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Exporting for National Success
Gainesville, FLA. - David P. Bello, Sr., founder and CEO of Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. (ERPI) started the business in 1997. ERPI is a full-service precision manufacturing facility of 15 employees based in Newberry, Florida. Prior to opening his own business, he worked and eventually became a partner in his father’s manufacturing business in South Florida. The company served as a general machine shop for Motorola and several aerospace companies in South Florida. Bello was recently named the National Small Business Exporter of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration. He shared the title with John Hartnett, Vice President of Global Business Development and David Bello, Jr., General Manager.
Bello started ERPI after he learned of an opportunity to serve companies that needed a reliable supply of third party endoscope repair and replacement products. ERPI manufactures aftermarket products for repairing rigid and flexible endoscopes. Traditionally, endoscope repair was completed by a surgical center’s in-house repairman who essentially “patched” problems rather than replacing parts in fully functional condition. Bello, Sr. realized there was significant opportunity to reduce supply chain costs and to provide an alternative to traditional options by mass manufacturing affordable, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) -specific endoscopic replacement parts.
ERPI started with 4 employees and grew fast by exporting from the onset. Only a short 3 years after its start, ERPI 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 80 countries.
ERPI has been a client of the Small Business Development Center (SBCD) at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida since March 2014. The SBDC is a resource partner for the Small Business Administration, and provides counseling, training, and technical assistance to small businesses. For more information, visit the SBDC website.
In January 2015, the company participated in the SBDC’s Export Marketing Plan program in which they received both a $3,000 grant to offset the cost of plan development, as well as a thoroughly researched foreign market analysis. The analysis contained a customized action plan and recommended target markets for their products. The company has continued to work with a team of five Certified Global Business Professional SBDC consultants to further research strategic foreign markets.
The company exports to the following Countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, UAE, Chile, Hong Kong, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Great Britain, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
The complexity of exporting can lead to many issues needing resolution. ERPI handles foreign language barriers by employing multilingual staff members and through using web-based voice translation tools when needed. The company’s VP of Global Business Development goes above and beyond to patiently work with foreign clients through cultural differences by building relationships and by making himself available for international inquiries 24 hours a day.
ERPI also represented small-to-medium size exporters with the White House Business Council’s Business Forward Forum for a briefing at the White House with senior Administration officials. ERPI participated in candid discussions with senior White House and Administration officials about how international trade policies affect businesses and the national economy.