Canadian businesses are intensely proud of their roots, and brands often use their country’s heritage as a point of differentiation. When these companies begin to sell internationally, their Canadian legacy sticks with them and remains a competitive advantage. Our #GoGlobal series showcases Canadian businesses that have successfully expanded into international markets, even during challenging times. Learn how these businesses have shown the world Canadian creativity, innovation and imagination at work.
For David Mackereth, President of Triumph Mobility, a high-quality product isn’t simply a selling feature – it’s a way of doing business. Founded in 2012 to address his father’s new mobility needs, Mackereth’s Triumph Mobility manufactures and distributes world-class wheelchairs, rollators (foldable, lightweight walkers) and transport chairs within North America and Japan, and is actively working on expanding into Europe with a new product line.
Triumph’s international presence is a result of their dedication to customer-first usability and quality – they work with companies who share their principles as well as customers who value their standards, even if they’re halfway across the globe.
A commitment to customer satisfaction
“We design our products for the user and their caregiver,” explains Mackereth in a recent conversation. “It’s not good enough to provide an economical product. You can buy a rollator anywhere, but it’s of no use if it’s not stable.”
Following a long stretch of working for someone else’s company, he founded Triumph because he wanted to make a better product for those who needed it. “We believe that every product we sell has a customer’s name on it, which motivates us to be better at everything we do,” his website reads. This commitment to the customer led Mackereth to source companies who share his high standards and principles. Triumph is the exclusive North American distributor for Panthera Rigid Wheelchairs from Sweden and the Rollz Motion Rollator/ Transport Chairs from the Netherlands.
And as a manufacturer of their Escape Rollator line, Triumph focuses on making their products easy to use, easy to travel with and easy to store. “A superior product makes a big difference in a person’s ability to get around, and consequently in their quality of life,” says Mackereth.
The company also sells rollators into Japan. These clients appreciate Triumph’s ability to customize products and deliver to their market effectively. “Our Japanese customers have told us we have the best products and are the easiest to deal with,” he says. Mackereth is hopeful that their new line will enable Triumph to grow in that market – as well as in countries across Europe.
Preparing strategically for expansion
As Triumph Mobility has been busy designing their new product line, their RBC Commercial Account Manager, Ruba Marar, suggested they prepare strategically for their international expansion, first recommending they participate in the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP).
“I felt this program was a great opportunity for David to explore new markets, especially with a new product to launch,” explains Marar. The Trade Accelerator Program is a hands-on international trade workshop that helps businesses scale up, develop an export plan, and put it into action. It covers strategic planning, support services, the logistics involved in optimizing business processes and legal and tax implications of going global.
“We did a big study on going into the European market,” explains Mackereth of TAP. “It was a lot of work and quite intense, but we learned a lot. The program was really worth it.”
Marar also recommended Triumph apply for the EDC-RBC Trade Expansion Lending Program (TELP), which is designed to provide additional working capital to businesses looking to enter new markets. With this lending program, businesses can access additional financing to cover sales in new markets, build capital, finance upfront costs and provide sufficient cash flow to take on new international contracts with confidence.
“TELP is a simple and streamlined working capital solution that fits seamlessly into the loan application process of a business owner’s current financial institution,” says Luc Fournier, Regional Vice-President of Bank Channel at Export Development Canada (EDC). “It gives Canadian companies the ability to quickly secure the financing they need to meet international needs, as well as the confidence to go after new business globally.
With the reach of our partners, like RBC, Export Development Canada (EDC) can help many more businesses in the exporter community succeed internationally.”
“The program is so seamless,” says Mackereth of TELP. “It has allowed me to get my business going and not worry about it. It’s helped me sleep at night.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed some of Triumph’s progress in finalizing their new line, Mackereth can’t wait to launch. “We have done all of our patents, we are ready to sell in 27 countries and we have a bright future ahead,” he says. He’s also looking forward to selling face-to-face at trade shows again – when the time is right.
As for his current North American base, he knows many of them are seniors isolating at home, which has caused some business slow down on his end. But he assures his customers: “We have some really nice products coming up to help you enjoy life again.”
RBC offers advice, access to workshops, information about markets and trade partners, as well as other resources to help business owners expand internationally. Our Go Global Program supports companies early in their trade journey to enable their success today and into the future. Learn More.
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