Mike recently did a workshop with eight companies from Trondheim.
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

The Procurement Directory: How a Gosforth company is changing the face of UK exports

If you want to have a conversation about exporting, specifically exporting with Norway, then Mike Pedersen is your man. His business, The Procurement Directory, headquartered in Gosforth Newcastle, is quite simply becoming an essential tool for many of the biggest players in the UK export industry.

The Procurement Directory is a website containing the information of over 7000 companies globally. The site enables businesses from the oil, gas and energy sector supply chain to buy, sell and communicate with each other, as well as arranging to meet and do business at upcoming events.

Mike’s other company, Norway2UK, has provided a conduit for commercial business between Norway and the UK for the last 15 years. Mike explains, “essentially The Procurement Directory is an extension of what I was doing already although now we’re making things even easier for UK businesses”.

“We work to establish direct business links and cooperation between Norwegian and UK companies and organisations.” Such cooperation includes inward investment, joint ventures and trade, which can all be achieved through signing up to the site and making the most of features such as ‘Meet me’.

With 40 years in the business and 15 years experience of working with Norwegian energy companies in particular, Mike most recently held a workshop with 8 companies from Trondheim. Embarking on a similar mission four years ago, he is now hoping to locate new overseas companies in the North East as he has done previously.

Clearly passionate about the region as well as his work, Mike is proud to say all development of The Procurement Directory happened within the North East. And it seems the site is only set to increase in popularity with international business and economic growth being at the forefront of many minds, especially in the build up to the election.

Earlier this month both Nicola Bolton of UKTI and Richard Waterhouse of RIBA Enterprises voiced the importance of export and trade to build business - The Procurement Directory provides a fast route in doing exactly that.

Nicola Bolton, UKTI managing director of Trade, said: “Exporting is vital to the UK economy. Medium-sized businesses play a vital role in creating jobs, boosting skills and helping to reduce the trade deficit.”

Nicola explained UKTI is targeting inward investment, supporting UK businesses to build capacity and begin exporting. By increasing manufacturing and keeping the supply chain local, it is hoped that businesses will no longer be so reliant on overseas suppliers.

Moreover, a company who has had significant success since expanding their trade outside the UK is RIBA Enterprises, the Knowledge Management business of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Chief executive, Richard Waterhouse spoke of why it was time for international development, he said: “Business has become global,”

“With global standardisation there is huge opportunity for international growth, but businesses often wonder where to go first.

“There is a lot to think about: ease of entry into a particular country; size of potential market; and whether or not there will be a good relationship fit.”

This is only good news for Mike. He said: “One of the best tools the industry now has is The Procurement Directory. Professionals can be contacted with ease, with social media what it is today people can check out companies within seconds. We’re bringing those professionals together in a digital business environment and people are loving it.

“Once companies sign up its very easy to use and you can connect to those who want to your products or services and vice versa. You can follow which events on the circuit people have been to and which they’re going to attend too.

And for Mike, an entrepreneur who has already seen and done so much in the industry, he has a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy himself.

Talking with passion and overwhelming belief in the importance the site has in benefitting the industry he tells me, “I’ve been in this business for a long time and we’re always looking to improve and make things more efficient - The Procurement Directory has answered that. I’m excited to watch us grow, help more businesses and play a big part in building the economy.”

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