U.K. site expected to add to Southwest Microwave’s European growth

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - With the opening of an office in the United Kingdom, Southwest Microwave, a company that specializes in microwave sensors used in military and industrial applications, expects the European market to account for 30 percent of its business within the next 18 months.

The location opened earlier this year in Eckington, Wor-cestershire, and is the first office of its kind outside of the United States for the company. To handle operations in Europe, it formed a wholly owned subsidiary called Southwest Microwave Ltd.

According to Bob Kirkaldie, director of marketing and sales for Southwest Microwave, the company previously offered its products in Europe through independent distributors.

The new facility enables the company to provide sales, training and technical support for European systems integrators.

Kirkaldie said he believes much of Southwest Microwave’s European business is driven by demand for their patented Intrepid fence-mounted detection system, which can locate intruders to within 10 feet.

Southwest Microwave Ltd.’s new facility includes a demonstration area and conference center for training.

Beyond training and service, the company hopes the expansion will strengthen its marketing activities in Europe.

“We are continuously working to increase day-to-day contact and establish long-term relationships with specialist security consultants and integrators,” said Tony Backx, marketing and support manager for the new subsidiary.

Southwest Microwave staffs a Miami office to service its Latin American clients, but company officials said they have no immediate plans to open additional offices in other parts of the globe.

Michael Rack, vice president of marketing and business development for Senstar-Stellar, wouldn’t comment on his competitor’s increased presence in Europe, but said most companies in this niche market have to go after large customer bases.

“The perimeter market in general is small, only $100 million or so,” he said. “So to be a player, you generally have to be worldwide,” Rack explained.