Italy's Diesse Rubber Hoses S.p.A. is looking to boost its business in the U.S. and South America, and it is searching for new distributors in those regions.
The hydraulic hose manufacturer is set in Canada, where its products are distributed by Green Line Hose & Fittings, but the firm would like to add at least one more representative in the U.S., according to Michele Mancini, Diesse executive director of sales and marketing for North and South America. He talked about the company's plans during the recent NAHAD annual convention in Washington.
He described Diesse as a "medium-sized company" with the capacity to produce about 35 million feet of braided and spiral hydraulic hose at its 215,000-sq.-ft. factory in Filago, Italy. Its products range from low to very high working pressure hoses, with applications in the earthmoving, agricultural, heavy industry, deforesting, civil, naval, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
"We're always trying to innovate, so we're very focused on research and development," Mancini said. "We're looking for new products with higher working pressure and a lower bending radius. This is what the customer is looking for."
Diesse has one distributor in the U.S. and wants to add at least one or perhaps two if they are in different regions, he said. The hose maker particularly would like to capitalize on the growth in the U.S. mining, oil and gas industries and the opportunities there for spiral hoses.
The hose maker ships full containers from Italy and has had some discussions with potential U.S. distributors but hasn't yet finalized anything, according to Mancini. Sales in the U.S. have dipped a bit recently but are up overall in North America because of growth in Canada.
"We believe we can increase U.S. business by 20 percent if we find the right distributors," he said. "It's a potential target we can reach."
With Diesse headquartered in Italy, it is important that the chosen distributor be able to handle the business on the ground, Mancini said, though the hose maker does have a warehouse in Houston and would be able to offer technical support as needed.
Diesse can promise lead times of about three to four weeks, which the company official said is shorter than others in the market.
"Our quality is excellent," he said. "Our company has been producing hoses since 1979, so we have a long history. These are the advantages we can bring to our potential distributor over here."
The company recently started its marketing efforts in South America, attending its first exhibition there a couple months ago, Mancini said. It did land two customers there, one an original equipment manufacturer for water blast hoses and another a distributor in the agricultural market seeking a new supplier.
With the size of the South American market, he said Diesse eventually would like to find another distributor there, particularly one that focuses on mining, oil and gas, and other fields where there is potential for growth.
About 40 percent of Diesse's business currently is in Europe—particularly in northern Europe—5 percent in its home market of Italy, 30 percent in North America, 10 percent in Russia and the Middle East, and the rest in Australia.
"European business is not doing very well in general," Mancini said, "so I feel we must find alternatives to the European market, so we can reverse the trend a little bit. We may become bigger in North America than Europe."
He said the firm has excess capacity at its Filago plant that can handle any growth.