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Custom engineering company enriches automotive and transportation manufacturing by embracing international trade.
With more than three decades of international trade experience, Ray Fernandez brings a unique perspective to Metal Craft Technologies as its president and CEO. The Michigan-based start-up provides technology solutions to international manufacturers by engineering custom products for tooling, fixturing, injection molds and die casting.
Metal Craft Technologies has team members stationed across the globe who rely heavily on networking. Understanding the benefits of making connections abroad, Ray worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s International Trade team to utilize their extensive network, which reaches more than 100 countries worldwide through 14 distinct international trade centers.
Similar to the way Metal Craft Technologies connects manufacturers with customers through innovative technology and engineering, the MEDC’s International Trade team connects Michigan companies with international partners through business counseling, B2B matchmaking meetings, and trade missions.
“You will get more done on a trade mission than you could do in a year or more,” said Ray. “You meet with companies and people who are specifically interested in your unique offerings. The MEDC makes it easy and efficient.”
Ray and the Metal Craft Technologies team have joined several trade missions with financial assistance from MEDC’s MI-STEP grant program. Most recently, the team attended a trade mission to India hosted by MEDC and Automation Alley, where they had the opportunity to connect with manufacturers and potential customers in Chennai, Pune and New Delhi. MEDC’s International Trade Center in India provided Metal Craft Technologies with customized market research and connected them with international commercial offices before leaving the States. By working with the MEDC to scope out the market before the trade mission, Metal Craft Technologies was able to tailor their business approach to best suit their target area, better positioning the team to create new and lasting relationships.
“Could we have done all that research by ourselves? Sure, we could have,” said Ray. “But honestly, it might have taken us a year and a half and several international trips to do it properly. The people at the MEDC are experts. They have professionals with boots on the ground.”
Since leveraging the tools of the International Trade program, Metal Craft has seen such an increase in international activity that they were able to add a new project engineer to the team in 2020 dedicated to servicing global sales.
To learn how the MEDC’s International Trade program can expand your Michigan businesses, visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/pure-partnership/.