Ex-Im Bank Gives Small PA Manufacturer the Confidence to Export
Hörmann Flexon – Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
During his 20 years traveling throughout the Western Hemisphere visiting customers and prospects as the international sales manager for Hörmann Flexon, one question has repeatedly popped into Carlos Turcios’ head.
“I see Spanish companies operating in those markets, Italian companies, and I think to myself, ‘Why aren’t there any U.S. companies here? There’s so much opportunity,’” Turcios says.
Hörmann Flexon, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial high-speed roll-up doors located in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, has found opportunity in Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America with the assistance of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Before the Ex-Im Bank began insuring payments owed to Hörmann Flexon by its overseas customers, the door maker relied mostly on advance payments. Hörmann Flexon was hesitant to offer customers a line of credit because, Turcios explains, “we were at the mercy of uncertainty and a fear of political unrest.” That greatly reduced the potential market size for buyers of Hörmann Flexon’s doors, which roll up and down in just three seconds, allowing industrial warehouses to preserve cool temperatures, keep bugs and dirt out, and save on energy costs.
Since obtaining Ex-Im Bank insurance on its accounts receivables, Hörmann Flexon has been able to greatly expand its customer base and “export with confidence,” says Turcios, a Honduran immigrant. Twenty percent of the company’s $14 million in annual sales comes from exports, 25 percent of which are insured by the Ex-Im Bank. The rise in exports has led to increased hiring; the company has nearly 50 employees.
Hörmann Flexon would lose its competitive edge if lawmakers in Washington fail to extend the soon-to-expire Ex-Im Bank charter, Turcios asserts. “Without the Ex-Im Bank, I would lose my confidence to export,” he says. “Closing the Ex-Im Bank would significantly impact our export volume and ability to create jobs. If Congress wants the United States to remain the world’s largest exporter, it must provide the means and the infrastructure.”