Local to Global in 5 Years
Midwest Rubber Shares Exporting Story
Ross Anderson, global director of operations at Plymouth-based Midwest Rubber,
says companies will improve their export potential if they embrace the
culture of the target country while maintaining their company's values.
was one of three executives who shared their exporting experiences at
"Exporting in 2012: The Practices of Profitable Companies," an Enterprise Minnesota event on Aug. 22. Other speakers represented Mactech
of Red Wing, which provides on-site equipment for the petro-chemical,
pulp and paper, power generation and ship building industries and Ideal Aerosmith of East Grand Forks, manufacturer of precision motion simulation test systems for the military and aerospace industries.
Rubber's revenues have doubled since it started exporting five years
ago and exporting now makes up about 25 percent of its revenues.
Exporting has resulted in new customers, new suppliers and new product
lines in Asia, Europe and North America.
Anderson says doing
business in China is more about relationships than business. "You have
to go there and live and breathe it. You have to try the food and meet
the people.You have to meet with potential customers so you understand
what doing business is like in their country."
Within two years
of opening a small office in Shanghai, Midwest Rubber's visibility grew,
and it eventually hired 22 employees. Anderson, who lived in China for
more than four years, worked hard to blend the two cultures to improve
business. He taught employees and their families how to ski and he
helped an employee's children practice English. Employees practiced
yoga, a common activity in China, and they grilled hamburgers at a
barbecue as team-building exercises. "These are examples of Guanxi
(gwan-shee) in China. An 'exchange of favors,' which is paramount to
doing business there. You help them and they help you. If you don't help
them, they won't help you. It builds trust and long-term
relationships," he says.
Anderson stresses that while
manufacturers should fit into the country's culture they shouldn't forgo
their company values. "If you just try to fit in with their culture,
you're not going to do as well. Remember, it's their culture, your
values. Our Midwest Rubber value to the Chinese market is our unique
business knowledge, expertise and well-made products. We've figured out
how to fit our business values that made us strong here in the U.S. into
their culture in a way they can understand. If you can find that
balance you have a chance of selling your products, wherever you are."
All but one of Midwest Rubber's 22 employees in China are Chinese. The company employs 100 people globally.
company's revenue in China is $2 million, compared to its $20 million
overall revenue. "A lot of that growth happened here in the U.S.," says
Anderson. "Your headquarters should grow too when you export."
Minnesota's "Global Market Strategy" consulting services helps
manufacturers enter or expand in global markets. For more information on
Midwest Rubber's exporting, contact Anderson at email@example.com. To see Anderson's presentation from the Aug. 22 Business Event, click here.
Lean Product Development: Getting Highly Manufacturable Products to Market
Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012
14601 Ramsey Blvd
What to Expect:
to find a way to bring better products to market faster and more
efficiently? Optimizing workflow in today's competitive environment
means processes need to be fast, efficient and highly effective. Come
hear manufacturing executives tell their stories of reduced lead times,
improved products at lower costs and profitable business results.
• Kevin Weiss, Product Line Manager,
Circle Pines, MN
• Jeff Scholten, General Manager,
Water Heater Innovations,
• Traci Tapani, Co-President
Register Online Today!
Have news or events for e-trends? Contact Sue Roe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elk River Machine Achieves ISO Mark
Minnesota has honored Elk River Machine for achieving International
Standard Organization (ISO) certification. Enterprise Minnesota
President and CEO Bob Kill said the accomplishment will help the
company's future growth potential. Kill spoke at an ISO recognition
event Aug. 17 in Elk River, where he presented Jim Barthel, president of
Elk River Machine, with a plaque in honor of the company's achievement.
Star News article
Minnesota Exports Climb to a Record $5.4 Billion
exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products climbed to a
record $5.4 billion for the quarter ending June 30. That broke the
previous record of $5.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Exports
to China hit nearly $750 million, a 32 percent increase driven by
increased sales of everything from iron ore to medical devices and
MPR News article continues
IRRR Board Approves $1.3 Million For Development Projects
Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony
Sertich announced that the IRRR Board approved $1.3 million in funding
for development projects at its meeting in Eveleth. The funding will
leverage over $9.4 million in total project investments. At least 110
jobs are projected to be created as a result of the projects:
IRRRB news article continues
Enterprise Minnesota looking for service delivery consultant
Enterprise Minnesota is seeking a talented business professional to join its statewide team.
Minnesota Manufacturers' Week Oct. 21-27
across the state of Minnesota will have an opportunity during Minnesota
Manufacturer's week to participate in an event intended to help build a
pipeline of future workers for skilled jobs in the manufacturing
sector. This year, Manufacturers' Week will include a statewide Tour of
Manufacturing; a week when the general public is invited to tour
participating manufacturing businesses.
In Minnesota, Job Openings Up 15 Percent In Second Quarter -- Employers Report 63,000 Openings
vacancies in the state have returned to levels that we haven't seen
since before the Great Recession," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips.
"While finding work remains difficult for many people, the latest
survey is a positive sign that the labor market is recovering."
Detroit Lakes Online
1-Day Employee Engagement Workshop
People Driven Performance (PDP)
Sept. 5, 2012
7:30am - 5:30pm
Minnesota State University
Mankato Twin Cities Campus
44th Annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference
Minneapolis Hilton Hotel
Trusight 2012 Annual Conference
"Preparing for the Future:Investing in the Human Side of Business"
Science Museum of Minnesota
The Value of Your Business - What Expert Buyers Are Looking For
Sept. 19, 2012
8am - 11am
801 Nicollet Ave.
Suite 1100 West Tower
2012 Annual Meeting & Issues Conference
MN Chamber of Commerce
September 25, 2012
Leveraging ISO Certification to Grow Your Business
Oct. 3, 2012
8 - 11am
7225 Northland Drive North #300
Supervision I: Leadership Fundamentals for Manufacturers Only
Oct. 17, 2012
9805 45th Ave.North Plymouth
Leveraging Operational Excellence to Achieve Growth
8 - 11 am
9805 45th Ave.North