With South African flags flying high on their impressively large stand at Paperworld Frankfurt 2014, Accent manufacturing was well represented in the language department as well. MD Guido Denys, his marketing manager Lisa and a German representative, between the three of them, offered visitors to their stand a choice of 7 languages.
It’s just one of the aspects that Denys puts down to the success of their product globally, knowledge of the European market. Denys was particularly jubilant when I visited him on his stand. He had just signed an exclusivity agreement with a new client who was there before me.
Accent Manufacturers currently export 75% of their output of their high quality adhesive putty product, all from their humble position in Park Rynie on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. The remaining 25% of business is supplied to companies such as Freedom Stationers, Henkel, Staedtler, Interstat and Shalmay to name a few.
With an obvious flair for entrepreneurship, Denys also cites their success to staying focussed on just one product line within their core competence. “We decided that we would rather focus on doing one product well and be able to extend our footprint globally, than do a lot of different products that scatter your resources,” said Denys.
With a current staff complement of 30 and a turnover of R12 million Denys was also grinning about his new client… they had chosen Accent because Chinese manufacturers were unable to supply them cheaper. “South African companies can’t sit down on the tip of Africa and sulk, they need to get out there and take the initiative to getting seen, heard and signing business,” said Denys. “My client said he would start with a small order – small for him perhaps but it was enough units for me to fill an entire container.”