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Costex Sees a World of Growth From Florida Headquarters

Wed November 23, 2005 - National Edition
CEG



Costex Tractor Parts has expanded its facilities in Miami, FL, a sure sign of the growth the company has experienced in recent years.

The worldwide parts supplier, which sells replacement parts for Caterpillar equipment, now inhabits four buildings totaling 160,000 sq. ft.

Plans are in the works for a second facility overseas in addition to its quality control facility in Brazil.

Costex employs a total of 200 people.

The company was founded in 1980 by Gilberto and Teresa Uribe. The couple was asked to come to America from Colombia by the agricultural equipment dealership for which they were working at the time to start an export office.

By the late 1980s, the company started to stock a wide range of parts from worldwide manufacturers.

And in the late 1990s, Costex began manufacturing some of its own parts, creating the CTP brand. CTP parts have been distributed through Cummins Southeastern Power for three years. Cummins has six service centers and 15 dealerships in Florida and southern Georgia.

Business Manager Gus Esteves said the company couldn’t put its name behind certain items and decided to make its own instead.

“We had no other options. That’s the reason why we’re doing it,” he said.

It currently manufactures gaskets and assembles gasket kits and hydraulic kits.

Among the constant challenges in the parts business is the ability to maintain a stock of items for which the customers will come looking.

Costex’s primary target is small to medium contractors that own five to 15 pieces of heavy equipment. These machines, Esteves said, are usually between 10 and 15 years old.

Most of its customers will not buy new machines to replace their used ones, but will replace their fleet with newer used equipment. That means Costex must continuously update the parts it keeps in stock.

Esteves said the company currently has 45,000 line items in stock, which is approximately 10 percent of the total number of line items for Caterpillar machines. However, its stock represents 80 to 85 percent of its customers’ needs.

“We have been successful in identifying our market’s needs,” he said.

But Esteves sees the gap in line items as an opportunity.

“We feel that we have a tremendous future because we have a lot of room to grow,” Esteves said.

Costex tries to bring on 1,500 to 1,800 new line items per year, all of which are covered by a six-month warranty. CEG Staff