Small Minnesota Business Reaches its International Potential
Lion Precision – St. Paul, Minnesota
As the President of a small business based in Minnesota, Don Martin has kept his eye on the growing International market and the significant expansion that represents for his business. To secure customers half a world away, Martin has turned to the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) to gain competitive advantage over his overseas counterparts.
Martin’s company, Lion Precision was founded in 1958 and was the first to provide capacitive displacement sensors which measure small distances between objects. Seem like a niche market? It may be, but it is a market that is rapidly growing overseas as many machines and devices used in manufacturing and research require measuring small distances with incredible precision. That’s where Lion Precision comes in. Lion’s sensors are able to measure the accuracy of spindles on machine tools to ensure a quality product every time, something his overseas customers have grown to appreciate.
However, with stiff competition abroad, Lion Precision relies on the Ex-Im Bank for receivables insurance to offer the company a fair chance at building a strong reputation within international markets. And that is precisely what they have done. With over 50 percent of Lion Precision’s sales now outside of the U.S., the company has been able to expand their exports outside of the U.S. without increasing their overall risk.
As Martin states, “We pride ourselves on being easy to work with and fortunately, Ex-Im Bank helps us to fulfil that promise to our customers by simplifying the credit process. This is one area where the federal government is actually eliminating a huge obstacle for small businesses and making a positive impact with exports.”
Before working with the Ex-Im Bank, Martin noted that the process for receiving credit could take many days and was very costly for the company and the customer. Now, his company can work with his customer to secure credit in the matter of hours, saving thousands in administrative fees and helping him to secure deals he might otherwise not have won. Customers appreciate that Lion Precision’s credit approval process is friendly and shows trust when compared to alternatives such as “Cash in Advance.”
Martin believes working with Ex-Im is a win-win for businesses and American taxpayers. “Since working with the Bank, the streamlined export process has allowed my company to reach a new customer base and we have not had to collect on a single insurance policy,” he said.
With 30 employees, Lion Precision is a company that might not have reached their exporting potential had it not been for the Ex-Im Bank. Instead, today their American made products are contributing back to our economy and supplying crucial jobs for Minnesotans.