catalogue. This deal gives IMO access to the 140 countries in which Farnell operates.

Coupled with this, IMO has set up a Web site allowing customers around the world to order its products. Orders will be handled by the local Farnell operation if it stocks the required items. IMO is also setting up distribution and partnership agreements with local suppliers. For example, it has signed up a Spanish distributor and is planning to form a joint venture in Italy.

According to Brereton, IMO has been investing about 10% of its turnover in developing its new strategy. "We hope it will give us a quantum leap in growth," he says.

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