May 15, 2012 | last updated May 15, 2012 9:01 am

DMT Sharpens Its Global Edge

Mark Brandon, president of DMT in Marlborough, prefers trade show networking to expand his export base.

Marlborough-based Diamond Machining Technology has been selling its sharpeners into foreign markets for years.

The company's export networks were fairly robust when company president Mark Brandon and his wife Stacey took over seven years ago, but recently, DMT has taken it to another level.

The company's exports grew by 65 percent over the past two years. It was enough to get them noticed by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, which on Friday bestowed the DMT with a global trade award.

Mark Brandon, DMT's president, explained in an interview how his company could grow exports by such a large margin.

"It's really a combination of new products and new markets," Brandon said.

Specifically, Brandon said sharpening products for the outdoor sporting and woodworking markets helped drive the growth. His company is now selling into approximately 30 countries.

In addition to sharpeners for ice skates and woodworking tools, the company also makes sharpeners for gardening, industrial and culinary tools.

Made In The USA

Brandon said his company survives by having the best sharpening products on the market, which come at premium prices.

"[The United States] is a very expensive place to do business, especially as a manufacturer," he said. "It's a premium product."

Having a quality product is one thing, but when it comes to boosting exports, what's Brandon's secret? The answer good old fashioned networking, specifically, trade shows.

Companies from the hardware and the outdoor industry gather each year at major conferences in Germany. It's where Brandon met many of his foreign distributors and new customers.

DMT is also making use of regional resources for companies.

The company worked with the Central Massachusetts Export Center to get a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Trade and International Investment. DMT used the grant to explore a U.S. Commerce Department program that matches manufacturers up with distributors in other countries.

"We're going to try that in a couple countries," Brandon said.

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