HOWORTH International has has the Multinational Experience to bring value to our Clients considering or currently doing business in other countries.
Increasingly, businesses are looking to foreign markets for buying and selling products and services. As new markets open up and new sources of goods become available, it is critical for organizations to have a viable international business strategy.
Doing business in the global marketplace requires an understanding of the complexities of international trade. Significant planning and development of an international business strategy including defining the focus and responsibilities within an organization is required BEFORE a company of ANY size enters or increases their participation in the international marketplace. Without the development of an international business strategy, opportunities are lost, significant risk is placed on the organization and the probability of failure is high.
Participating in the US-China Leadership Summit – April 15, 2016 – Addison, Tx. – Moderating the LOGISTICS and SUPPLY CHAIN PANEL.
Pictured to the left: James Huang, Chair of the US-China Chamber in Dallas, Lawrence Howorth (Moderator, Logistics and Supply Chain Panel), Diane Divin, President (Divin Consulting and Chair, North Texas District Export Council), Sheila Hewitt (Vice President, International Logistics, Transplace) and Larry Chilcoat (VP, Operations and Sales, FAK Distribution).
Is your organization prepared to enter the International Marketplace? Do you have the right organization? What are your strengths and weaknesses related to the international markets. Do you have adequate resources – strategic plan, financial, human capital, advisors? Is your product ready to “go global”? Do you have particular foreign markets in mind and if so have you developed the market research and the cost of entry and operating models for those foreign markets? Companies large and small fail daily without the proper experience, guidance and leadership as they attempt to enter or expand into the international marketplace as a SELLER and/or a BUYER.
HOWORTH International has decades of multinational experience (over 25 countries) entering new markets and building and managing small, medium and large organizations in various stages of development.
There are two levels of international expertise required to be successful in the global marketplace – 1) Generic and 2) Market Specific. HOWORTH International has a wealth expertise with its Principals as well as its market-specific Resource Partners to assess and guide an organization in both levels. In addition, HOWORTH works with experienced and trusted market-specific technical resources and is able to deploy those resources on specific projects.
An International ASSESSMENT is critical to the success of an organization planning to enter or expand in the global marketplace. Without this ASSESSMENT, the organization subjects itself to RISKS, EXCESS COSTS and increases its TIME-TO-MARKET – which can destroy a an organization or at the very least reduce the profitability of entering an international market.
HOWORTH International guides their client organizations through an evaluation of resources, focus and commitment and the development of the client’s international business strategy.
International Market Research & EvaluationAs an organization sets its International Business Strategy, it is critical to answer questions like “Why enter a foreign market?”, “What target countries?” and “What products fit with an International Strategy?”. International Market Research & Evaluation is an essential step in answering these questions.
A wide variety of sources of market-related information is available from government(s), industry associations, market research reports and proprietary polling and customer surveys. In addition, direct contact with potential customers often provides the best information.
Essential in this process, is not only an understanding of the potential foreign market, but also an understanding and assessment of getting the products into that particular market.
HOWORTH International assists client organizations in this critical step in the process. We work with outside sources of market information as well as specific target customers to provide management and their internal marketing teams the critical information to evaluate the foreign markets.
Huge growth opportunities exist for USA-based companies looking out to other foreign markets and for foreign-based companies looking to enter the large USA market. Many organizations do not have the expertise and training to enter these markets and should rely on experienced professionals to ensure their business development efforts are efficient and cost effective. This includes complicated matters involving foreign government and industry regulations, local accounting, financing and taxation.
International business development can easily detract from an organization’s core business, thus burdening that organization with unnecessary costs and risks.
HOWORTH International has the specific skills, international experience and understanding related to developing business in foreign markets. We assist the client organization with an understanding of the economy, trade, products and advertising localization, culture, licensing, partnering, intellectual property, international marketing, finance, and other business practices of target countries as well as best practices related to incorporating international business development efforts with their international business strategy.
Organizations entering foreign markets look for ways of reducing their risk in the selling process. Often they are responding to inquiries from potential customers or taking their first steps in entering a foreign market. Hiring a dedicated sales representative(s) with the appropriate international expertise is costly and inefficient in these circumstances.
Establishing relationships with foreign distributors in the early stages of entering a target foreign market is risky and often ineffective. Evaluating potential distributors at the appropriate time is a difficult and time consuming task and executives often do not have the expertise or time to do this, especially in the early stages of a foreign market development.
HOWORTH International offers an effective alternative in Contract Sales Representation. This program offers an immediate and focused short, medium or longer term solution for the organization to mitigate risk and test the foreign market before a full scale costly and dedicated international sales organization is established. And, again, the risk of defocusing executive management from their core market and day to day business is reduced. At the appropriate time, the transition to a full time distributor or sales team can then be managed with less risk and disruption to the client’s business.
The Procurement function is often critical to the success of a project or the ongoing profitability of an enterprise. With the Globalization of business, choices of products and services have expanded exponentially. Identifying, evaluating and structuring the quality, the supply chain logistics and the financial aspects of purchasing goods and services is becoming complex and an understanding of international business is critical to this process.
Additionally, for unique projects, existing Purchasing Departments are not experienced and often de-focused by these procurement requirements.
HOWORTH International provides outsourced International Procurement Services for clients. Our extensive knowledge of international trade, negotiation and the international supply chain allows us to focus on the procurement requirements of a particular project working either independently or in cooperation with the client’s internal procurement function. We provide valuable assistance at all stages from the initial identification through negotiation of the purchase through the end delivery of the goods and service to the end purchaser.
