South West Trade Specialist Enjoys Stellar Year Amidst Rising Demand for Export Assistance

by Anna

Devon-based International Trade Matters Poised for Record Growth as Companies Embrace Global Trade Blueprint


In response to a surging demand for guidance in exploring international markets, a seasoned trade specialist in the South West region is on track to achieve a groundbreaking year. Linda Middleton-Jones, the visionary behind International Trade Matters, established in 2017, has been instrumental in steering approximately 40 businesses each month towards overseas success through a strategic blend of counsel and practical training.


As the base of her operations lies in Devon, this thriving enterprise is well-positioned to augment its sales figures by an impressive 25%, congruent with the nationwide deployment of its proprietary Global Trade Blueprint (GTB). Distinguished by its “Lean and Sensemaking” principles, this implementation tool has been hailed as transformative for manufacturers aiming to thrive in tumultuous and uncertain trading landscapes.

The GTB serves as a robust preparatory mechanism for business resurgence, expansion, and global integration. By furnishing companies with unparalleled market insights, it empowers them to construct pivotal building blocks that carefully factor in worldwide volatility and diverse trading intricacies.

Linda Middleton-Jones, who was recognized as the Most Influential Woman in Multi-Sector Commerce last year, remarked on the distinctiveness of International Trade Matters: “A significant void existed in international support between the offerings of Chambers of Commerce and the Department for Business & Trade. This is where International Trade Matters emerges as a leader.” She emphasized the company’s journey of cultivating expertise in compliance, spanning Intellectual Property (IP), and excelling in sectors such as marine, automotive, and aerospace. These facets seamlessly dovetail into the novel Global Trade Blueprint, which provides steadfast backing for businesses across all stages of their export ventures.

Structured as a four-week online course, the GTB sessions convene on Wednesday mornings from 9 am to 12.30 pm, allowing manufacturing management teams to stay connected with their operations while dedicating time to background work between sessions. The curriculum crafts a strategic framework to ensure triumph in foreign markets by mitigating risks. Participants will meticulously assess their capacity, competency, and capability to meet quality, cost, and delivery requisites within overseas markets. A deep dive into the optimal markets for their offerings will follow suit.

Furthermore, delegates will embark on a journey of self-discovery regarding their leadership styles, attitudes, and biases, thereby furnishing a mechanism to inspire, retain, and cultivate high-performing teams.

Linda elaborated on upcoming opportunities: “The forthcoming cohort is scheduled for September 13th, with slots available for four enterprises. Subsequent phases, comprising three cohorts, are slated for the ensuing months.” Reservations are currently being accepted for the September, October, and November iterations, wherein up to eight directors will be meticulously guided through the intricate post-Brexit landscape, encompassing critical themes such as negotiation intricacies, global challenges, and the fortification of supply chains.

Having already supported over 100 businesses in embracing the Global Trade Blueprint, International Trade Matters has facilitated an enhanced comprehension of challenges, compliance nuances, distribution networks, and nascent markets – both current and future. Chris Walker, CEO of Diamond Hard Surfaces, attested to the value of the program: “GTB emerged as an invaluable and practical process, whether applied holistically to our business or strategically for international trade expansion. The sensemaking aspect enriched our grasp of our present position, culminating in a structured visual map that offered clarity in uncharted territories. Collaborative learning within the cohort allowed us to rigorously assess our plans and obtain constructive insights.”

Linda Middleton-Jones, who was also the visionary behind the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service’s National Manufacturing Barometer, summed up the prevailing scenario: “Undoubtedly, there’s a palpable demand for specialized independent export support. So much so that we’re witnessing a marked upsurge in companies seeking our guidance. We’re seamlessly fusing Lean principles into the export landscape, empowering companies to amplify their competitive edge and global visibility.”

She concluded with optimism: “The UK’s legacy of manufacturing prowess, innovation, and cutting-edge technology remains steadfast. Despite the manifold challenges and additional hurdles, international trade continues to stand as an exceptional conduit for business expansion.”

Building on her wealth of international trade expertise, Linda Middleton-Jones has already delivered keynote addresses in Milton Keynes and Belfast. Her upcoming ‘Lean into Export’ discourse is slated for the Glasgow Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference on October 25th.


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