Oklahoma firms, are you considering an expansion internationally?
Velocity Global has a few tips on what you need to consider before you do.
According to Velocity Global, if you’ve decided to pursue business opportunities abroad, “there are a few key pointers to remember when thinking about taking your business overseas. All of these tips will help you avoid wasted costs, achieve growth quickly and efficiently, and diminish risks.”
Take your next step by learning what to look for and where to invest your time and money via this guide from Velocity Global.
Available through the EXIM Bank of the United States of America on July 26, Oklahoma exporters can log in from the comfort of their offices or home to learn about credit insurance and tax credit assistance when shipping their products abroad.
EXIM will host a brief, one hour webinar on IC-DISC and Export Credit Insurance. For those of us outside the complicated realm of federal government-inspired acronyms, IC-DISC is an IRS export tax credit program that helps small and medium sized American firms reduce their tax burden.
Presenters will include:
- Jennifer Simpson – Regional Director, EXIM Bank
- Paul Ferreira – President, Export Tax Management
- Adrienne Selko – Panel Moderator, Senior Editor at IndustryWeek
If you think your firm may be among the 50 percent of American SMEs who are overpaying on their export taxes, this is the webinar for you. Link to the registration page here.
Though the energy sector has slowed in recent months, business for many Sooner State firms continues to move along at a brisk pace. A diversified group of Oklahoma businesses was recently recognized at the 32nd annual Oklahoma World Trade Conference for their excellence in exporting. We had the opportunity to speak with Addie Ventris, Marketing Director for Tactical Electronics, a 2015 Oklahoma District Export Council Export Champion award winner based out of Broken Arrow, Okla.
What does Tactical Electronics do?
“Tactical Electronics provides advanced technology and training solutions for military and law enforcement agencies. Our extensive product line includes covert wireless camera systems and EOD equipment used by special operations teams around the world. Our training division provides Counter IED training courses and IED Training Aids for EOD technicians and tactical operators. All of our services are designed to prepare technicians for what they might encounter behind a closed door, in a suspect package, or unsecured area.
“Tactical Electronics designs, engineers and manufacturers all of our products in house at our headquarters in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.”
How many employees do you have in Oklahoma? How many employees do you have worldwide?
“We have 44 in Oklahoma and 22 worldwide in Virginia Beach, Va., Chattanooga, Tenn. and in United Kingdom.”
Can you give me an idea of how much Tactical Electronics relies on exporting its products outside the U.S.?
“Since 2011, Tactical Electronics has seen a significant increase in our international sales. We continue to see a demand for our products and services worldwide and will continue to fulfill those requests through export.”
What are some of the challenges Tactical Electronics faces in exporting from Oklahoma? Are there some benefits from exporting from Oklahoma as well?
“While working to expand our international markets, Tactical Electronics has dealt with common growing pains to ensure our manufacturing lead times protect us from payment risks. To mitigate any financial risks we have instated a few internal policies and procedures with regard to payment, the examples are as follows.
“When working with new international customers, for whom Tactical Electronics has not established an ongoing relationship, deposits are required before work begins. For those customers unwilling or able to fund the deposit up front, Export Letters of Credit are required. Additionally, in instances where large unit volume is ordered, Tactical Electronics has started offering multiple ship dates to alleviate some of the financial stress. Finally, for those customers unwilling or able to pay in U.S. currency, Tactical Electronics has started hedging the exchange rate with a premium to compensate for rate volatility.
“Tactical Electronics will continue to develop improved processes to advance and expand our export strategy and international markets.”
Looking back to when Tactical Electronics first began producing items for export, is there any advice that the company would provide to fellow firms in Oklahoma who are considering forging international ties and exporting?
“Ensure that internal and external policies and procedures (as described above) for all export activities are in place at your organization before your first export activity.”
As the June 30, 2015 deadline approaches for the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Oklahoma businesses face an uncertain future as some in Congress balk at it’s continuation.
On April 15, EXIM President Fred Hochberg was grilled by some members of the House Financial Services Committee skeptical of his leadership and the bank’s mission in providing funding for American exporters. Critics of the bank accuse its mission of being little more than taxpayer-funded corporate welfare for large multinationals. Another point of contention by Congressional critics is that the U.S. Treasury Department officials have not negotiated with foreign governments to end subsidized exporting, a mandate in a 2012 re-authorization bill by Congress.
In Oklahoma, public support for fiscally conservative policies for taxpayer funded organizations like EXIM can run in contrast to the positives international exporting can have on local, small businesses. The bank helps underwrite loans for American products sold abroad, meaning Oklahoman exporting companies can acquire a guarantee for their investments in personnel and infrastructure.
- Oklahoma has 125 exporters whose total export value is $1 billion.
- Of that $1 billion, $804 million is insured or financed through the bank.
- The state’s top three export destinations are Mexico, Columbia and Australia.
In an EXIM feature on an Oklahoma Success Story, Tulsa, Okla.-based Sawyer Manufacturing Co. Vice-President Dave Hembree explains the bank’s impact on his firm’s business.
“The ability to extend credit on international sales allows us to grow our business in existing international markets and export our products to new countries by giving our international distributors more flexibility to invest and market our products. Credit terms provided to our international distributors in these markets allow them to better compete, so it makes our U.S. made products more competitive in the international markets. ”
Sawyer Manufacturing Co. also credits these financial assurances for its expanded business in Africa, Russia, Australia and the Middle East and the creation of 10 new jobs.
At the March 24, 2015 OKGIT meeting, group member and F&M Bank’s Randy Kellogg provided his take on the importance of the Export-Import Bank to Oklahoma companies.
“Export-Import helps keep a level playing field for Oklahoma companies on international markets…it doesn’t help finance foreign governments as some critics suggest or only benefit big companies. Its financing helps smaller manufacturers who are indirect exporters when they supply firms like Boeing Company…”