Mainstream; QwikProducts; Export, Florida SBDC; Success Story

Mainstream Engineering

Mainstream Engineering’s president and founder Dr. Robert Scaringe has built a successful, diversified corporation offering research & development project work; military, commercial and retail products; professional engineering services, and lean manufacturing. Every corner of the company is working to realize its mission: providing “Solutions through Advanced Technology” by transitioning advanced technology into high-quality and cost effective products.

Based in Brevard County, Florida, Mainstream Engineering serves a broad range of customers including the government, private enterprise and individuals like you and me. And they are an American company through and through, headquartered in the U.S and proudly manufacturing all their products in the U.S.A.

One of their business lines, QwikProducts™, produces heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration repair products for the technicians who work on HVAC systems, refrigerators and walk-in coolers, among others. QwikProducts are sold through trade wholesalers across the U.S and have been extremely successful in this country. However air conditioning and refrigeration repair is a worldwide business and Scaringe wanted to take his solutions global, starting in Latin America.

To that end, he initiated an in-house market study of the markets in Central and South America. Soon enough, he and his team knew what they wanted to do and had some ideas about how to do it. But they didn’t have enough of the data necessary to make decisions and felt like they didn’t have all the expertise they needed either.

It was then that Mainstream Engineering’s QwikProducts turned for assistance to the Florida SBDC at UCF’s International Trade Services team led by international trade specialist Jill McLaughlin. Specifically, they asked McLaughlin to revise and improve Mainstream’s Export Marketing Plan.  Developing Export Marketing Plans is a service provided by the FSBDC in partnership with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Services in which the FSBDC develops a comprehensive, data-driven, tailored export marketing strategy for qualified Florida small businesses. The Export Marketing Plan is a customized plan which includes extensive industry research and market analyses to identify recommended target markets; a review of overseas trade opportunities; and an action plan.

The improved Export Marketing Plan was just what QwikProducts was looking for. With access to data that would have otherwise been extremely costly for the company to obtain without FSBDC’s services, McLaughlin provided market size, competitive information and other international marketing metrics to identify where the economics were and what countries made sense, even adding some countries that Mainstream’s team hadn’t considered. “The Export Marketing Plan told us what we needed to know,” remarked Scaringe. “How big the markets are; which countries are growing, which countries aren’t; where it’s safe to do business and where it’s not.”

With the completed Export Marketing Plan in hand, superior products and a strategy of using the home country’s language in all sales materials, packaging, training, and on a dedicated website, QwikProducts foray into Latin America has been a major success for Mainstream. “We’re really, really happy with the way it’s going,” says Scaringe. “Our year-to-date revenue is more than twice last year’s and last year’s revenue was   several times larger than the year before.”

“It was a very good experience working with the FSBDC,” concluded Scaringe. “It was easy. Jill McLaughlin was very helpful and very professional. The quality of the Plan was excellent. Everyone had the same goal: to help us sell our product. And that’s exactly what we did.”