Roll-A-Ramp: Back in Business in South Korea
Posted on May 16, 2011
A partnership with the North Dakota Trade Office helped business in Asia get rolling again for a West Fargo company. Roll-A-Ramp, the company owned by Tom Kenville, makes portable, flexible ramps. In 2008, Roll-A-Ramp struck a deal with Korean company Tong-IL, a major supplier of medical equipment. But shipping costs were very high, the Korean company wasn’t happy with the price point and eventually business between the two companies ceased.
After business faltered, in 2010 a strategic plan was developed to re-establish the ramp market in South Korea. Greg Moll is the national and international sales and export manager for Roll-A-Ramp. He says with the tariffs still in place in Korea, something had to be done to lower shipping costs. Moll and his team came up with a plan: rather than ship the finished product to South Korea, parts would be shipped and the finished product assembled in the country. At this time, the partnership between Roll-A-Ramp and the North Dakota Trade Office became vital. Moll and NDTO manager of business development, Korea and Seoul native Jiwon Kim made several trips to Korea. After numerous meetings with Tong-IL company officials, Kim was able to help strike a deal and the first shipment of ramp parts is heading to Korea this week.
“This deal is huge for us. And having Jiwon in the discussions, being able to fluently speak the language, was key.” said Moll. “This is deal is going to make up a significant part of our business this year. It’s very exciting.”