With increasing access to, and demand from, overseas markets, today’s SME’s are ideally poised to realize the immense opportunity and lucrative potential that lies in exporting their products. Typically, though, small and medium-size businesses don’t have the resources – financial, operational or otherwise – to move beyond their own locally established domestic markets and meet with compliance needs, no matter how great the prospect of new international market expansion. To put it simply, SME’s are often at a loss for how to get the ball rolling. Export management companies (EMC) can help.
EMC’s essentially serve as liaisons for businesses seeking to export their products. Through this indirect form of exporting, small businesses can not only keep the start-up costs of exporting low and quickly realize profits, but they can also create security for themselves by moving into international markets under expert guidance. Small businesses that partner with export management companies will be able to leverage their exportation experience through several other key advantages.
The Benefits of Partnering with Export Management Companies
As a form of indirect exporting, EMC’s undertake the brunt of export-related activities on behalf of their clients. EMC’s can act as either agents or distributors.
Export management companies can help exporters with:
- Foreign market research
- Trade shows and other overseas product promotions
- Marketing strategies for targeting preferred buyers
- Foreign distribution
- Establishing logistics systems
- Managing and training a foreign sales force
- Arrangement of any additional services/facilitation
- Regulatory compliance management
No matter what function EMC’s serve, though, it’s important to note that they will never take legal ownership of the goods they’re representing. The business that’s exporting will maintain legal ownership of their goods throughout the exporting process.
The true benefit of engaging with export managers lies in their highly specialized knowledge and connections. Successful EMC’s synthesize the demands of the importer market with the exporter industry and product type. They also as navigate international trade regulations pertinent to the area. For these reasons, even sophisticated exporters could very well benefit from contracting an EMC for moving products into certain foreign markets.
Dangers of Working with an EMC – and How to Avoid Them
While export management companies can bring immediate access to foreign markets, their work is not without risk. When exporters and EMC’s do not create a system of clear communications and aligned objectives, exporters might lose control over the direction of foreign sales. To avoid such a situation, exporters can do the following:
- Carefully select an EMC that meets their company’s needs
- Form a clear idea of their export objectives, and make sure they are understood by the EMC
- Develop a project management schedule for tracking expansion activities
- Spell out a communications schedule for transparency and quick problem resolution
Finding the Right EMC
Unfortunately, the very elements that make EMC’s so beneficial also make them difficult to find. Because EMC’s are so specialized and typically operate as small agencies, their industry is fragmented and scattered geographically, making them incredibly difficult to locate.
Today, the typical process of sourcing export management companies is outdated and inefficient. U.S.-based SMEs are perfectly poised to take advantage of all the benefits that expanding into foreign markets has to offer, and there are digital tools available to help match small businesses looking to export their products with an aligned EMC who will make it happen. Learn more about how Powerlinx can match you with the right EMC for your export success.