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4. International trade fairs and Greek family SME

4.1 Why SME family businesses?

Family businesses constitute a severe part of the global economy and they have an important role in the international market. Undoubtedly they are one of the oldest forms of business while the number of their existence is steadily increasing.

Family businesses range from small and medium-sized companies to large conglomerates that operate in multiple industries and countries. Some of the well-known family businesses include: Salvatore Ferragamo, Benetton, and Fiat Group in Italy; L'Oreal, Carrefour Group, LVMH, and Michelin in France; Samsung, Hyundai Motor, and LG Group in South Korea; BMW, and Siemens in Germany; Kikkoman, and Ito-Yokado in Japan; and finally Ford Motors Co, and Wal-Mart Stores in the United States.( Correy Stern, 2015)

4.1.1 Small and Medium- Size Enterprises ( SME)

As mentioned, the number of family businesses varies and is separated both in small, medium and multinational. However, the selection of SMEs was made for two main reasons.

Firstly, the Organization for Economic Co‐operation and Development found in their report on Employment, Innovation and Growth (OECD) that SMEs are vital for the economies of the OECD‐member countries, since a large part of the employment and national GDP is created in these companies. Therefore, SMEs can give jobs to a large share of a country's workforce, add considerable share to the total business turnover and make a country's economy more flexible. (OECD, 2002)

The second reason for focusing on SMEs is that the international business environment is more and more accessible for small companies to engage in international activities due to technological and political advances. Additionally, a gradually growing number of organizations are established to contribute to the development of CSR and in particular for SMEs which would enable them to have a lead and establish a competitive advantage.

4.2 Manufacturing Industries in Greece

The focus in this thesis will be on manufacturing family firms. This is mainly due to the fact that in Greece family firms are occupying with the industry and also present the highest development rate in recent years.

4.2.1Family Firms & Characteristics

Definition

A family business refers to a company where the voting majority is in the hands of the controlling family, including the founder(s) who intend to pass the business on, to their descendants. The terms “family business”, “family firm”, “family company”, “family-owned business”, “family-owned company”, and “family-controlled company” are some of the common terms.

A firm in which one or more family members own at least 50% of the firm's shares and the CEO of the firm perceives the company to be a family business. (Sharma, P., 2004).

4.2.2 Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

Several studies have shown that family-owned companies outperform their non-family counterparts in terms of sales, profits, and other growth measures. A Thomson Financial study for Newsweek compared family firms to rivals on the six major indexes in Europe and showed that family companies outperformed their rivals on all of these indexes, from London\'s FTSE to Madrid\'s IBEX. Thomson Financial created a unique index for both family and non-family firms in each country, and tracked them over 10 years through December 2003. In Germany, the family index climbed 206 percent, while the non-family stocks increased just 47 percent. In France, the family index surged 203 percent, while its counterpart rose only 76 percent. Family businesses also outperformed their counterparts in Switzerland, Spain, Britain and Italy. ( IFC Family Business Governance, 2008)

This high performance is the result of the inherent strengths that family businesses have compared to their counterparts. Some of these strengths include:

• Commitment. The family –as the business owner– shows the highest dedication in seeing its business grow, prosper, and get passed on to the next generations. As a result, many family members are identified by the company and are usually willing to work harder and reinvest part of their profits into the business to allow it to grow in the long term.

• Knowledge Continuity. Families in business make it a priority to pass their accumulated knowledge, experience, and skills to the next generations. Many family members get immersed into their family business from a very young age. This increases their level of commitment and provides them with the necessary tools to run their family business.

• Reliability and Pride. Because family businesses have their name and reputation associated with their products and/or services, they strive to increase the quality of their output and to maintain a good relationship with their partners (customers, suppliers, employees, community, etc.).  ( IFC Family Business Governance, 2008)

Weaknesses

Perhaps the most often cited characteristic of family businesses is that many of them fail to be sustainable in the long term. Indeed about two-thirds to three-quarters of family businesses either collapse or are sold by the founder(s) during their own tenure. Only 5 to 15 percent continue into the third generation in the hands of the descendants of the founder(s). ( IFC Family Business Governance, 2008)

This high rate of failure among family businesses is attributed to a multitude of reasons. Some of these reasons are the same ones that could make any other business fail such as poor management, insufficient cash to fund growth, inadequate control of costs, industry and other macro conditions. However, family businesses also show some weaknesses that are especially relevant to their nature. Some of these weaknesses are:

• Complexity. Family businesses are usually more complex in terms of governance than their counterparts due to the addition of a new variable: the family. Adding the family emotions and issues to the business increases the complexity of issues that these businesses have to deal with. Unlike in other types of businesses, family members play different roles within their business, which can sometimes lead to a non-alignment of incentives among all family members.