Sep 12, 2014, 4:10pm CDT – Silicon Valley Business JournalA Russian subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Co. pleaded guilty to bribing government officials in order to seal a lucrative deal with the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.
HP Russia’s felony violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act yielded a $58.7 million fine, according to a statement Thursday by the Department of Justice. It was a part of an agreement for HP to pay $108 million to settle similar charges in Poland and Mexico.
“Hewlett Packard’s Russia subsidiary used millions of dollars in bribes from a secret slush fund to secure a lucrative government contract,” said Marshall Miller, a principal deputy assistant attorney general with the federal law enforcement agency. “Even more troubling was that the government contract up for sale was with Russia’s top prosecutor’s office.”
HP Russia’s business executives participated in the scheme for more than a decade, according to Andrew McCabe, an assistant director in charge with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Court filings noted HP Co.’s cooperation with the department and the remedial anti-corruption activities that took place afterward.
It should be noted that HP was fined a total of $108 million relating to its Mexico, Russia and Poland subsidiaries.
NOTE TO READER: HOWORTH International by policy does not engage in and will not participate in any acts in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the United States of America.
Selling goods and services abroad is getting easier for small U.S. businesses, but they still face challenges.
Just last week President Barack Obama signed an executive order accelerating the process of getting government approval to export U.S.-made cargo. The goal is to create a new International Trade Data System eliminating some of the paperwork required in sending cargo abroad. In theory, such a system could speed the shipment of products overseas, cutting approval wait times to transport goods to minutes from days.
Small companies comprise the majority of U.S. exporters. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 294,589 of 301,238 U.S. exporters in 2012, or about 97%, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December. Just over half were small manufacturers and wholesalers, and together they generated $460 billion in foreign trade, a $10 billion increase from the previous year, or about 34% of total U.S. exports, according to the data.
While paperwork is a headache for some small companies, it’s not their biggest concern, according to a survey of small businesses fielded in 2013 by the National Small Business Association and the Small Business Exporters Association. Asked to identify what they consider to be the largest challenges to selling goods and services to foreign customers, 41% of respondents selected “I worry about getting paid.” That’s up from only 26% of respondents in 2010 who said payment was an issue for them.
“I think the biggest issue is getting a staff up” overseas, as well as the cost of business travel, and of communication with far-flung clients, said Chris Coccio, chief executive of Sono-Tek Corp. , a Milton, N.Y., developer of ultrasonic spray coating technology. His primary overseas clients include contract manufacturers for electronic companies and medical firms. He said about 60% of his roughly $10 million in annual revenue comes from sales to non-U.S. markets.
Chris Coccio, CEO of Sono-Tek, remains an advocate of exporting.
Mr. Coccio said Sono-Tek exports widely in Europe as well as many parts of Asia including China, Japan and the Philippines. His products can also be found in Mexico and Brazil. About 80% of the company’s sales and marketing budget is spent on international sales, “so there clearly is extra cost per sales dollar,” he said.
When considering potential international markets, such as Russia or expanding his business with electronics in Japan, Mr. Coccio said “we re-evaluate our success rate” after one or two quarters and “decide if we want to stay the course.” On the whole, he remains an advocate for exporting. Without it, “we would be one-third of our size,” he said. Receiving payment is a regular concern when exporting goods, he said, but “to deal with this our payment terms are front-end loaded with most of the payment prior to shipment.”
Laurel Delaney, a marketing consultant based in Chicago and author of the upcoming book “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably,” said if a company is already exporting, it should “continue down that path.” She also said business owners should routinely evaluate if they have enough capital to continue exporting, as small-business owners often have much less to fall back on than larger firms.
Larry Lieberman, the owner of Vision Quest Lighting, a 30-employee decorative lighting company in Long Island, N.Y., said during the recession, sales to foreign markets including much of Europe, China, and Japan were a lifeline. “If we only had domestic sales we would have been in big trouble in 2012,” he said.
Vision Quest Lighting reaped the benefits of exporting during that time because a fair amount of revenue came as the company provided lighting for several national brands, such as Limited Brands, Ann Taylor and Abercrombie and Fitch, as they expanded their international presence.
Mr. Lieberman is currently working on exporting solar-powered trailers to Haiti and South Africa and estimates that project will bring in $10 million to $20 million of revenue within the next two to three years.
However, he said his main concern for the year ahead is managing business in some foreign markets, specifically China. Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of Export-Import Bank of the U.S., a export credit agency, said: “The financial reporting is not the same as Western companies or the United States so it’s hard to evaluate the creditworthiness of companies [in China].”
Leah Martin, the co-owner of Corona, Calif.-based FireBlast Global, just started exporting her products last year. The 40-employee company, which makes equipment used in fire-training demonstrations, markets its goods to local governments and commercial airports in China, Japan and South Korea. Ms. Martin’s main concern this year is “making sure that the product can get delivered appropriately through the different exporting channels.”
Like others, Ms. Martin said she has had concerns about getting paid but worked with her bank to secure letters of credits that would act as surety bonds for payment of her company’s goods.
FireBlast is now planning to expand into Middle Eastern markets. Ms. Martin said it is too early for her to assess what impact exporting has had on her company’s growth, but she looks forward to growing the business. “I think it will be a completely significant increase in revenue based on what we’ve seen from our competition,” she said.