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Preston Eastin Expands Through New International Sales


Preston Eastin designs and manufactures manual, powered, and robotic positioning systems and equipment. Since its inception in 1972, Preston Eastin has offered innovative solutions to positioning requirements serving the welding, aerospace, aviation, automotive, transportation, ship building, material handling, thermal spray, and heavy equipment manufacturing industries. At its new engineering and manufacturing facility in west Tulsa, Oklahoma, the company employees about 100.

The Challenge

CEO Rob Nock had built a market-leading and profitable company manufacturing innovative equipment for a diverse set of industries. But nearly all of Preston Eastin’s customers were domestic. Through continuous improvement and lean manufacturing, the company had created the capacity to serve new customers. Nock couldn’t help but wonder it that capacity couldn’t be filled with new international customers. For advice, Nock turned to Pat Crane, a manufacturing extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, a NIST-MEP network affiliate. Crane had worked with Preston Eastin on several projects and enjoyed a solid relationship with Nock.

ExporTech was a powerful process to get our company focused on growth through exporting. Thanks to the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, we skipped years of mistakes and that is invaluable to our future business.

— Rob Nock, President and CEO

MEP's Role

Pat Crane met with Rob Nock and other company leaders. He suggested ExporTech as starting point in exploring international sales. ExporTech is a program of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, it is coordinated by the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and helps manufacturers develop a customized international growth plan, vetted by experts. Based on a series of carefully designed tools and templates, organizations move quickly beyond planning to actual export sales.

Nock was specifically interested in reaching Canadian and Mexican markets. ExportTech looked at Preston Eastin’s specific situation and helped the company navigate complex issues like U.S. export and Canadian-Mexican import compliance issues; NAFTA rules of origin; international market research; international finance issues; and shipping. On average, ExportTech helps American manufacturers save 120 hours in research and strategy-building time, where one mistake can set a company back months.

Following ExporTech, Crane and Nock coordinated closely with Oklahoma State University’s International Trade Center. Preston-Easton is now working with several international clients in Canada and Mexico, while solid leads are developing in Saudi Arabia and other markets around the world.


Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021