Frequently Asked Questions by Suppliers

-Thinking of Selling Abroad?

What is an Export Management Company?

An export management firm is an independent entity which acts as the exclusive export sales department for a manufacturer. Their representation may apply to entire line of products or a select set. Their representation may include an entire region, like Asia, or may apply to a single country. Export management companies work hard to develop successful strategies and partnerships to maximize the export business for the company they represent.

Who should use an Export Management Company?

All manufacturers who have limited export experience should consider using an Export Management Company. Even companies with export experience can benefit from the company's expertise in a region and existing relationships. Working with an export management company helps to identify new opportunities in select foreign markets where distribution may be lacking. In the U.S. more than 5000 small to mid size manufacturers have outsourced their export sales to be handled by an Export Management Company. As less than 15% of all U.S. businesses have any international sales, questions to ask yourself include:

1. Does your company have the time and specialized knowledge to enter export markets?
2. Does your company have personnel dedicated to develop an export business?
3. Does your company have access to foreign languages, market specific information, and other cultural considerations to succeed abroad?
4. Does your company have access to affordable translation and localization services to market abroad properly?

What are the benefits of working with an Export Management Company?

Export Management Companies benefit the manufacturers they represent through their established sales network abroad. Dealing with an Export Management Company it allows you access to their existing network and resources to appoint distributors and dealers in select markets. Export Management Companies have the ability to handle all of the details of an export transaction. This includes the know-how to handle inquiries, prepare quotations, enter orders, handle shipping details, assist with country specific obstacles and assist with the international banking and payment details.

An Export Management Company's greatest asset is in its strength of connection to the international firms they work with. They have the experience to select agents and distributors. They also manage their foreign distribution network through regular visits to the markets they distribute into. Traveling abroad for the first hand experience allows them to assess market conditions and sales opportunities. An Export Management Company's profits are based on how successful they are at exporting. Therefore, they are motivated to do a good job.

Should you choose to work with an Export Management Company, the advantages you will notice are:

1. Quicker export sales -- Export Management Companies have an established network of foreign agents and distributors. If your product is ready for a particular market, you will have a built in distribution system.

2. Fewer expenses -- Your company's out of pocket expenses will be less as most of the labor expenses will only be realized upon a successful appointment of a distributor and when their orders are placed.

3. Time – An Export Management Company's dedication is to international sales. Relationships and customer service is a very important part of export sales. Even with the appropriate financial resources, you may lack the time to focus on this because of other priorities. Often this time is more appropriately spent on building the domestic market and export details are overlooked.

Learn from those with experience – A great way to learn about export transactions is by working with an Export Management Company. Use the opportunity to work together to learn how things are handled.

What Does an Export Management Company require from its principal?

In terms of sales abilities, Export Management Companies are usually as strong as the principal allows them to be. The communication between the principal and Export Management Company is vital in developing the proper business. To be successful, the Export Management Company benefits from the following aspects with its principal.

    1. Knowledge of the product
    2. Domestic market and distribution information
    3. Access to marketing and promotional materials, sales statistics, etc
    4. Competitive pricing structure
    5. Territory protection
    6. Open communication between both parties

What does an Export Management Company charge?

Export Management Company's charges to the manufacturer vary depending on the product and what is required to accomplish the goals of the company. Most Export Management Companies work off a commission structure. It is preferred that this commission be handled separately and does not increase the cost of the export pricing.

How do you get paid for your export sales?

In almost all cases, Tradewinds Global sets up payment direct from the overseas company direct to the supplier. Export Management Companies with their experience and expertise in various payment methods and limiting risk will consult on the various options available.

How should you ship your product overseas?

Several factors such as size, weight, shelf life, urgency, manufacturer location and ship point, should be considered. Export Management Companies work with several freight forwarders who offer competitive rates and customer service to ensure the most efficient manner to get your product to its destination. In many cases, the foreign company will select the method of shipment and which freight forwarder to use. The Export Management Company works with the freight forwarder to provide the export documentation for proper arrangement of shipment.

What product categories does Tradewinds Global focus on?

Tradewinds Global focuses on the representation and distribution of high quality consumer goods in several categories of health, lifestyle, agriculture, and sustainability products.

What countries does Tradewinds Global export into?

Tradewinds Global dedicates its attention to the Pacific Rim with an emphasis on Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore.

Will our product or service need to be adapted to fit into international markets?

Each country has different regulations for import. Product details such as electrical, prohibited ingredients or materials, any agricultural concerns should be considered when preparing for export sales. Working with an export management company will assist and research what potential adaptations, if any, need to be considered.