• Informality. Because most families run their businesses themselves (at least during the first and second generations), there is usually very little interest in setting clearly articulated business practices and procedures. As the family and its business grow larger, this situation can lead to many inefficiencies and internal conflicts that could threaten the continuity of the business.

• Lack of Discipline. Many family businesses do not pay sufficient attention to key strategic areas such as: CEO and other key management positions' succession planning, family member employment in the company, and attracting and retaining skilled outside managers. Delaying or ignoring such important strategic decisions could lead to business failure in any family business. ( IFC Family Business Governance, 2008)

4.3 PEST analysis of Greek SME family companies

Political/legal Environment of Greek SME family business

Greek companies are placed in a country with political instability and severe changes in political leadership due to differences of political parties towards the austerity measures. Greece is very dependent in the international trade. Economy instability causes a lot of damages in people living in Greece and in businesses performing in Greece. Greek regions have become more autonomous, thus regional authorities have more responsibilities meaning that bureaucracy has increased and difficulties concerning servicing people are a typical phenomenon in Greece.

Economic external Environment of Greek SME family business

There are extremely advert macroeconomic circumstances. There is high debt of the country and high inflation rate. Moreover, austerity measures and macroeconomic policy are subject to scrutiny by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. Greece needs to decrease future yearly spending and further increase future taxes to avoid further increase of the government\'s debt to GDP.  This situation directly affects all companies placed in Greece.

Socio-cultural external environment Of Greek SME family business

Greece is affected by economic crisis and all these unfavorable circumstances and there is observed a Slow Population Growth rate. In particular, the sharp rise in unemployment among primary earners has raised the risk of poverty. Because of the gaps in the social safety net, and because long term unemployment will probably remain high in the foreseeable future, the plight of adults and children in jobless households has now become Greece's new social question. Policy responses to the social effects of the crisis have been misguided, inadequate or both. Welfare reform did produce some improvements, but most cuts were indiscriminate, causing hardship and disrupting health and social services. Labor market deregulation was guided by the belief that lowering workers' compensation and weakening labor market institutions was the key to restoring competitiveness. This is not the case: the trade balance has improved, but primarily through a fall in imports rather than a growth in exports. In the meantime, pay and conditions for workers have worsened. Reform of public administration was necessary, but was converted to a simple reduction in numbers of public employees. The sustained effort that is necessary to modernize the Greek state is still lacking.

Technological external environment of Greek SME family business

There is a huge increase of Greek people using new technology. Internet, PC and tablet users in Greek region are in high percentages. People accept new technology and spend money on this.  As a result Greek SME companies have the opportunity to function in a country that people are and can be more informed through internet.

5. Selected Greek SME family owned Firms in our study

5.1.  The case of Voulis Chemicals

The beginning of Voulis Chemicals is in 1983, when the company was first established in Naousa, Imathias. At the moment it is still based in the same town and  has privately owned facilities of 5000m2.

The company started its export activities in 1997.  The first country they targeted at was Turkey. Initially, within a period of approximately 5 years the company's export activity was limited to this country. In 2002, Voulis Chemicals also founded the first subsidiary company VOULIS - NNG CHEM, in Istanbul.  Nowadays, the company has succeeded to have 450 official sales points in Istanbul and other 650 in the rest of Turkey. Τhe second subsidiary of the company was founded in 2003 in Bitola, FYROM, and is now able to serve more than 250 sale points in FYROM. In 2013 was founded the third subsidiary in Bucharest, Romania with the name VOULIS CHEMICALS SRL. In 2016 was also founded the fourth subsidiary in Mladenovac Serbia with the name VLS Chem.

