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A personal view of Fasttec by Steve Smith, Sales Director Northern Precision Ltd

When the alarm goes off at 3 am, waking me in good time to catch a flight via Prague to attend Fasttec in Moscow, it is not the best time of day to ask: why did we [Northern Precision] book a stand at an exhibition in Russia?   At least the motorway was quiet – but it went downhill from there, beginning with the airport breakfast!   Upon arrival at Prague, I discovered that the hotel in Moscow had lost all details of our booking and didn’t have any rooms. No problem, we thought, how hard could it be to find rooms? It turned out to be not a job for the faint hearted, particularly when one’s Russian vocabulary extends only to hello, goodbye and could I have a beer please?   Rooms were eventually found near the airport, then the following four hours were spent on the ‘phone and Internet attempting to source rooms closer to the exhibition centre. I thought then that things couldn’t get any worse. Wrong!   Setting off extra early to get to the fairground and set up the stand, it was soon discovered that customs had not (would not) release the exhibition equipment. After spending eight hours trying to discover, then solve the problems, we were told by customs that our equipment would be delivered first thing next day. Wrong again!   I was then told that the equipment would be delivered by the Saturday – the last day of the show – and that there would be another clearing bill from customs of Euro 2,000.   It was at this stage that I really started to question why we had booked the exhibition, and felt like it was time to cross ‘find a Russian distributor’ off our to-do list and catch the first flight home.   But us Yorkshire lads are made of sterner stuff, and I then set about using my laptop to develop temporary artwork for the stand and finding someone who could reproduce these as colour printouts. We then plastered this make-do artwork all over the stand, and complemented our ‘display’ with various laptop presentations featuring our new website (   This certainly wasn’t the way I had planned our first foray into Russia, but it proved to be a highly successful makeover job since enquiries from prospective distributors came in thick and fast and, as a result, we have identified at least three very capable companies – all of which were able to identify immediate requirements we could satisfy.   Looking back - and without any signs of a nervous twitch! - we have learned a great deal about how to deal with Russia and Russians. So, the early morning alarm call was worth it after all.   Accredited to BS EN ISO 9001:2000, Northern Precision ( is a specialist single-source supplier of fasteners as well as special-purpose turned and cold-formed parts.   The company maintains an extensive variety of 5,000 in-stock standard line items covering most applications and materials. The company supplies self-clinching fasteners, rivet bushes, sheet nuts, high-strength and broaching fasteners, weld nuts and studs, cage nuts and blind rivets, as well as special turned and cold- formed components to customer requirements. Issued April 2005 on behalf of: Northern Precision Ltd, Unit 3 Durham Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster DN3 3FE Tel: 01302 836010 Fax: 01302 836012 Web site: Contact: Mr. Steve Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing Editorial enquiries: Read other news from 2005
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