Furitechnics: Sharper Thinking

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Background

Füritechnics was founded by Mark Henry in 1996. As Managing Director, Mark led Füritechnics from its foundation to its current multi-million dollar turnover. He developed both the products and marketing strategy that has established Füri as a leading professional brand in Australia, and generated significant worldwide exports and recognition.

The success of the range of Füri knives and chefs accessories is based on their superior performance. Mark takes old concepts and researches the ‘real world’ functions that chefs and cooks need to make their working life faster, easier, safer, and cleaner. Mark only releases a product if it is an innovative solution, and only if his customers understand and appreciate its value.

Challenge

With a large percentage of the founders’ capital invested in research and development and growth activities, Füritechnics sought alternative sources of funding. In 2001, they turned to the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) Scheme. However, as all Furitechnics products are manufactured in China, they were refused access to the scheme.

Solution

In 2004, Füritechnics contacted Export Solutions. They were still interested in seeking Government funding and after lengthy discussions, it was decided that they should try once again to gain access to the EMDG program under the Significant Net Benefit provisions, which allows for overseas manufacturing.

How it works

  • Export Solutions developed a detailed Significant Net Benefit application, taking into consideration all the requirements under the relevant legislation, and submitted it to the Austrade EMDG State Manager for assessment
  • Following a positive initial response from Austrade, Export Solutions assisted Füritechnics to compile their eligible expenditure under EMDG and submit their claim to Austrade
  • Early 2005, Austrade visited the client, and with assistance from Export Solutions, the audit requirements for the Grant were satisfied. Füritechnics was one step closer to the funding they desired
  • A further, more detailed, Significant Net Benefit submission was then completed by Export Solutions and sent to the National Manager of the EMDG Scheme in Sydney for approval
  • Approval was granted and Füritechics received over $60,000 in EMDG funding

Quote from the client

“Füritechnics is a company based on innovation leadership, so it made a lot of sense to have partners like Export Solutions. After we were first refused access to the EMDG scheme, Export Solutions created the way forward for us to benefit.”

Some issues

There have been only a handful of applications of this type approved by Austrade. There are many variables to consider when looking at whether or not a company will be able to meet the criteria for Significant Net Benefit, but this precedent should spur similar companies to investigate the benefits of the EMDG program.

Key benefits

  • Whilst the funding obtained is a reimbursement of expenses already incurred, this funding will be reinvested in international marketing activities to enable Füritechnics to further expand its export markets
  • Füritechnics is building a world wide, world class brand which brings jobs and profits to Australia

The future

Füritechnics will continue to expand its export markets, using the EMDG to fund continued marketing expenditure. It will also continue to develop innovative products to meet the needs of both domestic and international markets.

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