5.1.1. The Company

Voulis Chemicals specializes in the “car clean, care and protection” sector regarding chemical production for the market. The company is considered one of the largest in Greece in this productive activity. The main activities of  Voulis Chemicals is to design, produce and provide chemical products for applications in the car. The company is mainly aimed at car washes, petrol stations, garages and also operates in the retail sale (including shops accessories, Super Market etc.) or in industrial and ships.

5.1.2 Voulis Chemical Company export activity

Voulis Chemicals has a wide range in its export activities. The company exports its products in more than 30 countries. The main exporting countries are:

a.  Balkan: Albania, Fyrom, Bosnia, Kosovo,Serbia

b.  Widely in Europe: Romania, Italy, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Sweden, Portugal,  Cyprus

c.  Asian: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Lebanon, Hong Kong.

The company does not have a steady marketing strategy to each of the exporting countries. It adjusts to the marketing needs of each one so he marketing strategies used by the firm to establish itself in a market vary from country to country. For example in some of the markets mentioned above the company created

• a subsidiary company which undertook the whole responsibility of the organization and distribution of our products.

• In some other markets worked with a local distribution company which require sole representative for the whole country.

• While in some other markets the company is working with different clients without exclusive representation.

5.1.3 Voulis Chemicals participation in trade fairs

The company\'s main target is generally to penetrate to as many markets as possible in the best possible way. It gives a lot of effort in promoting its brand name. This is mainly achieved by participating in various global exhibitions around Europe, China and Middle East in order to increase its customer base and also familiarize people interested in this sector with its branding. Some pictures of this effort are shown bellow.

Automechanika Dubai 2015

Automechanika Hong Kong 2013

Automechanika Frankfurt 2016

5.1.4 Internal analysis of Voulis Chemicals

To begin with there must be a situation analysis of Voulis Chemicals Company. Situation analysis is the methods used by managers  to analyze a company's internal and external environment. Moreover it is used to understand the organization\'s capabilities, buying personas, and in general the whole business environment. The situation analysis consists of several methods of analysis. We are going to start by analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Voulis Chemicals company.

SWOT analysis of Voulis Chemicals

  STRENGTHS

First of all, due to the fact that we analyze a medium sized company there are a lot of opportunities that promotes flexibility of the company's ability to deal with its clients. Company\'s mechanisms regarding servicing customers work faster and are flexible due to the speed that any information is spread to one another. This happens because there are not several different departments that big organizations usually are comprised of, with lots of people working and thus there is low bureaucracy in internal transactions.  This can be considered as a strength because it can perform with faster results comparing to its huge competitors who may own a large amount of customers worldwide, but they lack of service speed because of the low flexibility. Moreover, there is no need to say that a severe advantage, is that Voulis Chemicals Company is able to function properly using only a small number of employees. This happens because most of the work is done by machines. This is a notably serious advantage of the company because there are many working hours with less human mistakes that usually exist in a high employee company.  Continuing, the work force of Voulis Chemicals consists of people who speak different languages and the firm develops partnerships with external multilingual. The official site of the company is translated into 13 languages including Chinese-Russian-Arabic. By using the above methods the Company has achieved to be  a well recognized brand by European, Asian and Middle-East people which contain huge a part of its expansions.

WEAKNESSES

 The weaknesses that Voulis Chemicals has are important. First of all, it is placed in Greece where the economic crisis especially this period of time is huge. Thus, the company lacks of sufficient capital to finance the business operations worldwide. Even though in earlier times, business could depend on external funding providers such as banks so as to expand further, there are no banks in Greece willing to give loans and support the growth of businesses. So it must count on its own strengths. This is a notably serious weakness of a company among its huge German, Italian and American competitors who are placed in strong economies and thus can be financed better and easier.  Moreover, Voulis Chemicals is not well digitally designed worldwide. Company lacks of new technological trends of marketing such as phone applications, friendly website to smart phones and email marketing. Even though the company appears to be well educated in high product innovations, it lacks of promoting them in the best way possible.

