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Tuesday, August 01 2017

The opportunity to expand into international markets is a promising opportunity, particularly since exports constitute 33% of the growth of the U.S. GDP.  However, many companies are overwhelmed by the prospect of expanding into international domestic sales.

To make exporting more feasible, the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) recently rolled out ExporTech™, a national export assistance program helping companies enter or expand in global markets.  The service--jointly offered by NIST MEP and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce--provides a structured export strategy and business development process that accelerates growth.

Three Indiana companies recognized the opportunity for growth within their own companies via exporting, and participated in the 12-week program. Bond Technologies, Myers Spring, and SDI Innovations were the first graduates from the ExporTech™ program in Indiana.

About the Graduates

While the three graduating companies are at very different stages of company maturity, they all gained invaluable tools and relationships to help them in their exporting journeys. Each company provides its reasoning for participating, as well as takeaways from ExporTech™.

Bond Technologies manufactures custom friction stir welders.  This technology allows for a higher quality weld and is used specifically to weld different types of materials together.  The machines create the weld using force and a "stirring" process to blend the metals together, creating a very strong weld.  These machines are used in automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, and similar applications. This emerging technology puts Bond into a rather small group of providers around the world.  As this technology matures, there is an increasing demand around the globe. 

"ExporTech™ came to Indiana just in time for us. We are a young company with little in the way of infrastructure and procedures to accommodate a robust export opportunity. The cohort connected us with valuable expertise from people who had knowledge and experience that was quite relevant to our needs. With help, we were able to conduct global market research that identified key countries for us to target, construct an export strategy, and begin development of processes to create secure contracts, manage logistics and protect intellectual property in foreign markets.

The export strategy developed during this cohort gives Bond a proactive growth path in key global markets. The time and money spent on ExporTech™ were clearly worthwhile for Bond," said Dave Hofferbert, President, Bond Technologies.

Myers Spring has one huge advantage that sets their product apart: Quality. As a manufacturer of springs, wire forms, and tines, Myers Spring parts serve the agricultural industry, among others. Their TS 16949 and ISO 9001 certifications ensure quality management is followed for every part and every customer that this Logansport-based manufacturer serves. Furthermore, they have NEVER had a report of spring failure in the field. Thanks to a new durable coating, their tines for farming equipment show a much slower wear over time versus the competitor, increasing yields, eliminating downtime for farmers, and cutting the need for costly maintenance on machines.

"The ExporTech™ program has provided us with invaluable knowledge and resources for our company to grow business internationally. We now know who to call and where to go to get the resources we need as we continue through this process. The ExporTech™ program has made exporting very real and accessible for Myers Spring,"  Todd Miller, President/CEO, Myers Spring.

In an increasingly computer-based world, SDI Innovations has an interesting challenge: how to continue growing business of their School Datebooks brand, a paper-based textbook line.

"We learned an incredible amount of information about all of the different aspects of exporting and gained valuable contacts that will aid us moving forward with our export endeavors," Tim Powers, President, SDI Innovations.

How Does It Work?

ExporTech™ applies a structured export strategy development process that assists companies to accelerate growth. It is the only national program where each company develops a written export plan, that is vetted by a panel of experts upon completion. ExporTech™ efficiently connects companies with a wide range of world-class experts to help navigate the export sales process. The result is that companies rapidly expand global sales and save countless hours of effort.

The pilot for Indiana, led by Joe McMurry of Purdue MEP, helped three companies in the state to create an export plan, and connected them with resources at the state and federal level to begin executing those plans. 

Andy Reinke and the Indiana Small Business Development Council (ISBDC) provided participants with export development expertise and feedback and guidance on their detailed export plans. 

Mark Cooper, Indiana's Director for the U.S. Dept. Of Commerce got involved, provided guidance to the companies, and presented each company with a Gold Key, sponsored by FedEx. The Gold Key arranges a meeting with foreign companies on your behalf via the U.S. Embassy in that country. 

Interested in expanding into international markets? Purdue MEP's ExporTech program can help. 

Search the success stories database to learn more about U.S. manufacturers' experiences with ExporTech™.


About Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Purdue MEP provides high value solutions to help Indiana businesses maximize their success by increasing profits, reducing costs, and implementing growth systems. Our organization serves more than 500 companies annually by implementing continuous improvement principles in the areas of productivity, growth and technology. Purdue MEP has helped our clients collectively achieve over $1.8 billion of economic impact in Indiana since 2005.

About Bond Technologies Bond Technologies, Inc. is the only company focused exclusively on the design and construction of Friction Stir Welding machines and tooling. The Bond team has been supplying FSW systems for more than a decade and has served customers throughout the world.  Bond designers have more than 50 years combined experience in the design and construction of FSW systems.

About Myers Spring Always ensuring the highest levels of quality and reliability, Myers Spring produces extension springscompression springssingle torsion springs, and double torsion springs of virtually any specification, for virtually any application. Myers Spring produces rings and wire forms of the highest quality in a similarly wide range of tolerances. Myers Spring also produces custom assemblies, using the springs and parts we manufacture for you and the components you provide. Myers Spring Co. helps customers solve their problems with services, support, and products on a daily basis.

About SDI Innovations SDI Innovations is the engine behind multiple companies and brands, SDI Innovations has established nationally leading companies in several markets –they have products in 12,000 schools across the United States and 21 countries, as well as Amazon best sellers; are the go-to company for the ag industry for genetic and chemical compliance; and have digital products scheduling and sending SMS reminders virtually every minute.




Writer: Ranae Stewart, 317-709-0723,

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