Armor Protective Packaging expands its sales and reach to customers in global markets such as Mexico, China, India, and others with international website development from the Michigan Online Global program, a partnership between the MEDC and IBT Online.
Armor Protective Packaging (ARMOR) is a global rust prevention and removal company specializing in clean, safe and easy to use vapor corrosion inhibitor packaging. More than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 industrial companies rely on ARMOR for their rust prevention and removal needs. The company supplies metal manufacturers around the world. In fact, a big part of their business is OEMs such as General Motors, Ford Motor Company, BMW, CAT, General Electric, Cummins and others that produce metal parts for various industries. Gaining exposure to a global supply chain requires a global presence – and ARMOR knew in order to meet the growing demand for their products, they needed to expand their digital footprint.
“Without having a local website, in the local language, optimized for that region, it becomes difficult to be found and attract leads,” said David Yancho, vice president and co-owner of ARMOR. “We didn't have acute knowledge of each target market to be able to translate text, know what keywords to use, and make the webpage easily searchable in foreign countries. Also, with managing our strong U.S. business, we didn't have the time needed to learn about each target market.”
That’s when ARMOR turned to MEDC’s International Trade Program. The MEDC had previously helped the company secure MI State Trade Expansion Program (MI-STEP) funding for a couple of international projects and sales trips to assist them in securing partners in key industrialized countries. One major success involved ARMOR becoming an approved supplier for a key German automotive OEM that resulted in their ability to acquire business from key suppliers in India, China and Indonesia. In addition, ARMOR is developing relationships with key contacts in Germany and Japan thanks to their partnership with the MEDC.
This time around, MEDC’s International Trade team connected ARMOR with IBT Online’s Michigan Online Global Program, which offers online marketing and website localization services to Michigan companies wanting to expand business internationally. MEDC’s partnership with IBT Online makes their services more affordable by offering a substantial subsidy to eligible Michigan businesses.
ARMOR first found success using IBT Online to build localized websites for Canada and Mexico in 2018. The websites had such a good return on investment that the company decided to add websites for China and India the following year. To continue reaching promising export markets, ARMOR is working with IBT Online to create localized websites for Japan and Germany which are expected to launch in 2020. ARMOR maintained brand consistency across all websites and received localized and correct content and language with optimizations for search engines in each region or country.
“The process of working with IBT Online was painless and has resulted in several international, localized websites that are working on our behalf to attract our target customers around the world,” said Yancho. “Plus, the return has been immediate due to the low costs of investment thanks to MEDC’s subsidy and SBA’s MI-STEP grant reimbursement.
ARMOR’s products are available in more than 25 countries. The “ARMOR-Full Circle” program provides worldwide support to customers through their international field service team. “The MEDC has helped and continues to help us strengthen our global presence in order to compete globally and offer these services,” added Yancho.
For more information about how the MEDC can provide your business with opportunities to grow internationally, visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/services/international-trade/.