ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Sterling Oil was one of six companies to take part in ExporTech 2018, a 10-week program that helps companies accelerate their growth in global markets. The invitation-only program brings 4-8 Detroit businesses together to help develop written strategic plans for export growth. The program also helps them connect with a wide range of experts to catalyze export sales.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), and U.S. Commercial Service joined forces to recruit the companies, noting that ExporTech is the only national program that results in a customized export growth plan. It is designed for manufacturing and technology executives, offers intensive, structured process with workshops, planning tools, and individual training. Executives connect to a wide range of local and national resources as they use a peer group model, which drives accountability, action, learning, and networking.
David Newhouse, International Trade Development Manager at MEDC, reached out to Jason Eddleston, Vice President of Operations at Sterling Oil, to gauge his interest as they saw Sterling Oil as a perfect fit with their international sales and global reach.
The program went from February 2, 2018 to March 30, 2018 with three meeting dates – February 2, March 2, and March 30. The participating companies received a $600 grant from the MEDC, helping to offset the $1,200 cost of the program, lowering the out-of-pocket cost by 50 percent.
“ExporTech graduates help power the engine of Michigan’s economic growth, adding new jobs and revenue from export sales,” explained Eve Lerman, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, East Michigan Office. “We look forward to working with Sterling Oil, and each of the graduates of ExporTech Detroit 2018 to execute the strategic plans they’ve developed, leveraging our network of offices in U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world to their benefit.”
ExporTech was developed by the U.S. Commerce Department as a way for companies to present their global strategy to a panel of export experts with the hopes that the businesses that graduate from the program continue to consult with each other.
“The resources that became available to us as a company was one of the biggest take aways,” Eddleston said. “The program gave us a chance to present our global strategic plan to a roundtable of experts, receiving critical feedback that we needed to push forward with our international strategic plan.”
Through the program, Eddleston was able to apply for a step grant made available for global websites and subsequently launched two international sites to bolster the company’s presence in Mexico and South Korea joining Canada and the Midwest in Sterling’s global footprint. Sterling has been doing business in those markets for over 10 years. With the website now online, the company is actively seeking distributors on the ground in Mexico to sell Sterling’s petrolatum.
Eddleston, through the MEDC office in Mexico and the US Commercial Service Division, has begun taking steps to further cement his company in the global market by pursuing distributors and potential buyers in Mexico. Sterling Oil is targeting the second or third quarter of 2019 to set up a gold key meeting with potential distributors and buyers on the ground in Mexico.