a boon for tech exporters
By Steve Venegas - Business Examiner - Fraser Valley - April 07,
many small businesses in the south-of-Fraser region, having strong cross-border
commerce with the U.S. is vital.
what if products shipped south of the line require servicing or repairs?
past, it all amounted to a logistical nightmare, with interminable border
waits, customs frustrations, clearance expenses, freight costs and, ultimately,
for local tech sector exporters, International Market Access Inc. has announced
the opening of a new technical repair and return service that is catering to
in IMA's Ferndale warehouse, the service will be a receiving point for Canadian
product returns from U.S. customers.
facility, on-site trained technical specialists will perform the necessary
service work, upgrades, testing and evaluations.
idea is to minimize unnecessary and expensive cross-border product transfers.
saving the cost of crossing of the border, I see the opportunity here for
people who don't want to be troubled with handling the repair of their
products," says IMA president Jim Pettinger.
more than 20 years Pettinger and his team have helped Canadian companies market
and distribute across the 49th parallel.
shipping and receiving, to stocking and storing, IMA has assisted Canadian
firms in establishing a U.S. foothold, working with them to roll out a
particular product or service.
Chettle, vice-president of marketing for Burnaby-based Digital Payment
Technologies, sees a lot of potential in IMA's technical repair and return
benefit we can see would be providing a faster turnaround in parts repairs for
our U.S. customers," Chettle says.
the extra day or two resulting from cross-border shipments can provide us with
improved levels of customer service where replacement parts are not
available." What's more, Chettle adds, outsourcing repair services that
are more universal in scope enables Digital Payment's internal technical team
to focus on repairs that may require more specialized product knowledge.
says there's never been a more important time to focus on cross-border customer
U.S. market is highly competitive. Customers expect the same level of quality
and efficient customer service from a Canadian company that they receive from
domestic companies," he says.
to meet or exceed these expectations may drive your customers to your U.S.
Pettinger has tips for businesses looking to expand across the border:
the U.S. as domestic. It's too big to consider as just another export market.
Bridge the border and get personally involved.
focus, focus. The U.S. market is massive - most Canadian success stories result
from niche marketing.
and distribute from the U.S. It may be real or virtual, but either way, a
warehouse will pay dividends in cost savings, response, certainty and control.