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Exporting Basics Appendix

APPENDIX: Export Readiness Assessment

Companies can use the Web-based Export Readiness Assessment System to assess their “readiness” to export. ERAS is designed for companies that see exporting as a possible new or expanded activity, but are uncertain of their export potential or prospects. Trade counselors can also use ERAS as a fast,user-friendly way to “qualify” new clients for export assistance.

The company's export readiness is determined by its answers to 23 test questions about its present operations, attitudes and products. Once all 23 questions are answered, ERAS provides immediate feedback in the form of an export readiness “score” and a detailed, point-by-point diagnosis. The diagnosis addresses the company’s export strengths and weaknesses in each of the 23 areas and suggests specific steps the company can take to build on its strengths and overcome any weaknesses.

The 23 ERAS Questions & Possible Responses

A. Company Export Readiness

1. Are you an established presence in your industry domestically?

O Well known

O Somewhat known

O Not well known

2. How extensive is your current domestic sales outreach?

O Sell to large national customer base

O Sell to large regional customer base

O Sell to large local customer base

O Sell to few regional/national customers

O Sell to local customers

3. How do you sell and distribute your products in the domestic market?

O Use combination of own sales force and regional distributors

O Use regional distributors only

O Use own sales force only

O No sales/distribution network

4. Do you customarily conduct market research and planning for your domestic operations?

O Always

O Sometimes

O Rarely

5. To what extent do you advertise and promote your products in the domestic market?

O Very aggressively

O Fairly aggressively

O Modestly

O Not much

O None

6. Do any of your current managers or staff have export marketing or sales experience?

O Considerable experience

O Some experience

O Little or no experience

7. Has your company received any unsolicited inquiries from foreign firms?

O Many

O Some

O None

8.Could you promptly fill any new export orders from present inventory or other sources?

O Easily

O With Some Difficulty

O With Great Difficulty

9. How would you handle any new or additional export business within your organization?

O Establish export department

O Establish export manager

O Hire more staff

O Train existing staff

O Assign to current staff

10. What is the current status of your export activity?

O Export to many markets

O Export to some markets

O Export occasionally

O No export activity

11. Is your top management committed to exporting as a new or expanded area of activity?

O Strongly committed

O Somewhat committed

O Little commitment

12. How much per year could you afford to spend on export development?

O <$5K

O $5-25K

O $ 26-50K

O $51-100K

O >$100K

13. How long would your management be willing to wait to achieve acceptable export results?

O Up to 3 years

O Up to 2 years

O Up to 1 year

O Up to 6 months

O Need immediate results

B. Product Export Readiness

1. Have domestic sales of your product grown over the past 3 years (average per year)?

O Zero or negative

O <5%

O 6-10%

O 11-20%

O >20%

2. What is your product's current share of the domestic market?

O <5%

O 5-10%

O 11-20%

O 21-40%

O >40%

3. Is your product price-competitive in the domestic market?

O Highly Competitive

O Somewhat Competitive

O Not Competitive

4. What payment terms would you be willing to offer reputable foreign buyers?

O Pay in advance

O Pay on delivery

O Up to 30 days

O 31-60 days

O 61-120 days

O Over 120 days

5. Does your product compare favorably with domestic competitors in features and benefits?

O Very favorably

O Somewhat favorably

O Somewhat unfavorably

O Unfavorably

6. Would you be willing to adapt your product and/or packaging to better suit foreign markets?

O Very willing

O Willing

O Reluctantly

O Unwilling

7. Is your product costly to transport over long distances?

O Not very costly

O Somewhat costly

O Very costly

8. Is any special training required to assemble, install or operate your product?

O No special training

O Some training

O Extensive training

9. Does your product require any special technical support or after-sale service?

O None required

O Some support/service

O Extensive support/service

10. Can your product tolerate harsh or widely varying environmental conditions?

O High tolerance

O Some tolerance

O Low tolerance


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