Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. (ERPI) is a Newberry-based full-service precision manufacturer of high-quality aftermarket products for repairing rigid and flexible endoscopes. Founded in 1997, ERPI began as a four-person operation. 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 A. Hartnett, III learned about the Export Marketing Plan (EMP) service available through the Florida SBDC at the University of North Florida (UNF), he saw an opportunity to diversify the company’s global strategy.
Through a partnership with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service, Florida SBDC International Trade Specialists prepare EMPs for qualifying Florida-based manufacturers and service providers. Specialists spend approximately 100 hours on each plan, creating a customized report with target market recommendations, overseas trade opportunities, and an action plan for market entry.
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. Since receiving their EMP, ERPI was able to narrow down its strategic international expansion to countries in Southeast Asia. With the information ERPI received from Arroyo’s assistance, Hartnett was able to travel on an Enterprise Florida-sponsored international trade mission to Southeast Asia and utilized the U.S. Commercial Service Gold Key Matchmaker service to meet pre-screened buyers in person.
As a testament to ERPI’s success, they received the 2016 President’s “E” Award for Export Service and were named the 2016 National Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.