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USATEQ

In 2009, Carlos Silva saw an opportunity to sell used heavy equipment to the construction and mining sectors in Latin America, particularly to companies in his native Colombia. His experience on dealerships and international trade as well as the growing demand generated by major investments to develop the construction, mining, oil and gas industries in several Latin American countries, especially those that fairly quickly recovered after the 2008 global recession, helped identified the business potential for used equipment.

USATEQ was founded in February 2010 following seven or eight months of prior planning and research to satisfy customers' equipment needs by selling the right equipment of the best-known manufacturers at a competitive price and with the following goals:

• To sell used heavy equipment with the initial focus on the Colombian market, with plans to expand it into the Peruvian, Chilean and Mexican markets once established in Colombia.

• To sell quality used equipment to build a reputation as a reliable supplier.

• To focus on value added deals (one-stop-shop) and customer service as the foundation for sustained growth.

The path to success has not been easy and required Carlos to stay focus on the business plan that he believed would lead to success. Last year, he partnered up with Nick Tummers and Nora Blanc to help pursue and achieve those goals. One major challenge in this process has been establishing visibility and trustworthiness for an unknown company with customers, vendors and lenders. A larger problem was finding access to capital. Persistence, careful planning and ability to adjust the course of action allowed USATEQ to largely overcome those barriers.

The International Trade Center has worked with USATEQ since the start-up phase by providing market research on the Colombian, Peruvian and Chilean markets, potential customers in each country, guidance on the export process, and helping the company connect with other organizations that could assist it.

Today, the company has had a number of strong export successes and is viewed by current customers and many potential customers as a reliable, viable equipment and parts provider because USATEQ considers one-stop-shop deals for quality equipment and spare parts as projects and the company manages them as such regardless of whether the deal is for a machine or a spare part.

One of those customers is MAMUT de Colombia, a leader of oversized cargo handling and transport in Latin America, for which USATEQ adds value by providing wheel loaders, forklifts, boom trucks and spare parts. Another case is an excavator for AE Explanaciones, a growing company in the earth moving business. For TABLEMAC, the largest plywood manufacturer in Colombia, USATEQ provided a grapple (major component) for a stationary crane to handle logs at their new facility. With these customers and others, USATEQ is currently evaluating heavy equipment options and parts for their fleet improvement and growth.

USATEQ has a strong future that only hard work and vision could realize.

To learn more about USATEQ visit www.usateq.com.

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