NEW BERLIN, Wis. – DuraSafe, an innovator and manufacturer in the marine and automotive accessory market, is gearing up to expand its presence in international markets, including Canada, Western Europe, Scandinavia and Australia. With the recent completion of the ExporTech program, DuraSafe has developed a global growth strategy to bring its unique towing accessories and locks to new international customers. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) led the ExporTech training and assisted DuraSafe in forming its export plans.
According to Cathy Kraatz, vice president of sales & marketing at DuraSafe, ExporTech provided the knowledge it needed to take the next steps in global growth. “ExporTech was instrumental in helping us explore foreign markets to maximize our products’ potential,” says Kraatz. “In addition, we now understand all of the necessary processes involved in exporting, which removes many potential barriers. We know where we need to go, what we need to do, and how we are going to do it.”
ExporTech assists companies in developing an international growth plan, provides experts who will vet their plan and connects companies with organizations that will help them move quickly beyond planning to actual sales. Each of its three-month workshop programs is customized to the specific learning needs of participants and focuses on merging strategy and results.
“The opportunities that ExporTech provided to network with other companies, meet seasoned export veterans, listen to knowledgeable presenters and learn about trade resources Wisconsin has to offer were invaluable and will directly contribute to expediting our export success,” adds Kraatz.
While DuraSafe already has seen strong interest in its products from partners abroad, part of its export strategy includes aligning with additional distributors and retailers outside the United States. Existing international distribution partners include IJsselsport/Lund Boats in Europe, MjosService in Scandinavia, Kisaka Marine Co., Ltd. in Japan, and M.C. Technologies in France. Existing U.S. distribution partners include A.C. Kerman, Coast Distribution, Northern Wholesale Supply, Rigid Hitch and Stag-Parkway, Inc. Some of the larger retailers that carry DuraSafe products include Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, Northern Tool & Equipment, Overton’s, Ranger® Wear, Tackle Warehouse and West Marine.
Since its 2003 inception, DuraSafe has created a niche developing problem-solving products for boating, fishing and recreational enthusiasts. Its inventive products include a guide that helps drivers align a trailer coupler and tow ball for easier hook ups, a bracket that helps secure the trailer to the tow vehicle and purpose-built locks for trolling motors and marine electronics.
ExporTech is deployed nationally as a collaboration between the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, U.S. Export Assistance Centers, and other partners including District Export Councils, State Trade Offices, Ex-Im Bank and SBA.