PESA, established in 1973, is a manufacturer of high-end video and audio equipment for commercial and government use. When it comes to international business, the company is highly experienced with over 40 years of practice and has recently been recognized for its global success. In 2014, PESA received both the Governor’s Trade Award and the NAITA Global Trade Award.
PESA employs 50 workers, most of which are located in Huntsville, with a few in Florida, Texas, Canada, and Beijing. At least 10 percent of these jobs are directly dependent upon international sales.
Currently, around 10-20 percent of sales are due to exports. Last year the company exported $1.7M worth of goods, despite the sluggish European market due to economic conditions. PESA has seen significant increased sales in China and the Middle East in the past year and anticipates continued growth in these markets as well as Southeast Asia and America.
International business does not always come easy. PESA has seen this with trade barriers in reference to transportation and export controls. The company deals with difficult Customs issues in China, as well as confusion of export controls due to complications of determining how certain products should be classified under regulations. PESA also works with third parties when exporting through Miami to South America. With critical sales occurring throughout South America, PESA hopes to see free trade agreements in those areas that will positively affect those exports.
While the challenges can be significant, the North Alabama International Trade Association (NAITA) provides training areas so that businesses can be educated on subjects such as export controls, logistics, and finance. John Wright, SVP, Sales and Business Development at PESA, says that “NAITA affords PESA the opportunity to extend our reach internationally. Since PESA is a small business with a significant and far-reaching international customer base, I view NAITA and its programs as a ‘force multiplier’ for our international sales and marketing efforts.”