Gets federal help to enter Middle East markets
PETALUMA — GCX Corporation, a designer and maker of mounting solutions for medical devices and medical information systems hardware, has received the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate as it expands sales to the Middle East.
The company benefited from U.S. Commercial Service assistance in connection with the Arab Health Congress and Exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre — an event attracting some 3,800 exhibitors and thousands of attendees from 70 countries.
As a result of this collaboration, GCX reported $1.5 million in exports in 2013 to Middle Eastern nations: $870,000 to Saudi Arabia, $300,000 to the United Arab Emirates, $250,000 to Qatar, $40,000 to Bahrain, $15,000 to Oman, $15,000 to Lebanon and $10,000 to Jordan.
John Kruger, president of GCX, met with Bay Area U.S. Commercial Service Expert Assistance Center Director Elizabeth Krauth to determine how this branch of U.S. International Trade Administration could help GCX market its products in the Middle East.
“We provided market intelligence, analysis, and contact assistance for GCX along with export counseling and referrals to overseas trade shows, such as Arab Health,” Ms. Krauth said. “For this show, we supplied potential partner contacts in multiple countries and facilitated pre-show promotion to publicize GCX’s participation to visitors coming to the exposition. At the event, our employees brought potential buyers to GCX’s booth and followed up to see if they could help close the deals.”
U.S. exporting companies contributed to the record-setting value of U.S. goods and services exported totaling $2.3 trillion in 2013, including $168 billion from 75,000 firms in California — the state that leads the nation in total export volume.
Nationally, jobs supported by exports reached more than 11 million in 2013, up 1.6 million since 2009.
Antwuan Griffin, deputy assistant secretary for U.S. Field Operations at the U.S. Commercial Service, presented the Export Achievement Certificate to Kevin Merritt, director of marketing at GCX, at a ceremony at Dominican University of California on June 18.
“The U.S. has been exporting food to Arab countries for many years, and now the focus is on helping these nations develop their medical infrastructure with a transfer of knowledge, materials and equipment, such as products manufactured by GCX,” Mr. Griffin said. “There has been greater emphasis placed on export growth as a result of President Obama’s National Export Initiative announced in 2010 to renew, revitalize and promote American exports.”
He said U.S. Commercial Service has two key objectives — to help U.S. companies find foreign customers and to work with Homeland Security, the State Department and other government agencies to ease the way for U.S. firms to do business abroad.
“The U.S. is a world hub of innovation,” Mr. Griffin said. “Our goal is to catalyze a culture shift to start domestic companies thinking about global expansion as we reorient our service offerings to support these U.S. businesses and protect their intellectual property, while creating more jobs here at home.”
Congressman Jared Huffman’s field representative, Matt Oldhausen, presented GCX with a second certificate honoring the firm for its export success.
Each year several Export Achievement Certificates are presented to small and medium-size companies that have successfully started exporting, are willing to receive public recognition for their efforts and release information publicly about their overseas sales.
“We believe Export Achievement Certificates are valuable reminders to U.S. companies that export success is indeed possible for all kinds of businesses. People often fear the idea of selling overseas. However, the more that they see that companies in their own neighborhoods were able to work through the steps required to start exporting, more will realize they can do it, too, and give us a call,”Ms. Krauth said.
GCX (707-773-1100, gcx.com) was founded in 1971 and has 300 employees in the U.S. and worldwide. About 150 are located in two Petaluma buildings with 65,000 square feet of office, engineering, fabrication, quality control and warehouse space at 3875 Cypress Dr. Other major GCX facilities are located in El Paso, Texas, Taipei, Taiwan and Tilburg, The Netherlands.
To support its broad international customer base, GCX has sales managers in The Netherlands, Germany, France, Japan, Hong Kong and soon in South Korea.
“Our company initially got its start by providing mounts for TV sets in hospital rooms. Today we offer mounting solutions for a wide range of medical devices and IT hardware used in all clinical hospital areas,” Mr. Merritt said. “Nine years ago we began seeing increased attendance at trade shows by representatives from the Middle East, and we wanted to find a way to take advantage of these potential opportunities.”
GCX designs, engineers and manufactures a complete line of standard and custom mounting solutions for the health care industry and health care original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Products include solutions for wall, pendant, headwall mounting, mobile applications as well as countertop and ceiling installations and solutions to integrate medical devices and IT equipment onto anesthesia machines.
With offices in 108 U.S. cities and 350 domestic trade specialists, along with with U.S. consulates and embassies in more than 70 countries, U.S. Commercial Service (415-485-6209, export.gov/california/northbay) connects American exporters with international partners and buyers.
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