Utah Company DPS Skis projects 20 percent growth through utilizing World Trade Center Utah resources like the Export Acceleration Grant
Founded in 2005, DPS Skis is one of the world’s premier ski makers and the only ski company that utilizes pure prepreg carbon fiber laminates in their products. After establishing their headquarters in Utah, DPS Skis further refined their products to bring its customers competitive, high-performing skis at the forefront of technological advancement. The company has garnered immense attention from serious skiers worldwide and are currently kick-starting a new addition to their product line.
“Being headquartered in Utah is great. We can easily build our product in the factory and then test it right here in our backyard. We can quickly adjust for improvements without much hassle,” said COO Alex Adema. “It gives us both a ‘Made in USA’ product and the capability to grow and innovate quicker than if our products were produced somewhere else.”
DPS Skis works through their website and dealer to sell their products to consumers worldwide. Over 50 percent of their business is done outside of the United States, primarily in countries where skiing is a popular sport. As skiing in Europe continues to thrive, DPS Skis has started pursuing growth opportunities in Europe.
“After seeing the opportunity for growth in Europe, we quickly touched base with World Trade Center Utah,” said Adema. “From their Managing Director, Don Willie, we discovered the Export Acceleration Grant and the funding availability. Receiving the grant has opened many doors, which have been vital to our expansion into Europe.”
DPS Skis is one of the 25 companies that received funding in 2017 from the WTC Utah’s Export Acceleration Grant, which is funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. The grant money provided them funding to pursue expansion opportunities in Europe and upgrades to their website to accommodate their expected growth in sales.
With the grant, DPS Skis optimized and improved their website’s e-commerce platform to make it easier for their European customers to order online. The website now allows customers to purchase products using international currencies such as the Euro and Swiss Franc. In addition to adding multiple currencies, DPS Skis also used to translated services to translate the site into multiple languages. Customers can now read product descriptions and navigate the site in their native language. DPS Skis recently established an office in Europe to help accommodate growth and logistical challenges as they continue their expansion in the region.
DPS Skis currently projects a 20 percent growth from 2017 to 2018. They expect their growth to increase to 30 percent by 2019. They are working with numerous European contacts to expand further into European markets and have plans to attend ISPO Munich, one of the world’s leading outdoor trade shows, next year.
Looking back on their recent international growth, Adema advises Utah companies expanding to learn from others.
“Look for companies who have gone down the same path as you are. Learn from their mistakes so you do not repeat them,” said Adema. “Also, get experienced people on your team to prevent problems from arriving. Our European Managing Director has been invaluable to us as we navigate the European market.”
Adema also encourages companies to take advantage of organizations such as WTC Utah, which help small businesses succeed.
World Trade Center Utah has been great to help us get oriented,” said Adema in an interview earlier this year with Utah Business. “…They’ve helped us get an understanding of ways to do what we do smarter and more efficiently. They’ve helped us look at foreign trade zones and duty drawbacks. And they introduced us to a couple resources, like the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Service, which has provided matchmaking for us with other potential distributors. We’ve seen healthy, steady growth for a number of years, and anticipate that to continue.”
WTC Utah offers several grant programs to help Utah companies expand their business into international markets. To learn more, and to sign up to be notified about 2018 grants, visit wtcutah.com/grants.