Economic collapse. Military takeover. Terrorism. Navigating the waters of the export market is definitely not for the fainthearted. Remanufacturers of imaging equipment interested in cultivating markets overseas find that a good grasp of business details and an appreciation for the intangibles important to the “art of the deal” can lead to success. Be prepared, they’ve learned, but also prepare to be flexible.

 The market for remanufactured X-ray and CT scanners in the United States is well-defined, as hospitals in remote areas covet greater levels of technology for a lower cost and others seek to install equipment in their office or clinic for the first time. With remanufacturing’s having been an established business for many years, the rules are spelled out, and people on both ends of a transaction know what to expect. Things get a bit dicey when the customer is located out of the country, though, with many challenges facing companies that venture into such markets.

Many of the same reasons that motivate people in the United States to consider the purchase of remanufactured equipment over new are the same in most parts of the world. The motivations get a bit twisted sometimes, as some business owners can attest. Sometimes, events that are entirely out of the hands of companies shape the deal, such as an economic collapse in a particular country, a military takeover or an increase in terrorist activities. It’s certainly not like selling devices into quiet suburbs in the states.

There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into such a business, most of which have to be learned by experience. Even with a deep knowledge of medical equipment and strong sense of what’s taking place in various parts of the world, the situations affecting the ability to make a sale can change at a moment’s notice. Such is the life of a remanufacturer pursuing the export market.

A matter of trust
The first challenge most remanufacturers face when doing business overseas isn’t necessarily a decision of used-versus-new as much as it is of reputation and trust. The major coastal cities, including New York, Miami and Los Angeles, are major hubs for medical equipment exporters of all kinds. There is, however, a big distinction between remanufacturers who export and exporters who remanufacture, even if the two base their operations from some of the same ports.

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