 OPPORTUNITIES

 Opportunities in this business sector are a lot. First of all, the company can perform better in organizing a digital marketing strategy that can be spread worldwide. Moreover, due to the fact that European legislation is getting stricter on the matters of ecological concerns, Voulis Chemicals has achieved to have ecological friendly products and attract huge organizations that need these kinds of products. Moreover, Voulis Chemicals can perform better in servicing its clients. The website should be friendlier for the user and personnel which can be achieved in many ways that will be discussed further down so as the customers will feel that are served better. In general, a better promoting of the company\'s strengths will give a boost to increase sales and recognition.

THREATS

Threats could be measured in various ways concerning the company. There are environmental threats that could affect business. As legislation gets stricter every year as it concerns environmental protection, it results in a direct effect in all chemical companies such as Voulis Chemicals. Moreover, changes in terms of client\'s needs and preferences may also affect the operations of the business. The company has to pay attention to the needs and preferences of the customers so as to consistently meet their expectations.  Furthermore, competition is huge in this sector and Voulis Chemicals have to fight daily against huge corporations that are financial strong to promote their job. On the other hand, there are also low budget Chinese or Turkish companies that bring cheap low quality products to the market with no specifications. This must be on the attention of the company because clients should be informed that low cost chemicals products are not as alluring as their prices and can cause serious damages.

5.1.5 Data analysis of Voulis Chemicals

Concerning the questionnaire that Voulis Chemical\'s CEO answered, there are a lot of data that need to be analyzed. Voulis chemicals is an export company that participates in trade fairs for many years. In particular, in 2007 was the first international exhibition that the company participated in. Before that, many local exhibitions were counted in the overall participation of Voulis chemicals in trade fairs.  The company participates in almost four to five international trade fairs every year since 2007. These exhibitions are mostly taking place in Europe and Asia, and these are the places where Voulis Chemicals has developed most its business relations. The company\'s perception about where to exhibit is that a company should take part both in new market countries where there are no business relations so as to create new ones and also to already \"client\" countries where the establishment of the brand is crucial. Thus, people in this company believe that the participation is advantageous for the firm for many reasons. Reasons such as promotion of the company, public relations and a possible order placement are the main reasons. Whereas, also increased exports and brand establishment are very important and can be achieved through this continuous participation.

As far as the export activity of Voulis Chemicals is concerned, the data shows that trade fairs were a crucial factor that boost the exports of the company. At year 2007, there was only a small percentage that is counted 5% of the total turnover where export activity was counted in the company. It was mostly in the neighbor countries Fyrom and Turkey. However, after the first 2007 participation in an international trade fair, the next year 2008 found the exports of the company to reach for the first time a total of 8% of the turnover. Countries such as Romania and Albania became also the new clients. Turkey at these years shows also a big increase in the turnover. Nowadays, after almost nine years of continuous participation in international trade fairs, Voulis Chemicals finds that the export activity compared to the total turnover of the company to have reached an approximately 35 %, and is growing steadily year by year. The company has reached a level where the was an establishment of the company in European and Asian countries, where people even if they are not yet clients, however they are familiar with Voulis Chemicals brand name. Moreover, these years the company has established four subsidiaries companies, Voulis-NNG in Turkey, Voulis Chem in FYROM, Voulis Chemicals SRL in Romania and Voulis Chemicals Serbia. The net of the clients around the world are mostly in European countries such as Balkans, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, Romania, Russia. Moreover there is a strong presence also in Asian countries such as UAE, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Syria.

Voulis Chemicals perception, about how affordable can be a participation in international fairs, is that it can be affordable at least once per year for a company that wants to start an export activity since the feedback is very good.

People around the world in general have a good perception for Greek products and the respect the Greek companies. However, the biggest problems that Greek companies face are the place of origin. Even though people around the world respect the Greek business man however, they do not respect the Greek government and laws and due to bureaucracy and economic crisis they are afraid of having business relations with Greek companies. It is a goal that every Greek company must score, that not only have to persuade people to buy its products due to quality and prices but also have to ensure them that besides Greek economy the company will be able to supply them anytime regardless capital controls, raw material, people\'s strikes that keep the sea ports closed and all other problems that financial crisis have brought on the Greek surface. Last but not least, the final comment of the CEO of Voulis Chemicals is that the company will be continuously participating in international trade fairs due to the fact that this is the main reason that the export activity increased.

