Global Value Chain: Exporting

chain.bmpLast week we began our blog series about the manufacturing value chain, based on The Manufacturing Institute’s newest publication, Forging New Partnerships: How to Thrive in Today’s Global Value Chain.

Forging New Partnerships focuses on four areas where many small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) can improve their performance within the manufacturing supply chain: exporting and global trade; staying ahead of the innovation curve; attracting new, skilled workers and financing options.

Becoming engaged in international trade is perhaps one of the largest of all business hurdles for SMMs. It seems formidable, especially when companies have the big U.S. market to operate in. But that’s leaving a lot of the growth markets overseas out and why let overseas competitors harvest all that business?

Our new report looks at some of these challenges that inhibit broader SMM engagement in trade. According to Industry Week, two-thirds of SMMs export less than 10 percent of their production and nearly 30 percent export nothing. U.S. manufacturers can do a lot better than that, especially with the U.S. dollar making U.S. exports very, very competitive.

What are the opportunities to grow overseas sales? The report gives a great range of ways to succeed, based largely on what has worked for other SMMs who have plunged into the international market:

  • know how to exploit your stratetic advantage
  • have a proactive commitment and mindset about pursuing international opportunities
  • tailor products for the international market
  • develop a partnership with an overseas representative
  • invest in personal relationships abroad and understand and adapt to local cultures and business ways
  • leverage relationships with existing multinatinal customers as initial sources of exports.
  • Highlighting this chapter are excellent sidebars about Schloss Engineered Equipment in Colorado, Power Curbers Inc. in North Carolina and Allmand Bros. Inc. in Nebraska. Check out pages 16 to 24 for this discussion by clicking on the report title above.

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