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2016 Exporter of the Year
 #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Sm-Bus-Wk-FL-SBDC-winnerCongratulations to Florida SBDC clients Mr. David Bello, Sr., President, and Mr. John Hartnett, VP Global Business Development, of Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc.

A wonderful success story told by winner John Harnett:

Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. (ERPI) is a full-service precision manufacturing facility of 14 employees based in Newberry, Florida. Since 1997, ERPI has manufactured the highest quality aftermarket products for repairing rigid and flexible endoscopes. CEO David Bello, Sr. has over three decades’ experience in the precision manufacturing industry. 

In the early 1990s he noted the juxtaposition of two trends: a growing demand for readily available third party endoscope repair and replacement products, and the business of manufacturing becoming globally competitive with the rise of regional trade agreements like the NAFTA. 

Michael-Myhre-quoteERPI began operations with four employees and, by exporting from the beginning, the company grew rapidly. After just three years, ERPI’s inventory grew to over 500 product lines. ERPI has since increased inventory to more than 2,000 lines, tripled its staff, and serves a worldwide market of independent service organizations, surgery centers, and hospitals in over 70 countries. 

When VP of Global Business Development John Hartnett learned about the Export Marketing Plan service at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida (FSBDC at UNF), he saw an opportunity to diversify the company’s global strategy. 

ERPI applied to the program and worked with International Trade Specialist Katie Arroyo to evaluate the company’s capabilities and match it with the foreign markets where ERPI is most likely to succeed. Arroyo spent weeks researching in preparation for the presentation of the export marketing plan.

Sm-Bus-Wk-FL-SBDC-advisor-kate-arroyoShe conducted a company SWOT analysis and researched global trade flows, industry trends, international tariffs, and compliance factors, to evaluate in which foreign markets ERPI is most likely to succeed. She also developed a detailed action plan for company leadership to follow while pursuing new export markets. 

Since receiving its export marketing plan, ERPI was able to narrow down strategic international expansion to countries in Southeast Asia. Hartnett requested further assistance in conducting targeted foreign market research, and a team of six Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) consultants with the FSBDC at UNF collaborated to gather information about costs related to entering individual countries, such as travel, shipping, distribution, agent agreements, and contract resolution. 

With the information ERPI received as a result of Katie’s assistance, John was able to travel on an Enterprise Florida-sponsored international trade mission to Southeast Asia, and he utilized the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Matchmaker service to meet pre-screened buyers in person. Through the Export Marketing Plan service, ERPI received a grant to offset the cost of the international trade mission and the Gold Key Matchmaker service. By preparing with the FSBDC at UNF, ERPI is on track to secure contracts overseas that will create economic impact here in Florida. 

“I find that the SBDC is a very professional organization with deep data and market research tools that support our business. We are so happy to have used the Export Marketing Plan service and to work closely with Kate Arroyo. My company does not have the resources to obtain this information and then form it into such as streamlined and impactful report. Our Export Marketing Plan helped us focus on which countries to pursue immediately and actually changed our business model in many ways. As an example, we are shifting our sales strategy to distribution networks in our new export countries, and that is allowing us to impact operational efficiency, obtain more real market intelligence and grow sales overall, without adding significant expenses to our operating budget. I constantly speak highly of the benefits of working with the SBDC on an on-going basis and the benefits that we received using the data from our Export Marketing Plan. I relay the message that this was a game changer for our company and has established a new direction for our country for years to come.”

— John Hartnett, VP Global Business Development, Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc.

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