, a Central Pennsylvania company that makes materials used in welding, was looking for ways to expand its business, it had to look pretty far for an answer: overseas.
Arcos supplies products such as specialty wires and electrodes for several sectors, including shipbuilding, oil and gas, and electricity generation. Harry Wehr, the company's technical director, estimates that Arcos now has customers in about 20 countries. Much of its growth is in the Middle East, where water desalination plants and oil exploration are major industries, and the Far East, where power plants are being constructed at a dizzying rate.
"There's a larger growth market for our products and for other products overseas than there is in North America," Wehr says. "A lot of our products aren't available overseas."
Arcos, which employs about 90 people, is currently looking for new customers in the geographic areas it serves now. Wehr expects business to grow about 15 percent this year, which is in line with the past few years.
He says the most difficult aspect of promoting Arcos' international growth is the travel involved. He spends about half the year away from his office in Mount Carmel because executives in the countries Arcos works in value personal relationships.
"You have to be prepared to spend the time and the resources and expense to support it," Wehr says. "They like to have you in front of them to discuss business matters."
Source: Harry Wehr, Arcos Industries
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen