VOL. 112 | NO. 127 | Tuesday, July 21, 1998
By STACEY PETSCHAUER
EnSafe agreement will help customers enter international markets
By STACEY PETSCHAUER
The Daily News
EnSafe Inc. has entered an agreement with Beijing Tsinghua Double E Environmental Engineering Corp. that will help its customers enter new markets.
EnSafe, a Memphis-based environmental and management consulting firm, has several industrial customers that are interested in initiating operations in China, said Dr. James N. Speakman, senior vice president of EnSafe and facilitator of the agreement.
When opening new international facilities, most U.S. companies prefer to comply with U.S. environmental standards, Speakman said.
"They expect, of course, that the foreign countries will eventually come up to U.S. standards in their environmental programs so they want to be ahead of the game," he said.
He said most companies typically employ environmental consultants such as EnSafe to help them implement environmental programs in foreign nations.
Speakman visited China in April to explore business development opportunities there.
He said having a connection with a Chinese environmental engineering firm will benefit EnSafe customers that are considering opening plants there and that are doing the field work to support their new operations.
He said EnSafes customers that benefit from the Chinese connection will likely be American corporations, but the company eventually hopes to explore business opportunities with Chinese national companies.
"If were successful in working for international companies in China, then of course that will give us an opportunity to then offer services to the local industries as well, as a team.
"Then the local companies can rely upon the Chinese company to do a lot of the work in partnership with us, and that will reduce their costs," he said.
For Chinese companies, Chinese labor is less expensive than obtaining it from the United States, so Chinese firms most likely will use Chinese engineering companies when they can, Speakman said.
"So, it is going to be hard for us to compete in China on a cost basis with the national companies, but the international companies are likely to rely on U.S. firms to help them with environmental work," he said.
He said EnSafe has no current plans to establish an office in China, although it could be considered in the future.
"We think the connection with the host country consulting firm is a good start, and then well see how that develops before we decide to open an office," he said.
EnSafe currently has 12 U.S. offices and two offices in Europe.
One business opportunity being considered as part of the agreement between the two firms is offering ISO 14000 services in China.
The services are the environmental component of an international effort to ensure quality products from all industries. ISO 14000 covers virtually every aspect of environmental quality control, from water and air quality to solid and hazardous waste, Speakman said.
He said key professionals from the Chinese company, which provides environmental services to industrial customers, will be coming to Memphis to undergo ISO 14000 training.
This will give the Double E Corp. the opportunity to offer the ISO service rather than having to rely on EnSafe to provide it to the Chinese companies.
Speakman said the agreement in China also will allow EnSafe to expand its resources here.
"As the business in China develops, we will be adding staff to perform that work in addition to all the work that were doing in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere," he said.
"So, this will hopefully give us more employees."