Canadian electrical components supplier Cleeve Technology (CTI) has opened its first UK office and hopes its innovative business model can be applied in smaller markets outside Canada.

CTI was formed to help electrical component manufacturers gain business with Canada's aerospace industry, describing itself as falling somewhere between an original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) procurement department and a parts distributor. It pitches deals to foreign component suppliers that might otherwise ignore the relatively small Canadian market, and manages inventory and supply once deals have been agreed.

"The big component manufacturers didn't put much effort into marketing in the relatively small Canadian market," says co-founder Paul Church, "and the domestic OEMs didn't always know where to look to get the best deals."

The company has diversified beyond aerospace, but still counts the industry as its largest market, accounting for 45% of business. Among its Canadian OEM customers are Bombardier and Goodrich Landing Gear, and with Rolls-Royce also a customer it is looking to emulate its success in the UK. "The UK is starting to work for us, and we could offer a great service to the Australians and the Japanese," says Church.

He says the industry downturn helped CTI by pressuring manufacturers to cut procurement costs, but believes it will be difficult to prevent them bypassing CTI once volumes start to increase again.

Source: Flight International