BORIDE Goes Global With Its Blue Star Diamond Product Line

A “true north” goal set last year will capitalize on a growing international polished concrete market.

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An expanding polished concrete market – along with a “true north” goal set in 2017 – has BORIDE Engineered Abrasives vetting distributors for its Blue Star Diamond product line in Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

“The polished concrete market is growing internationally due to its popularity in the U.S., so this is a good time to extend our reach,” says Carla Nickodemus, business development and product manager for the Traverse City, Mich.-based abrasives manufacturer.

A “large” sales target helped move the initiative forward, she says.

“Last year our division was challenged to meet a large sales goal by 2022,” she says. “Expanding into international sales is part of that growth plan.”

Nickodemus is leading the international sales push from the U.S. by developing relationships with select distributors.

In addition, BORIDE is partnering with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help fund parts of the marketing and vetting process through its International Trade Program grants.

“The MEDC has funded trade show costs, air travel and marketing help,” says Nickodemus. “These state grants are earmarked for helping small businesses in Michigan export and grow internationally.”

BORIDE is no stranger to international sales: It has other product lines, such as mold stones and dressing sticks, that are exported into more than 40 countries.

Its latest foray focuses on the Floor Finishing Value Stream (FFVS), which manufactures floor finishing products under the Blue Star Diamond brand.

The specific focus on Canada, Europe and the Middle East was a natural extension of both current relationships and growing markets, Nickodemus notes.

“We already had some distributor relationships in Canada; concrete polishing and stone/terrazzo restoration is popular in Europe; and there is lots of growth and construction happening in the Middle East,” she explains.

BORIDE’S internal forecasts for its FFVS product line suggest that international sales would expand by 50 percent with these partnerships, she says.

“In 2016, international sales made up only 1.3 percent of our total sales; YTD we are hovering at five percent,” she says. “Our goal with consideration of the current opportunities in the pipeline is to increase that to 7.5 percent.”

Regarding that target, Nickodemus says she is “confident.”

“We have established a good reputation in the U.S. market, so we are confident we can build on that in other markets,” she notes.