ExporTech Program Provides Pivotal Edge Tools Needed For Export Success
Pivotal Edge, Inc.
Pivotal Edge, Inc. is a family-owned company founded in 2006. Today they have four employees with annual sales of $3,500,000.
They manufacture the Pivotal Edge Cover; which provides safe and more efficient loading for drivers. It is a ground-based operating system for pneumatic trailers to open and close the covers. By keeping drivers off of platforms, ladders, and the tops of trucks, loading times are reduced; speeding up cycle times. On average ten minutes can be saved on each loading cycle. Without having to climb heights so frequently, it reduces driver fatigue; making the roads safer. In addition, it is a robust product that is easily repairable with minimal tools, so it's perfect for the drivers who are often working in remote locations. In order to control costs and ensure high quality parts, Pivotal Edge manufactures most products in-house.
They would like to export to additional countries. Their key challenges were: 1) transportation / customs, 2) certification for pressure vessels, 3) language / translation of technical documents.
Pivotal Edge Inc. sells the only ASTM certified manhole cover that is operated from the ground to the dry bulk transportation industry who want to eliminate the risk from falls while improving fleet efficiency. We are an ISO company. This is a new product with little to no market saturation. The challenge is to increase customer awareness of the product.
ExporTech is a structured process that helps manufacturers expand their international sales. Four to eight non-competing companies participate in three workshops over the course of ten weeks. During that time, the participants will receive individualized coaching, listen to and learn from various presenters, and ultimately develop their own actionable export growth plan. In the final session, the companies each present their plan to a panel comprised of experienced international business people for feedback.
Jay Beyer, Vice President, participated the ExporTech program hosted by Impact Dakota. He said, “there were several really good take away items from our ExporTech experience”.
The research data that was done was an immediate help in identifying potential countries for Pivotal Edge to target for sales. More important was the exposure to the process. The process of who to reach out to as the company continues to develop.
With our manufacturing being located in North Dakota, transportation (freight) is a large part of our cost of doing business. Tim McCue from FedEx Logistics was a great resource and is the reason today most of our shipments are done using the FedEx team.
Sharon May from the North Dakota Trade Office did a very nice job facilitating the ExporTech Program. Her topic on Export Growth Plan Process and Template was very well laid out.
Heather Ranck explained what the commercial services can do and the services offered. This was some of our first exposure to the HTS numbers.
Long term business planning, this topic helped point out some common issues that family businesses need to address.
Increased Sales: 2017 Export Sales were $167,000, in 2018 they were $1.2 million (Canadian Sales Not Included)
New Investment: From 2017-2018, $850,000 in new machinery.
Increased Productivity: 150%.
Cost-Savings: 14% reduction in small package shipment costs.
“My experience with Export Tech was very positive. The program provided meaningful and contextual information that we were able to put into practice. We have had year after year growth in our exports to countries identified in the program as potential markets.”
—Jay Beyer, President