Marietta, GA – The business built from the ambitions of a young Portuguese immigrant is celebrating 20 years in operation. Joe Dos Santos, the Founder and President of Dos Santos International, was brought to the land of opportunity in 1959. He dreamed of starting a family company. That dream became a reality on July 7, 1997 when he started DSI.
DSI began as a venture from Joe‘s residence in Winfield, Alabama USA. Joe‘s son, Marc, was a senior in high school at that time, but he was a vital part of the founding. Marc had always taken an interest in Joe‘s work and in engineering. Using his knowledge of the internet, Marc quickly located advertising templates to develop company brochures, and develop the first DSI website to give the company its international presence.
Two valuable relationships were formed right away. EleVeyor Associates of Bethesda, MD offered the “EL” conveyor, a special vertical sandwich conveyor primarily used in municipal sludge handling. Through collaboration with EleVeyor, DSI began marketing the DSI Snake Sandwich belt high angle conveyor as the EleVeyor-SN. Three EleVeyor EL orders were jointly executed between 1998 and 2000.
A close relationship with Continental Conveyor Ltd of Nappanee, ON and Thetford Mines, QC Canada was established too, and this developed into a long term cooperation. Through this relationship, DSI licensed Continental Canada to supply their sandwich belt high angle conveyors alongside their conventional equipment. Around a third of the DSI sandwich conveyor orders to date were realized as a result of this valued partnership.
In the early years, DSI offered engineering and consulting services, while continuing to pursue sandwich belt conveyor orders. Representation and license agreements were executed in many countries – most notably in Canada, South Africa, Australia and Japan. Many proposals were generated but equipment orders were elusive. However, with Joe’s drive and tenacity, the company booked its first DSI Sandwich belt high angle conveyor order at the end of 2000.
After graduating from MIT in 2002, Marc worked for two years with a Boston based high tech research firm, then joined Joe in April 2004. They formed their partnership at that time, with Joe continuing to work from his home in Alabama. Marc moved to Atlanta to begin searching for an office space that would ultimately serve as the DSI world headquarters. The location was chosen for its proximity to Atlanta’s international airport, which facilitates easy access to many locations throughout the world.
2005 proved to be a turning point in the growth of DSI. The first half of the year was very slow, and by June, Joe and Marc considered shutting down the company. Fortunately, they were able to hold on until a major engineering project was awarded in late June by their friends at Power Techniques. By the end of 2005, DSI had booked an additional six DSI Sandwich belt high angle conveyors. Also significant, until the end of 2005, all DSI Sandwich belt high angle conveyor orders were delivered by others under DSI license. The last order of 2005 was for three Snake units and was taken directly by DSI improving their financial opportunity.
Through 2006 and 2007, DSI received additional orders for DSI Sandwich conveyors, along with considerable engineering work. Joe‘s daughter, Amy, joined the company as a Marketing Manager working from her home in Birmingham, AL. A common work space was becoming more important, so in December 2007, an office was purchased in Marietta, GA. Marc immediately began working from that space, with Joe and Amy following soon after. The space also allowed DSI to make the first hires of new engineers who helped support the growth of the company.
Over the next 10 years, DSI hired more engineers and booked several interesting and exciting projects. On February 10, 2016, DSI booked the 200th work order. The number of orders is hardly indicative of the company’s success, as each work order varies so widely in scope, with some orders containing from 30 to 60 distinct projects. However, the milestone serves as a good opportunity to reflect on the growth of a company that started with one man working from his home. Looking back after 20 years, it is clear that this success can be attributed to the many valued customers, representatives, associates and relationships made along the way. It is the support and confidence of so many people that brought DSI to its current level, and helped to make the dream of a young immigrant come true.
On Friday, July 7, 2017, the company enjoyed an evening out with employees and family to celebrate the company milestone. The evening was spent reflecting on the past 20 y ears of business, loyal customers and of course, honoring Joe and Maria Dos Santos, who by a leap of faith, have weathered the ups and downs and made the sacrifices necessary to make DSI what it is today.
As DSI enters its 20th year, they are pleased to announce the booking of three active projects consisting of give DSI Sandwich conveyors, along with a number of interesting engineering consulting projects. DSI wants to take the opportunity to thank their customers and representatives of the past 20 years, and acknowledge that their confidence in DSI is a direct reflection on the past and future success.