Doing Business in Brazil – Elasto Proxy Trade Mission

Doing Business in Brazil
Doing Business in Brazil

Elasto Proxy is traveling to São Paulo, Brazil as part of a trade mission from Elastomer Valley, a group of Québec-based companies who have joined forces in pursuit of economic development opportunities. Doug and Donna Sharpe, the co-founders and co-owners of Elasto Proxy, will embark upon a six-day journey that includes both a group program and one-one-one meetings with Brazilian companies. For Elasto Proxy, the trade mission provides a chance to meet with a potential customer who specializes in agricultural equipment, construction equipment, and mass transit – industries that Elasto Proxy has served for many years.

Headquartered in Boisbriand, Québec, Elasto Proxy Inc. was founded in 1989 and has offices in Ontario, the United States, and China. “For Elasto Proxy,” blogs President of International Sales Clyde Sharpe, “meeting the needs of international markets is an important part of our long-term growth strategy”. According to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Québec exports to Brazil grew by over 75% between 2009 and 2010. As the year 2012 draws to a close, Brazil continues to figure prominently in the future of Canadian manufacturers like Elasto Proxy. In earning an SME Passport last summer, the Boisbriand-based custom-fabricator of rubber and plastic components chose Brazil as a focus of its international marketing efforts.

Elastomer Valley Companies

Elasto Proxy is just one of six Elastomer Valley companies who are traveling to Brazil on a trade mission that’s focused on vehicle parts and plastics. After arriving in South America, participants will learn about the cultural aspects of Brazil from the Québec Government Office in Sao Paulo, which is also scheduling business meetings. Group presentations from experts such as international lawyers and customs brokers will complement these individual engagements. Some Québec -based companies will meet with existing partners to deep their relationship, while others will meet potential Brazilian partners for the first time.

Elasto Proxy thanks Export Québec for arranging this important mission, and looks forward to returning to Brazil next spring as part of the SME Passport program.

Video Production – Scoring Means More than Taking the Shot

Video Production
Video Production

By Clyde Sharpe
President of International Sales for Elasto Proxy

Recently, employees at Elasto Proxy’s headquarters in Boisbriand, Québec learned how to make videos. Scar Productions, a husband and wife videography team, provided expert instruction in film-making, editing, and video production. The training that Juan Pablo Adams and Natalia Solis offer is hands-on and practical – even if you don’t aspire to become a Hollywood film director. It’s also a lot of fun, as a group of us discovered while learning about everything from storyboarding and set preparation to audio editing and video exporting.

Camera work is important, but there’s more to making a video than just taking the shot. As Juan Pablo and Natalia taught us, filmmakers need to consider how they’ll use what they shoot. Then there’s video editing, my favorite part of training and an important part of the filmmaking process. Here at Elasto Proxy, we plan to use Adobe Premiere Pro software. Adobe calls it “the ultimate toolset for video pros,” and I’m looking forward to continuing to learn about its many features.

Technology alone won’t ensure video-making success, but it does help to have proper lighting and a good camera. Although I’m a fan of Apple products, the Nikon that Elasto Proxy purchased is a better camera than the one on my new iPhone 5. Our new wireless microphone was also a good investment, but don’t look for me to appear in a video just yet. Although I enjoy the filmmaking process, I prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of it – at least for now.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll visit and subscribe to the Elasto Proxy Channel on YouTube. The two videos that you’ll find there (one in English and one in French) are not ones that we shot ourselves. I encourage you to watch them, however, and would welcome your feedback. Going forward, Elasto Proxy plans to create training videos for our employees and for our customers. For viewers who enjoy unscripted performances, we may even share some bloopers and outtakes with you. So stay tuned!

Elasto Proxy Attends Congress of Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec


By Doug Sharpe

President, Elasto Proxy

Last week, Elasto Proxy attended a very special meeting of the Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec at the Fairmont Tremblant in scenic Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Along with my wife Donna, a co-founder of Elasto Proxy, I was joined by Clyde Sharpe, our President of International Sales, at the Group’s annual Congress on November 2nd and 3rd. Created by a handful of entrepreneurs 37 years ago, the Group now includes 1800 leaders and aspiring leaders of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) from more than 235 clubs across Québec, New Brunswick, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Doing Business in Quebec and Beyond – The Congress of Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec

As the Group’s Founding President, Marcel Bundock, explains, this innovative business network enables business leaders to “break the isolation” by connecting with peers. By sharing experiences and learning from others, SMEs like Elasto Proxy can identify best practices and gain important insights. The life cycle of an entrepreneur has multiple stages, so knowing where you stand today is the first step in planning a more profitable path toward tomorrow. Each entrepreneur has particular strengths and weaknesses, of course, so it’s critical to seek sound advice. For Elasto Proxy, the Group has been a source of wisdom.

This year, the Congress featured dynamic speakers from both inside and outside of the Group. Anne Marcotte, the host and producer of, delivered an especially powerful testimonial. As Anne explains, “Few people would have bet on me. No condition played in my favor – neither studies nor an environment that helped me to go after my dreams”.  Today, however, the founder of Marcotte Multimedia regularly inspires viewers of with both her personal history and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.  Thank you, Anne, for participating in the Group and sharing your story!

The Congress also met with the current and 22nd president of the Group, Lisa Fecteau, whose theme has been “See GREAT with confidence”.  By helping SMEs like Elasto Proxy to expand our vision, achieve our potential, and do great things, the Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec is inspiring and empowering business leaders to embrace today’s challenges and find tomorrow’s opportunities.

Doing Business in Europe – Supply Chain Challenges and Opportunities

Supply Chain | Europe
Supply Chain | Europe

By Doug Sharpe
President of Elasto Proxy

During a recent trip to Europe, I asked for what I thought was cannelloni at a Flemish restaurant. Clyde Sharpe, our President of International Sales, was also feeling adventurous when he ordered a meal from a menu that neither of us could translate. We shared a laugh as I sampled a dish of salad with shrimp, and Clyde stomached slices of pizza topped with tuna and salmon. It’s good to take chances and try new cuisine, but making a decision without good information can leave you hungry.

Unlike our dinner, the trip to Europe was planned carefully and well in advance. From Montreal, Canada, we flew first to Milan, Italy and then to Brussels, Belgium. In both countries, Clyde and I met with key suppliers and learned how the economic slowdown is affecting major manufacturers across the continent. Big companies in the chemical and automotive industries are consolidating operations and closing facilities.  This poses a challenge to the European economy, but also provides an opportunity for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SME) like Elasto Proxy.

Whenever original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) maximize their business models and reject small production runs, SMEs stand to gain new customers. Not every buyer needs large quantities, of course, and leaner suppliers can fill demand quickly. As an SME that strengthens your supply chain, Elasto Proxy is responsive and attentive to customer needs. So while some companies may worry about what OEM consolidations mean for them, we see Europe’s challenges as an opportunity.

As Clyde and I learned, Elasto Proxy is also structurally similar to European partners who share our company’s financial stability and management experience. By listening to all of their requirements and analyzing all of their needs, we know we can find win/win solutions in these challenging economic times.

There’s plenty of good news in Europe if you know where to find it. Clyde and I flew on Ryan Air for just 29 Euros, and we were very impressed by the customer service, speed, and reliability of the rail system. (We’re proud to help move the mass transit industry there!) So while our dinner in a Flemish restaurant was more memorable than delectable, we did learn how Europe’s economic challenges can help satisfy our company’s hunger for new business opportunities.