According to the International Trade Administration, more than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the US.1 With this potential, even smaller organizations may conduct some of their business internationally. If so, these facilities require supplies, equipment, and technology―and buying locally offers substantial advantages.
Cole-Parmer has local offices in Canada, China, Dubai, India, Singapore, and the UK. In addition, the International Team within Cole-Parmer works with more than 80 international dealers in more than 160 markets. Specifically, Area Business Managers (ABMs) collaborate with local dealers to expedite service, product delivery, and technical support.
“With more than 30 years of exporting experience, our team walks customers through the process of completing the necessary paperwork and advising them of freight costs,” said Kay Ross, Manager, International Business Development. “Some of our local dealers also provide technical support such as installation and on-site repairs.”
Anand Shirur, Director, Global Sales, added: “Cole-Parmer is recognized by the level and quality of service we provide to our esteemed customers. We have been operating in the US for many years and diligently ensure that our employees deliver exceptional service. When
we expanded our operations internationally, we made sure our best practices seamlessly translated into new regions and geographies. We take great caution in choosing international channel partners that provide our global customers with similar levels of service―whether they are in Asia, Europe, Latin America, or another region.”
Keeping it local
Customs and laws within a country can complicate the ordering and shipment process. “In Europe, for example, our products must be CE-marked; in Asia, we can’t market our calibration services; and in Argentina, our products cannot arrive with batteries included,” said Ross.
These country-specific nuances mean International Team members work closely with their in-country representatives. These local experts are familiar with regional rules and are also well-versed in local taxes, duties, and time frames for clearing deliveries through customs.
“They know the technology involved in the process and can alert us to special shipping regulations. They can also step in and help facilitate a delivery if issues arise within the country,” said Ross.
Because local office representatives and dealers understand their markets well, they can also adjust prices to be competitive. What’s more, purchases are made in local currency.
Keeping it market-specific
For Cole-Parmer, fluid handling products are the top items exported, but the needs of customers around the globe may vary by region.
“We have done business in South America for 30 years, so our product mix for the continent, along with Central America and the Caribbean Islands is more diversified. It includes consumables, lab instrumentation, and industrial products, which are a growing market,” said Ross. “What’s more, 95% of these countries are covered by our local dealers.”
Trends emerging in various markets indicate where Cole-Parmer is seeking to expand product offerings to meet the demands of the region.
“In Brazil, and South America as a whole, biofuels is a growing industry, as area vegetation and alternative fuel sources come to market,” said Ross. Cole-Parmer has recently added a new dealer in Brazil to support the expanding Brazilian market as a whole.
“The energy industry is strong in areas within Northern Asia, Latin America, and South America in which the population is increasing and residents are seeking enhanced services,” she said.
For the Philippines, the market for molecular biology products for research and food applications has thrived. Similarly, throughout Asia and Singapore, nanotechnology and research products are the focus; in New Zealand, agricultural and food safety testing equipment, and ready-made reagents are in growing demand from Cole-Parmer.
Beyond commercial needs, academia requires innovative laboratory and industrial equipment. Educating a scientific work force for the challenges of the next generation is a priority spanning the globe. “The demand for engineering and scientific instrumentation in universities is strong internationally, but especially in Asia and Brazil,” said Ross.
Keeping it service-friendly
In order to best serve customers locally, Cole-Parmer’s ABMs are constantly scanning their markets to identify developing trends and new product needs. When a customer expands into a new region―or, conversely―moves from one region to another, the ABMs work with local dealers to ensure a smooth flow of business.
“If an ABM discovers a customer is relocating part of his staff to India, or perhaps moving her production facilities or lab to Central Europe, he’ll initiate contact with the dealer in the new region,” said Ross. “The goal is to make sure the customer continues to receive the supplies and equipment needed for the new location, without interrupting business.”
To enhance coverage in growing or emerging markets, Cole-Parmer continually seeks to forge partnerships with new dealers. “We are currently looking at expanding our capabilities in the Middle East and Africa,” said Ross.
Keeping it safe
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), within the US Department of Commerce, implements and enforces the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) covering most commercial items.2 Other government agencies are also involved in the licensing jurisdiction and export control of select items. As such, the authorities restrict some exports to some countries, usually those that are embargoed and/or identified as supporting terrorist activities.
“While we cast a wide net internationally, we don’t ship to restricted countries,” affirmed Ross. “These countries vary from time to time according to the international political climate. It is our responsibility to stay current with international developments and export regulations.”
Keeping it accessible
Collaboration is indispensable in ensuring customer satisfaction globally. With a strong network of international dealers working daily with our staff members, Cole-Parmer is able to extend exceptional service beyond the US borders. To reach team members in specific regions, consult the list below.
Primary International Contacts
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Francis Ning, ABM
Phone: +65 67741394
Fax: +65 67791062
Janusz Kossakowski, ABM
Ivete Lorek, ABM
|Middle East & Africa
Goutam Ghosh, ABM
Phone: +44 (0) 20 85747556
|International Sales Department
1 International Trade Administration, “Exporting is Good for Your Bottom Line,” accessed June 3, 2011, http://trade.gov/cs/factsheet.asp
2 US Bureau of Industry and Security, “FAQs on Expert Licensing,” accessed June 15, 2011, http://www.bis.doc.gov/exportlicensingqanda.htm