AT first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking Ellis is a local firm for local people.

Tucked out of sight in the picturesque village of Rillington, 75 per cent of its workforce live in Rillington or its outlying villages, while it also employs nine local residents to carry out piece work in their own homes.

But that’s where the quaint, local imagery stops, because Ellis is a truly global business with a reputation for being the best in the world at what it does.

The firm, which is vying for the Dare to Export Award and Large Business of the Year, manufactures cable cleats and clamps, which are used to secure electrical cables in a wide variety of installations across the world.

This year well over half of its £8million sales total will be accounted for by export sales, built from major growth compared to the early 2000's when export was something Ellis only dabbled in.

Today Ellis has a four strong export team working out of Rillington, supported by a network of 26-distributors, based in prime locations in key export markets.

Ellis’ products are specified and installed around the world, with recent export success including the Novo Rail project in Sydney, Australia; the Shamiya Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; and the Areva EPP nuclear power plant in Taishan, China.

Ellis managing director Richard Shaw said: "Ellis’ export success has been built on a strong and extremely focused sales strategy, which is tied into a tried and trusted formula for entering, establishing a presence, and generating on-going sales in different geographical markets.

"Of course, it’s all well and good having good systems’ in place, but it’s imperative to be able to react positively to opportunities when they are presented. Recent examples of this ability have been found in Germany and Romania.

"What has been achieved so far is just the tip of the iceberg."

Ellis’s export sales team ranks every country in the world by market sector and potential, and is continually working its way through the list to ensure that when it expands into new countries, it expands into those ranked as the most likely to deliver on-going sales success.

The capacity of the export team is also set to grow as a result of the appointment of an export market researcher whose full-time focus will be on new geographical markets.

Mr Shaw added: "You only need to look around the office to see how we’ve made people think bigger.

"This used to be a local business, working on a small scale with solely UK customers. People who once raised their eyebrows at a trip to Scotland now work on a global scale.

"We really are a local company that thinks big and thinks globally in every aspect of everything we do."