EMSI, a rep firm based in Philadelphia, provides international representation for Champion Fiberglass.
Formed in 1980, EMSI is led by Principal John O’Donnell. The firm combines the traditional rep firm concept with export management to serve as a manufacturer’s surrogate export company. They add value for manufacturers by providing expertise special to international sales so that manufacturers are free from building out their own export department.
EMSI’s reach extends to 70 countries. For Champion Fiberglass, they most recently acquired the territory of Puerto Rico.
International Representation Since 2004
Champion Fiberglass and EMSI have partnered since 2004. EMSI prefers to represent small privately held companies, like Champion Fiberglass, that are easier to work with, more nimble and typically have fewer layers of management. John O’Donnell says he “appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit of President Goran Haag” and says that same spirit can be found in the people who work for him.
Project Success Around the World
O’Donnell explains that international sales have distinct nuances when compared to domestic sales. For example, standards are different across the world. For the most part, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico follow NEC and UL standards. The Europeans have the International Electrical Code (IEC), which is also followed as the standard in Saudi Arabia. So the challenge outside of North America is gaining acceptance of U.S. standards.
Interestingly, outside of North America, conduit is not seen as the necessity that it is in the United States. American-made conduit is made to a more robust standard, heavier and thicker, and more expensive. Other aspects play into sales too, such as distribution and the desire to use hometown suppliers.
But the PVC shortage has generated attention and awareness for fiberglass conduit in international markets too, which has been helpful for global sales initiatives.
As for projects, Champion Fiberglass conduit has been used in Barbados, for utility bridge work in Colombia, for airport runway electrical and a large food service and dining area in Saudi Arabia, as well as in power plants and data centers in Mexico. It has also been used in refineries, nuclear plants and utility plants around the globe.
Partnering in Puerto Rico
“We enjoy the partnership with Champion Fiberglass and our team is looking forward to working more closely in Puerto Rico,” says John O’Donnell.
Adds National Sales Manager Scott Patchan, “Champion Fiberglass is excited that EMSI has taken on the additional territory of Puerto Rico for us. We know their experience will be an asset in offering fiberglass conduit as a solution for construction projects there.”