Leading Latin American Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Reveal Best Exporting Practices

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Miami, September 02, 2014

New UPS survey underscores importance of choosing an optimal logistics network, conducting research to identify resources and developing competitive incentives

The UPS Business Monitor™ Export Index Latin America (BMEI), the latest study commissioned by UPS (NYSE: UPS) and conducted by RGX Global Export Network, surveyed the leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America, analyzing the segment's best practices for exporting. The report reveals key factors for success including the importance of partnering with a cross-functional logistics provider, conducting research, leveraging existing incentives and implementing competitive pricing

The eight countries surveyed in the study included Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Peru. The report highlights the following insights used by successful SMEs:  

Choosing the right logistics partner

The majority of survey respondents indicated the importance of choosing the right logistics solutions to meet the requirements of international buyers. Teaming up with a logistics partner that has international capabilities and a proven track record on comprehensive supply chain management, including brokerage, multimodal transportation implementation, and contract logistics, among other solutions, will enable SMEs to grow their business. Additionally, they can build more efficient supply chains, manage customs requirements and tax structures that apply to exports, which are considered by SMEs as barriers for their international growth.

Planning and Research

As a strategy to enter new export markets, most SMEs surveyed, conducted some form of research analysis to evaluate business opportunities. The BMEI found that the majority of SMEs created an in-house department specifically dedicated to ​​managing exports within their organization. Additionally, as a way to minimize cost and leverage existing market resources, most survey respondents partnered with private and public sector entities to attain industry data.

Discounts and Competitive Pricing

The BMEI found that discounts and competitive pricing are a powerful tool to boost product sales. The majority of the survey respondents noted offering discounts based on volume purchased and advanced orders placed. Discounts foster additional incentives for customer loyalty and future purchases.

Product Certification

According to the BMEI, in order to conduct export business successfully, most SMEs attained product certifications from external entities to manage product quality standards and provide value-added services. Product certifications help to attest fulfillment of sales requirements for their products in local and foreign markets.

Financing

The study indicated that SMEs in need of private financing may consider reaching out to local exporting organizations which typically have access to reputable financial resources.

Promotion and communication

Successful exporting SMEs recommend having an intermediary in the destination country that can promote services and gather contacts to drive sales. Also, establishing a presence on social media platforms is considered an effective strategy for additional promotion. Furthermore, attendance in key global conferences can help increase brand and product services exposure among targeted audiences. 

"SMEs are at the heart of Latin America's emerging economic market, stimulating fiscal growth through international expansion. UPS championed the BMEI to provide SMEs deeper insights into the behaviors that are moving the needle in export penetration," said Romaine Seguin, president for UPS Americas Region. "The report underscores the importance of an effective supply chain management process to help SMEs gain new ground in exporting to foreign customers. By relying on UPS for its logistics needs, SMEs can focus on their business to conquer international markets." 

For more information on the UPS Business Monitor™ Export Index Latin America, please visit www.ups.com/bmei.

About UPS Business Monitor Export Index Latin America

Launched in September 2014, the UPS Business Monitor Export Index Latin America (BMEI) underscores the best export practices implemented by some of the leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America. The study provides insights designed to strengthen and improve international export related to the areas of planning and innovation, products, distribution channels, promotion and communication, as well as prices and financing. The BMEI was commissioned by UPS (NYSE: UPS) and conducted by RGX Global Export Network, surveying 40 SMES across eight countries, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Notes to editors:

  • The UPS Business Monitor Export Index Latin America (BMEI) is a barometer of opinions, attitudes and best practices of Latin America's small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) decision-makers conducted between April and May 2014.
  • The BMEI is a study commissioned by UPS (NYSE:UPS) and was conducted by RGX, Global Export Network, a multi-national consulting firm specializing in export trends and behaviors in the region. The study surveyed forty leading SMEs in Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Peru). The sample group was formed by small and medium-sized exporters selected at random from different cities of those countries.
  • For this survey, an SME is defined as a company with 250 employees or less, while the executives interviewed were those responsible for the export and/or foreign trade departments. The interviews were carried out telephonically in the form of a structured questionnaire.
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