6. The case of Slider

 SLIDER SA is operating in the demanding area of lubricant production for automotive, industrial, agricultural and marine applications. “Slider” managed to maintain a strong brand name along with experiencing producing high quality lubricants and greases in private label customized to meet the needs of each costumer.

6.1 The company

 Slider\'s Design department has developed a wide range of products giving particular attention to vehicle and machinery performance requirements. The company is struggling to fully comply with Greek and EU Legislative commands that includes all environmental issues, package and label design to meet certain legislative requirements etc. The company\'s dynamic can pack and distribute 16000 tones of lubricants, being the largest independent blending facility in Greece. Slider\'s production plant is equipped with five fully automated - computer controlled blenders, and a  grease production line, three bottling/packing lines with total capacity 4500 ltr/hour and storage tanks for 400 tones.

6.1.2 Slider Company export activity

Company\'s objective is to increase their export activity. The company is exporting in many countries mostly in Eastern Mediterranean,  Middle East and Africa. Countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Cyprus are the main countries of eastern Mediterranean that the company exports to. Main countries of Middle East and Sfrica that are supplied by Slider company are Iran , Egypt, UAE and Jordan.

6.1.3 Slider\' participation in trade fairs

Company\'s main targets are both to export in new markets and expand its sales to existing markets. Its main objective is to create a strong brand name. The company takes part in several global exhibitions around Europe and Middle East in order to increase its brand awareness, customer list. Company tries to sell into new markets but also aims to promote to existing customers in various areas by making the brand name Slider lubricants worldwide recognized. Some pictures of this effort are shown bellow.

Automechanika Frankfurt

Automechanika Dubai

Automechanika Istanbul

6.1.4  SWOT analysis of Slider

 Strengths and weakness of Slider lubricants company

Slider Company is as Leader Company in lubricant sector in Greece. The strengths of the Company are plenty. In general small and medium size enterprises have greater flexibility than larger firms. Slider Company has the capacity to respond rapidly to general lubricant industry developments. They are capable to innovate and generate new products and services faster than larger companies, who often delay due to bureaucracy. Whether reacting to changes in technology, innovations, or a competitor\'s advertising, a small firm usually can make decisions just in few days, not in months or years due to bureaucracy and many people involved in decision making. However, there are also weaknesses that need to be considered. Slider is a small size family company created by Mr Strongylakis and now his daughter Mrs Strogylaki Niovi is in a managerial position. Thus, there is direct commitment of the shareholder and manager and the company.  

 As all kinds of  companies, Slider also has many weaknesses. Those weaknesses are usually handled in short notice in the best possible way. The Company does not have the brand name recognition of larger businesses in the same sector such as Gazprom, BP etc that gain publicity through many locations around the world and the use of huge promotional efforts. Slider has to give greater effort in order to develop a well recognized image, whereas a large chain enjoys an established reputation. Moreover, budget constraints are a severe obstacle that all small businesses experience. They don\'t have the appropriate funds to invest into a research and development department. Moreover advanced technology and marketing efforts must be well countable. All the above have a direct impact to company\'s ability to develop, and offer a high quality solution in terms of -advanced products, advanced marketing efforts, access to many shops worldwide, brand awareness - to its customers. Due to the fact that it is a family business there is a lack of strict organizational structure and many business decisions could be accepted by the shareholder due to emotional reasons. Last but not least, small businesses such as slider lubricants cannot usually compete on price against larger competitors. It is impossible to have profit with a low price strategy and thus a differentiation strategy in products or services is important.

Opportunities and threats of Slider Lubricant Company

Regarding threats, one main factor that the company needs to consider is the protection of its property. For the long-term safety, it is vital to estimate potential threats and build up a business plan to manage those threats. This can be achieved by taking an entire list of all the assets to determine how a loss might affect the business and how the loss can be covered up. This is crucial for small and medium enterprises since assets are less than big organizations and have to be well managed. One second threat that the company needs to consider about is suppliers of raw materials. Especially for Slider lubricant company that is placed in Greece, a small country with  a small number of suppliers, the ability to manage the properly the supply chain where the company relies on, is very crucial. Pricing restrictions bounds the number of possible suppliers. Slider, as most small companies face the threat not to be well supplied, or to be high pricing supplied due to small orders comparable with big organizations. Thus, a good count inventory of the company along with the right choice of suppliers might reduce the threat of losing assets. Globalization, especially for companies that try to exist in international market retain a high level of Competition. Thus slider needs to be flexible and be fully aware of the competition. Especially in the lubricants sector there is a high global competition of big organizations that can offer services and a wide range of products worldwide. Thus, Slider should focus on existing in international competition regarding prices, innovation, technology and a good differentiation strategy. Last but not least, due to the fact that this is a family business, where the two daughters of Mr Strongylakis might be the future shareholders, there is always the threat of possible conflicts between shareholders as members of a family business.

