Recognizing that exporting is becoming the fastest-growing market segment in today’s manufacturing economy, the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is offering a program, ExporTech, that leads firms through the process of embedding an export acceleration system. Merging strategy with results, ExporTech prepares small or medium-sized companies for global-market growth.
Michael Stone, founder and president of Stone and Associates, will facilitate the spring 2013 ExporTech. A team of export experts will help participating company executives move quickly beyond planning into actual profitable export sales. The program is aimed at both new-to-export companies and those that have done some exporting, but have not fully exploited global opportunities.
“You can’t put a price on the value of this program,” said Barbara Biller, president of intelliTech. “The contacts, resources, and knowledge I gained saved us tons of time and tens of thousands of dollars.”
CEG is one of 10 Regional Technology Development Centers (RTDCs) in New York State. The organization fosters economic growth throughout the 11-county Capital Region, as well as in a significant portion of the Tech Valley corridor. As an independent not-for-profit group, CEG works with diverse members and partners to advance the ability of the region and its assets to succeed in the global marketplace. In addition to New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research funding, CEG is supported by its dedicated members, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), and National Grid.
Many companies are turning internationally to offset declines in domestic sales, according to CEG. ExporTech helps teams build a robust export plan within three months, providing resources that help firms move rapidly to market, leads, sales and payment. The program teaches international strategies and success factors based on real-world company research.
Customized to the specific learning needs of participants, each workshop is limited to six to eight participating companies to provide sufficient time and attention to each company’s particular challenges. The companies meet for three one-day sessions over a three-month period, and in between sessions, participants work on developing their export plans.
“As Tech Valley’s New York State RTDC and NIST MEP center, CEG is pleased to continue to help Capital Region manufacturers build successful export strategies by bringing ExporTech to the region,” said Jeffrey Lawrence, CEG’s executive vice president of technology. “ExporTech is measured for impact and outcome, as are all MEP programs, and recently, the average increase in sales for program participants in North Carolina was $750,000, and Wisconsin was about $900,000. We are looking forward to helping Capital Region manufacturers pursue similar growth metrics.”
Companies that have gone through the ExporTech program report significant impacts to their bottom lines. The program saves the average company more than 120 hours of labor by navigating the firm through the international growth process. All these sales increases and cost savings yield an impressive return on investment for participating companies. The estimated average gain in operating margin is 10 times the typical investment of staff labor time and program fees.
FedEx has been a partner at the national level for several years and once again has committed to sponsoring the ExporTech program, including an offer of support to help qualified participating companies execute their strategy once ExporTech is completed, based on the FedEx/U.S. Commercial Service alliance. This support may include funding Gold Key services, in-country market research, International Buyer Programs or other appropriate services.
For more information, including location, dates, cost and an application for the program, contact Louise Aitcheson CEG’s director of business development.
“This is a proven program with a track record at 450 companies in 25 states,” she said. “The program’s small workshop size and customized format focuses on merging strategy with results. Throughout the program, local experts knowledgeable in all aspects of exporting are brought in to provide information and guidance. ExporTech’s customized agenda and small group discussion format ensure that companies learn strategies that specifically apply to their business. In the final work session, a panel of experienced international businesspeople reviews and provides feedback on each participating firm’s export growth plan.”
Bill Burwell of the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore said, “ExporTech is a faster way to get new-to-export successes. Some 20 percent to 30 percent of participants generate measurable results quickly, compared to the 12 months it typically takes for companies with which we work.”