Export Assistance Helps Drive Global Sales for Beaverton Aerospace Firm

A Beaverton aerospace industry supplier realized a triple-digit increase in sales after attending a 2012 trade show in Singapore backed by a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant from Business Oregon.

The David H. Sutherland Company attended the Singapore Air Show in early 2012 and later reported a 152% increase in exports sales, in part as a result of contacts made with several new customers at the event. That success came after the company utilized a $5,000 STEP grant to help defray the costs of attending the international trade show. The increased sales also helped spur the company to add two employees to their team including an international salesperson.

A second STEP grant of $3,600 in 2013 will help that new salesperson and another employee attend an export training class offered as part of Portland Community College's International Trade Small Business Management program.

The David H. Sutherland Company (DHSCO) started in 1951 as a one-man operation working out of a phone booth in the lobby of a hotel in downtown Portland. Initially, company founder David Sutherland solely exported North American products to Asia before eventually expanding into a global aerospace products supplier. In June 2013, the company opened a new headquarters with 50% more square feet of office and distribution warehouse space in Beaverton.

Among the dozens of company products are such things as adhesives, coatings and lubricants. The company not only supplies products to the U.S. military but to such aerospace giants as Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. In addition, DHSCO helps its customers with supply and inventory management services.

Business Oregon first partnered with DHSCO in 2009 when company officials participated in an aerospace industry trade mission to three cities in India, which resulted in five new, ongoing customers. In early 2013, the company was able to obtain an export insurance policy through the U.S. Export-Import Bank thanks to technical assistance from the city of Beaverton and a Business Oregon Global Trade Specialist.