A small company such as Slider company can face new and well counted opportunities. Opportunities such as to enlarge its customer base by growing the exports is crucial. Thus, international fair participation is a huge step for Slider company since, as the results shows from 9% export activity it grown up to 19% in just 4 years. Furthermore, globalization makes the efforts of the company to enlarge its brand name easier, since the brand establishment in world market provides both customers and suppliers to the company.

6.1.5 Data Analysis of Slider lubricant

Concerning the questionnaire that Slider\'s lubricant Ceo answered, we can make useful conclusions concerning their participation in international trade fairs. Slider is an export company that participates in trade fairs for only 4 years. Before that, the presence of the company was only in Greek local exhibitions . The company participates in almost two to three international exhibitions every year from 2012, which are Automechanika Frankfurt, Automechanika Istanbul and Automechanika Dubai. These exhibitions are mostly taking place in countries where Slider company has the most business relations or where there are no business relations so as to create new ones. Slider Company believes that trade fair participation is advantageous for the firm for reasons such as promotion of the company, public relation and new customer base, increase the exports and brand establishment

As far as the export activity is concerned, the data shows trade fairs was a strong factor that increased the exports of the company. In year 2012, there was only 9% exports activity compared to the total turnover of the company and the majority was in the neighbor country Turkey. After the first year of international trade fair participation even though the data shows that there was no increase and the export activity remained stable at 9%, however the entire philosophy of the company was modified and now there is a 10% increase mostly due to trade fair participation.

Slider\'s company view, about how affordable a participation in international fairs could be, is that it can be affordable since there is value for money.  

Slider believes that people around the world in general have a moderate perception for Greek products and respect for the Greek companies. However, they claim that the problem they face worldwide is that Greek companies face political and economic instability. This is a crucial problem since it creates the general view in the people that making business with Greece might be instable. Finally, the last but crucial answer of the CEO of Slider lubricant company is that the company will be continuously participating in international trade fairs due to the fact that this is the main reason that the export activity rapidly increased in the past four years and they estimate 5 % more until the end of 2017.

7. The case of Palaplast

Palaplast S.A. was founded in 1980 by Palatiana brothers with the company name Palaplast S.A. The company started its production line with simple irrigation fittings, and through time they developed great technological knowledge on their sector. The constantly growing needs of the market, the demanding global competition and their ambitions, lead to constant research, development and manufacture of more sophisticated products. Today Palaplast is one of the largest production plants of PE pipes for water supply and irrigation and pressure fittings.

7.1 The company

Situated in the Industrial Area of Thessaloniki the privately owned property of 110000sqm with modernized and up to date facilities and technological machinery ensures the production of high standard quality products.

The main activities of Palaplast is the manufacture of plastic pipes and fittings for agricultural irrigation and water supply applications and heating pipes

 A team of over 200 people produce and promote more than 3.000 irrigation, sanitary and heating products in a production site of  25.000 sq.m. with 6.000 tones capacity, exporting Palaplast products to more than 100 countries all over the world.

 During the summer of 2003 Palaplast started its full-scale re-allocation to new premises in the Industrial Area of Thessaloniki. The process was concluded in December 2004. The total covered area is 25.000sqm from which 9.700sqm are the production facilities. The total area of the industrial premises is 100.000sqm.

7.1.2 Palaplast export activity

Palaplast s.a. is strongly oriented towards exports, exporting its products to more than 100 countries all over the world. The biggest markets abroad are  Arab countries,  Balkans, Mediterranean countries of the EU, Syria and Turkey.  During 2000 a joint venture was founded in Izmir, Turkey which was at first a commercial company. In October 2001 the company PAL-VEP S.A. was incorporated with Palaplast so as to achieve maximum results for both companies. PAL-VEP S.A. used to produce pressure fittings from u-PVC.

