ABRASIVE-COMPANY SHARPENS ITS EDGE THROUGH MARKET RESEARCH
Advanced Superabrasives, Inc. (ASI), based in Mars Hill, North Carolina, is a worldwide provider of high-quality, custom super abrasive product solutions. While the company has already exported to 28 countries, it was looking at how to strategically expand into new markets. ASI participated in an informational session about USCS Rural Export Center’s RAISE program, where a detailed report is completed to assist rural U.S. businesses in identifying which international markets best match their strategic objectives. As a result of ASI’s participation in the informational session, ASI decided to move forward with the REC’s RAISE Report program. This required detailed information gathering from ASI and outreach to the Commercial Service staff in the identified markets that best matched ASI’s strategic goals.
The RAISE Report ranked 194 markets, assessed the automotive, aerospace, and woodworking industries, and identified potential partners. One of the top markets identified through the RAISE Report was South Korea. A meeting was coordinated by U.S. Commercial Service (CS) Charlotte, CS Seoul, and ASI President Jonathan Szucs to discuss options for moving forward to identify interested potential local partners. It was determined that an Initial Market Check (IMC) would be a good first step. CS Seoul developed an IMC for ASI after having contacted multiple South Korean potential local partners for ASI. One local company indicated significant interest in talking further with ASI about establishing a partnership. ASI has since entered into a contract with the South Korean company which will incorporate ASI’s products into their own and sell to multiple countries. This will provide significant sales growth opportunities for the U.S.-made abrasives company.
President Jonathan Szucs stated, “Thank you for the updated Matrix. I have to say that this is the best research that I have ever seen regarding exporting our products. Your team did an excellent job explaining the matrix and how you came to your recommendations. All of you should be commended for the tremendous work that you did on this. ASI will come back to have this updated in the future as this is the best tool for looking at future markets. This is the only tool that I have seen where you have clear, concise data along with explanations of the data and scores. I want to thank everyone for putting this together.”
ASI and the U.S. Commercial Service Charlotte continue to work together to find new partners in markets around the world.
The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant helped facilitate the RAISE Report. STEP funds are provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and overseen by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.