When Carolyn shared her plans with me to start a blog I first had some doubts. My first question was how a blog can contribute to help you growing your business.
Now we are a couple of months later and I can tell you that we have received multiple positive reactions from many of you, telling us that the information we have provided did enable you to look for new opportunities to expand and grow your business.
This is very encouraging and I want to thank Carolyn, Steven and Charles for their 3-weekly contributions. I also want to thank our guest bloggers for their interesting, positive and very helpful stories.
Now it’s my turn. Carolyn asked me to close each quarter with a blog sharing some information about our business. As so many things are going on, it fortunately is not difficult to pick a subject.
For my first blog I have opted to provide a quick overview of the period from the start of Universal Woods EMEA in July 2011 till today. Universal Woods is the company that manufactures the Unisub, ChromaLuxe, SwitchCase and Resindek brands.
I can tell you that this has been a very exciting period full with interesting adventures.
A journey I wouldn’t have missed!
Universal Woods with Headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky USA was till July 2011 represented in Europe by a distributor. As sublimation was growing very fast and required a stronger focus on the many new markets and applications, the decision was made to establish a European entity looking after the business in EMEA (Europe- Middle-East and Africa). From our EMEA office in Schelle, Belgium we also provide customer service and marketing support to Japan and South-Korea.
This was the best decision that could have been made, which has been proven by the fact that since the start in 2011 our business has grown significantly. In July 2011 we started with 3 people, today we employ 15 people. Due to this growth we already have moved one time and are planning for another move to larger premises early 2016.
Of course we have worked hard, but we also have a group of fantastic people to thank for our success! We are very grateful that we have so many dedicated and loyal partners, distributing and using our Unisub, ChromaLuxe and SwitchCase products.
Without all of you out there, making the efforts promoting, selling or and buying our products, we would have never been where we are today.
Our road to growth however didn’t come for granted. We also face challenges that we need to tackle and overcome.
One of the major challenges today is the volatility of the euro versus the dollar rate. Since the beginning of 2014 the euro has lost 28% of its value to the dollar.
As a company, we support our customers with all our capabilities to deal with this in their markets.
With all the investments we have made to further improve our quality and reducing the costs of our manufacturing processes, we are very confident that we will be able to protect the business that has been built up so carefully.
We are very busy preparing the Fespa which takes place in Cologne, Germany from May 18th till May 22nd.
We will have a +100m² booth and will show a lot of new materials and applications. You can find us in Hall 7, booth number K15.
At the Fespa we will also have our 2015 EMEA catalogue ready for you.
I hope to have the opportunity meeting many of you again, catching up and sharing thoughts and ideas how we can further grow our mutual business. If you have never visited our stand before, please make sure you do in Cologne so we can introduce you to the exciting world of sublimation.
Thank you all for your business and I sincerely hope working with you in the coming years and take advantage of the fast growing market for sublimation.
Please keep reading this blog, sharing it and reacting to it. As we all know: feedback is a gift! We highly value your input.
Erik Wiegman’s career in the Sign and Engraving industry started over 30 years ago. With experience in signage and personalization for many years, in 2005 Erik got involved in sublimation. In 2011 Universal Woods established its own affiliate in Belgium of which Erik became Managing Director. Together with a dedicated team he successfully worked on further expanding the Unisub brand in the EMEA region and bringing ChromaLuxe to the market.
You can contact Erik at firstname.lastname@example.org.