Macron Dynamics Receives Export Achievment Certificate

May 12, 2011

On April 7, 2011 Macron Dynamics, Inc. received an Export Achievement Certificate at the Trade Winds Forum and Business Development Conference, held in Mexico City, Mexico. This honor was presented to only two American companies. DVIRC had the opportunity to speak with Executive Vice President, Craig Marshall about Macron’s significant export growth.

DVIRC:
I understand that Macron is currently exporting into many countries. How did Macron begin its exporting business?

Craig Marshall:
For the past 15 years Macron has conducted business in Canada through a distributer of our products. Canada was an easy country to establish our export business due to the free trade agreement (the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began on January 1, 1994 removing most barriers to trade and investment among the United States, Canada, and Mexico). * During this same period of time we focused our efforts on our website and specifically improved our search engine optimization. (DVIRC –Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves the ranking or visibility of a website by showing up higher on a search engine’s results page, such as Google, resulting in more visitors to a site). As a result, we received more input from the rest of the world hence, interest in our product. We responded to distributers and started selling to individuals from different countries. Ultimately, we needed to learn more to become more proficient at exporting and take advantage of these opportunities. A consultant agreement with the DVIRC was a great first step. They encouraged us to attend ExporTech, a two-day educational program presented by the U.S. Commercial Service designed to assist small businesses in doing business in Latin America. This is where we started to explore and learn how to go about selling our products in other parts of the world. This began our education and introduction to the tools and programs of the U.S. Export Assistance Center (a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration). We also learned about financial assistance through the Export-Import Bank. We participated in four Export University events held throughout the Delaware Valley also sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service.

DVIRC:
What percentage of your business is currently being done in other markets?

Craig Marshall:
Our export growth from 2009 to 2010 increased our percentage of international sales by 31%, year over year, which is a healthy percentage and better than we anticipated. Our successful growth is attributed partly to our Internet marketing efforts as I mentioned. We also greatly benefited from participating in two Trade Forum Missions in Brazil in 2010 and Mexico the following year.

DVIRC:
Your referring to the Trade Winds Forum that are Business Development Conferences and Official Trade Missions sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce?

Craig Marshall:
Yes, that’s correct.

DVIRC:
These missions are held in different countries every year to support business development opportunities in other global markets?

Craig Marshall:
Exactly. We also received support from The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (a licensed member of the World Trade Centers Association with offices in 93 countries) and their trade representatives, which were working for us in India, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. They help identify distribution channels or selling agents into those countries. These organizations (the U.S. Export Assistance Center and the World Trade Center) also serve to qualify those customers who come unsolicited through the Internet for us.

DVIRC:
Is it easier doing business with some countries over others, and if so, why?

Craig Marshall:
Yes, I think there is less bureaucracy and administration, not to mention a simpler process working in countries like Mexico and Canada where we have Free Trade Agreements. Tariffs become a little more difficult, presenting a potential barrier in some countries. Transportation and shipping of the product are also challenges when striving to avoid damage and additional cost to freight and packaging.

DVIRC:
Are you currently doing business in South America, or planning to? How does Mexico fit into entering these markets?

Craig Marshall:
We are actively exploring other markets and have participated in Trade Winds Missions in Brazil and Mexico as I spoke of previously. We met many commercial officers from various countries in the Western Hemisphere. They offer insight into the market of their country for our particular product; we then have a better understanding of where Macron would be most successful. In terms of establishing ourselves, we used the Gold Key Service provided by the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico where we were introduced to four distributers that all have the possibility of becoming a selling agent for Macron products in the upcoming year. (DVIRC – The Gold Key Service provides businesses with one-on-one appointments with pre-screened potential agents, distributors, sales representatives, association and government contacts, licensing or joint venture partners, and other strategic business partners in a targeted export market). Hopefully, if our product is integrated then sold beyond Mexican borders, it will help infiltrate into other countries, especially by achieving some brand recognition.

DVIRC:
What advice would you offer other small manufacturers that are not currently exporting?

Craig Marshall:
I would say it is not as hard as you think, but you have to dedicate the time and energy to make it successful. Take advantage of some of the low to no cost training opportunities that exist such as the World Trade Center, U.S. Commercial Service, and the DVIRC.

DVIRC:
Recently, Macron was awarded an Export Achievement Certificate; can you tell us about this award?

Craig Marshall:
Carlos Pascual, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, presented the achievement award in exporting at the Trade Winds Forum and Business Development Conference in Mexico City, Mexico. This was a surprising honor to receive such an award and gratifying to be recognized for our hard work building our export business over these last two years. Macron will continue to grow its export business in Mexico and expand into other international markets.

The Export Achievement Certificate (EAC) was created to recognize small and medium-sized enterprises and organizations that have successfully entered the international marketplace for the first time or that have successfully entered a new market.

*Canada is the largest trading partner of the United States, and Mexico is our third largest trading partner (these countries account for 32% of America’s exports)

To learn more about Exporting and the various support services available to small and medium-sized manufacturers please call Keith Ashlock at 215-552-3800 or email info@dvirc.org