InterTalk: Innovation in Business Champion of the Year
Friday, October 12, 2018
As one of the 2018 Nova Scotia Export Achievement Award winners, InterTalk Critical Information Systems has made exporting an integral part of their business strategy. Based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the company was crowned Innovation in Business Champion of the Year at the annual award celebration on June 12.
Designing and manufacturing customized critical information systems that help police, fire departments, transit, utilities, and other mission-critical agencies, InterTalk's communication tools are in demand across North America. With most customers located in the US, the team at InterTalk speaks matter-of-factly about the necessity of exporting and is confident their business couldn't operate without it.
"Without export, we simply couldn't survive. For us it is a necessity," says Chris Oldham, President.
With the ability to build customized, niche products, the company successfully secures extensive, multi-year projects and works with major government and private clients from coast to coast in the US. Their secret to landing new contracts? Listen, and give your clients what they need. "We've had customers come to us wanting something that didn't exist. Then this little company from Nova Scotia came along and said, 'hey, we can build that!'. "Being willing to really listen to the customer sets us apart in these large markets," says Jeff Kelly, Sales and Marketing Manager.
To support their export efforts, they've used a variety of Nova Scotia Business Inc.'s export development programs and services, including the Export Growth Program and the Trade Market Intelligence (TMI) service. Last year, the company attended a trade show in Las Vegas and were approached by a potential buyer from Abu Dhabi. Having never done business in the United Arab Emirates, they were unfamiliar with the country's business culture, regulations, and how to operate in that market. "When you're doing business in a new place, certain missteps can be disastrous. Things like intellectual property, finances, and your company's reputation can be at stake. Through the TMI service, we worked with NSBI to learn about the market, and came away with a lot of insightful information that was digestible and easy to understand."
InterTalk believes Canada has a trust-worthy, favourable brand in the global marketplace, beneficial for doing business abroad. But with a world full of opportunity - and competition - it's important to make sure you've done your research and know where to focus your efforts.
"It's really important to have access to trustworthy, reliable intelligence. It gives companies the support and confidence to enter the market with knowledge and an understanding of what it will be like. For example, through the TMI research we received, we found that Abu Dhabi is a surprisingly price-sensitive market. This helped us make decisions on how to best approach those customers and shaped our strategy on how to negotiate."
With a product that's universally needed across North America, Europe and Australia, and can be used across industries like public safety, government, transportation and energy, InterTalk focuses on building quality products that can speak for themselves. "We're a small company in Nova Scotia. We don't have someone representing us in markets all over the world, so our strategy has always been about finding a way to break into the market and providing a quality product that keeps people coming back."
Does your business need custom research to understand new markets? Learn more about how the Trade Market Intelligence service can help grow your business.