7.1.3 Palaplast participation in trade fairs

Company\'s main target is to export in new markets and expand its sales to existing markets. Since Palaplast S.A. already exists in 75 countries, its main purpose when participating in international trade fairs is to increase its market share in every country.  Its main objective is to create a strong brand name. The company takes part in various global exhibitions. Some pictures of their international participation in trade fairs are shown below.

 EIMA 2016, BOLOGNA

The 15th International Exhibition Growtech Eurasia Horticulture, Agriculture and Technology at Antalya, 2015

PISCINA BARCELONA 2013

7.1.4 SWOT analysis of Palaplast SA company

Strengths and weaknesses of Palaplast S.A.

Palaplast S.A is a medium size family company with 37 years of history and experience. It is on their advantage that they have expertise knowledge of their production line and manufacturing process as well as they have a big experience in penetrating in new countries and create a new client net. Palaplast S.A is a family business that was created by three Palatiana brothers at 1980. Thus, it is a severe advantage that there is commitment of the shareholders both in company and through family relations.  One more advantage of the company is that the production plant is equipped with advanced technology and can deliver a wide range of products in the minimum time consuming.  It is as Leader Company in its sector in the domestic Greek market.  Moreover, Palaplast S.A also has high capacity in the export activity that reach the 75 countries worldwide. The company has a wide range of products in 3 sectors of activity irrigation, plumbing & heating. That makes the company able to give solutions to its customers needs in several ways.

On the other hand there are also weaknesses in this company. Due to the fact that it is a family business there is a lack of strict organizational structure. Even thought this could be advantage in a way it could also work as a big disadvantage because some choices could be decided due to emotional reasons.

Opportunities and threats of Palaplast S.A.

There is always the opportunity for the company to promote and expand its products  in new markets – countries. This will increase its market share worldwide.  It can be achieved by using their strong Brand Name of Palaplast that is already very well known in people in their market sector but there is always room for development. Development and creation of new products is always a matter that can be used as a crucial factor to increase market share. Last but not least, continuously research for innovation and quality are important factors for expanding the business.

However there are also possible threats that Palaplast S.A needs to consider. Globalizations, especially for companies that try to exist in international market, not only in their domestic market in our case Greece, have a high level of Competition. Thus, Palaplast should focus on existing in international competition regarding prices, innovation and technology. Last but not least, due to the fact that this is a family business, where the progeny of Palatiana brothers will come in manager positions there is always the threat of possible conflicts between shareholders as members of a family business.

7.1.5 Data Analysis of Palaplast

Concerning the questionnaire that Palaplast S.A. Ceo answered, there are a lot of data and information that conclude whether international trade fair participations increased the exports of the company. Palaplast S.A. is an export company that takes part in several trade fairs per year. Particularly, at 1988, the first international exhibition that the company participated in, took place in Bologna, Italy. Before that, Palaplast participated only in Greek local agriculture fairs. Palaplast participates in more than 10 international exhibitions worldwide every year, most of them concerning agricultural products. These exhibitions are mostly taking place in countries where Palaplast company has the most business relations. Even though the company exports in 100 countries, most of the fairs the company takes part in are in Europe and Asia, however there are also once per years participation in USA and Australia. The company\'s perception about where to exhibit is that a company should takes part both in new market countries and in \'client\' countries.

Palaplast S.A. focuses on trade fair participation since they believe that it is advantageous for the firm for several reasons such as increased exports of the company, public relations and brand establishment.

As far as the export activity Palaplast company is concerned, the data illustrates that trade fairs was a severe factor that increased the exports of the company. At year 1988, there was 31% export activity comparing to the total turnover. It was mostly in neighbor countries such as Turkey, Albania, Serbia. However, after the first year of participation even though the data shows that there was an increase of 5% however, within the years up until now the export activity has raised and reached 51% of export activity compared to the whole turnover.

Palaplast S.A company believes that trade fair participation can be affordable and it is absolutely indispensable especially for exports.

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