Issue No. 36 - August/September 2007
Commercialisation of your products to North America - in-house or outsourced?
There is a new breed of Australian entrepreneurs who are achieving success in the US by outsourcing their business development activities. But why would an inventor, manufacturer or designer hand their intellectual property over to a third party?
And what about letting another firm take care of your 'baby'? - the product that very often represents an investment of many years of research, development and personal sacrifice. Someone who does not have your intimate knowledge of the technology or the same level of personal commitment to its success? And does it mean the company loses control of their product?
When Eye Catcher Innovations wanted to find a master distributor for their product in the US, they didn't employ a sales team and initiate costly trips overseas to try and infiltrate the market. Instead, they outsourced the role to Export Access, who specialise in securing business in North America for Australian inventors, manufacturers and intellectual property holders. As a result, Eye Catcher Innovations, who retains its patents ownership and control, is on track to reach international sales targets of $25 million, thanks to the help of their outsourcing partnership.
So how does engaging an outsourcing partner and exporting to the US work?
“Partnering with a contracting firm is much different than employing a consultant whose primary function is to give you advice for you to act upon. The process may involve a number of specific elements from business planning, market research, identifying and qualifying potential international clients, through to representing the products and formalization of business relationships with North American partners,” says Export Access MD, Jim Raz.
“The cornerstone of our approach is that we run Export Access 'trade missions', where we represent a number of Australian exporters during one trip. This reduces the costs for our clients and enables us to easily establish relatio...