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Veteran-owned Small Business Helps Save Lives Worldwide
September 12, 2017 Elizabeth Thomas, Business Development Specialist, Office of Small Business

Army medics have a daunting job. They work furiously in completely chaotic conditions to save lives. Dust, dirt, multiple casualties and hostile fire - the conditions are harsh enough. To lose someone because the right tool is not at hand is a tragedy.

This was the environment that Ross Johnson experienced as a Special Forces medic in Afghanistan. Now, Founder and CEO of Tactical Medical Solutions,  Mr. Johnson of Anderson, South Carolina, and his team of 31 employees, many of whom are U.S. military veterans, work tirelessly to improve the effectiveness of medical equipment deployed in the battlefield.

“I never started this business to make money,” Johnson told the Anderson Independent Mail in August 2016. “I started because the people in combat situations didn’t have the right equipment, and people were dying.”

Tactical Medical Solutions’ suite of products address a broad spectrum of first responder needs including equipment for extrication, a compact, lightweight litter for casualty evacuation, tourniquets for hemorrhage control and other lifesaving devices. Tactical Medical Solutions’ reputation for quality, innovation and reliability grew quickly, and the demand for their products was growing worldwide. Faced with the opportunity to expand overseas, the Tactical Medical team developed a strategy to maximize their footprint in international markets.

Offering credit terms to existing foreign buyers enabled Tactical Medical’s international suppliers to  increase sales and carry more inventory, which improved delivery time to international end-users. Offering open credit terms in new markets positioned Tactical Medical to compete aggressively for new customers, especially in developing countries that have a clear need for Tactical Medical products, but have limited access to reasonably priced credit. The challenge was to undertake international expansion on multiple fronts, while protecting the company’s finances.

Because Tactical Medical’s products qualify as humanitarian (lifesaving, rescue, hospital supplies, etc.), they are not considered defense articles and they are eligible to be covered by EXIM insurance policies. With an export credit insurance policy from EXIM, Tactical Medical is empowered to offer "open account" credit terms to international buyers, knowing that the receivables generated by foreign transactions are protected from nonpayment by international customers. In short, Tactical Medical helps save lives around the world while growing the company and adding jobs back home. But the goodness doesn’t stop there. Much of Tactical Medical’s manufacturing operation is outsourced to rehabilitation facilities that employ people with disabilities.

When asked what advice he would give other small businesses, Ross Johnson, says, “Don’t be afraid to move forward and grow your business outside of our borders – exporting is not just for large companies. There are plenty of programs available to help you navigate the challenges of exporting, reduce your risk and grow your business!”

Click on the link below if you would like to take Ross’ advice and follow-up with an EXIM representative for a consultation on exporting.

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!


EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.