A routine booth visit became a door-opening opportunity for Woods Equipment in Brazil.
“We had just started exploring international opportunities and were seeking to enter the Brazilian market,” said Jerry Johnson, president of Blount International’s farm, ranch, and agriculture division and a member of the AEM AG Sector Board.
“We knew we needed to assess the market and plan a visit in the next few months,” Johnson added. By chance, AEM’s Arnold Huerta stopped by the company’s booth during CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011 in Las Vegas.
“While making his rounds at the show, Arnold opened our eyes to the resources available from AEM,” said Angela Kay Larson, Woods’ director, brand marketing and communications.
Among other things, Larson learned that AEM offers free consultation services, in-depth market intelligence and research, and discounted space at AEM-produced shows and pavilions overseas.
Larson recalls that Huerta literally helped open doors in Brazil, assisting with travel plans, explaining cultural differences, and securing an interpreter and driver to host an entourage of Woods Equipment staff around the country when they arrived for a first look at the market.
She said initial steps included:
- An overall market assessment
- An analysis of which products fit the market
- An understanding of in-country competition.
Attendance at two trade shows in Brazil offered additional market intelligence, she said.
In addition, Larson said her understanding of the market was helped by being appointed to AEM’s AG Latin America Regional Management Committee (AG LA RMC).
“Being part of the AG LA RMC got me very immersed in the market and let me meet other manufacturers doing business in the region,” she said.
Currently, Woods sells its products through a network of dealers in Brazil. The company has also hired a sales manager and employs a technical specialist and an advertising analyst.
Not long after Woods began working with AEM on entering the Brazilian market, the Oregon, Illinois-based company was acquired by Blount International, whose manufacturing facility in Brazil provides Woods with assembly operations, human resources, IT and other support.
“Our expansion into Brazil has benefited immensely through our relationship with AEM in Latin America,” said Johnson. “We strongly recommend use of AEM global business resources to other AEM members.”