Monthly Archives: August 2018

  • Export Opportunities for US Machinery Companies in 2018

    For US companies that outsource some or all of their production to China or otherwise have operations there, the ongoing trade war presents a tangle of cost uncertainties. Some companies are being forced to rethink their supply chain — and on a compressed timeline.


    More reading on this: How Will the Trade War Affect US Machinery and Equipment Vendors?


    However, amidst the onslaught of supply-chain challenges, one opportunity that does remain relatively buoyed by the tariffs is the prospect of exporting goods to China that have not been slapped with retaliatory tariffs. Certainly, many of these companies are seeing input costs rise similarly to the myriad other industries being squeezed, but their advantage in this trade war is that these cost increases are tempered by reduced competition.

    That is, for companies whose products are not facing Chinese tariffs but whose Chinese counterparts are facing American tariffs, there may be a window of opportunity after all. One of these product categories is industrial equipment and machinery.

    Although Chinese machinery is facing US tariffs, the retaliatory tariffs from Beijing have, for the most part, only covered low-tech goods and components.

    According to, a resource managed by the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, fewer than 20 Chinese companies can provide medium and high-end CNC machine tools. Yet Chinese demand for metal cutting, forming machine tools, and accessories are expected to grow at a strong pace. Meanwhile, in alignment with the increasing demand for quality in China, the majority of US machine tools companies are focused on high-precision, intelligent high-end CNC machine tool and accessories.

    A top priority of the Made in China 2025 initiative is to upgrade the manufacturing sector by adopting high-tech intensive manufacturing by making the best use of foreign capital and management expertise. For US SMEs, this may be the right moment in time to carve out market share as China is boosting its domestic needs.

    While the United States may be better known as the world's leading exporter of services, material goods still represent two-thirds of its total exports.

    The US mainly exports high-value capital goods and high-end manufactured products, including industrial machinery, airplanes, motor vehicles and chemicals. As Chinese firms increase their investment in higher quality capital goods, US firms are well-positioned to capitalize on these trends.

    US companies are known for producing innovative and high quality products, so China's growing appetite for quality presents unprecedented opportunity for US firms to export their high quality and durable industrial products and components/parts to Chinese manufacturers in various sectors.

    Meanwhile, market entry challenges do exist for US firms interested in tapping into these export opportunities. For one, providing localized after-sales service requires a certain degree of capital that may seem risky particular for smaller US firms. Moreover, despite increased efforts from the Chinese government to improve Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection, handling the challenges of protecting IPR in China requires an understanding of the complex legal environment.

    Moreover, companies interested in exporting typically must invest a considerable amount of resources in planning, developing and executing international sales strategies in order to succeed in today's global marketplace. As a result, smaller companies with fewer resources may find such initiatives to be too risky at their size.


    By partnering with Toolots to sell through our online platform, manufacturers can get the tools and assistance they need to expand their company's international sales. Reach us through our contact page to learn more.


    More reading on Toolots' vendor services: How Toolots Fulfillment Services Help Vendors Grow Their Distribution


  • 4 Tips to Help Businesses Create a Strong Digital Presence

    4 Tips to Help Businesses Create a Strong Digital Presence

    As technology continues to advance, digital presence is necessary and beneficial for all businesses. As a business, your online presence is continuously available for people across the world to access. A digital presence gives customers an easy way to contact you, and the information you provide online alone may answer questions your customers may have about your business or product, saving your company time and money. What you have to offer online may be someone’s first impression of your company. If your company is not online, customers may not even be able to have a first impression of your company because they won’t know that your company is in business.

    When strengthening your digital presence, study your audience and the content you want to release, and effectively build up your social networks.

    Know Your Target Audience

    When building your digital presence, define your online audience and market first. Recognize changing market trends so that you can make early decisions or develop strategies to increase your sales. Look at your competitors and see how they are reaching out to their target markets. Then, adjust your communications efforts based on your findings. Find how potential customers use technology, if at all, and take note of their likes and dislikes. When taking note of this information, understand how your audience might react to certain topics online and the best methods to reach them. Develop a relationship with them by sharing valuable content and quickly responding to messages.

    Decide What Content to Share

    It is important to determine how you want to represent your company online. What do you want your customers to see when they browse through your website or social media accounts? Put yourself in the place of a potential customer – what would you want to know about your company? Would you want to see team photos? Industry articles? Educational videos?

    Decide what will be most applicable and helpful to potential customers.

    Maintain Your Website

    A potential customer or business partner should be able to find most, if not all, of your company details through an online website, including contact information and what your company does. This website should have a clear format that is easy to follow so that viewers do not have trouble finding what they need. Design is extremely important in your website, so make sure that what you showcase embodies your company’s brand and message. It should also be kept updated; a website that was last updated a year ago can drive away customers and other businesses because they may doubt your company’s ability to respond quickly online, think you are no longer in business or be unable to contact you due to outdated contact information.

    There is a high chance that site visitors will skim your website before moving onto another one, so ensure that your site engages these viewers through accessibility and design.  

    Expand Online

    Businesses should have more to offer than just a website. An interested customer or business should be able to search your company name on various social media platforms and find you almost instantly. Especially since there are so many people actively using social media, it can act as a great tool to promote your company. LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are all common applications to use for your business, but while starting out, focus your attention on only a select few that would best benefit your brand.

    • LinkedIn is best to discover and connect with other businesses. Not only can you form partnerships, but you can gain insight on who your competitors are.
    • Instagram is a photo and short video sharing application, which can be used to showcase your company’s available products or deals, your customer’s content, and company news.
    • According to Statista, Facebook is the most popular networking site worldwide with the most diverse group of users. It allows you to connect with other companies, directly communicate with customers, and share articles, photos, and videos.
    • Twitter is a social networking site best to stay updated with global events and share shorter, more concise company updates.
    • Youtube allows you to upload videos, which can consist of product tutorials, testimonials, or company overviews. Videos can also give viewers a better sense of who your company is because it puts a face to your brand.

    There are many outlets to help you spread word about your company. Decide which ones will be most beneficial to your brand, and consistently stay active on them.

    Any company can strengthen its digital presence by understanding its target audience, building an effective website and branching into different social networks.

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