Business Oregon Helps Tualatin Manufacturer Grow its Exports Exponentially

Business Oregon's strategic expertise, combined with two export assistance grants, has yielded big sales results overseas for Tualatin manufacturer Plasti-Fab.

With the assistance of Business Oregon and the U.S. Commercial Service, Plasti-Fab increased its exports by 340 percent in four years from approximately $100,000 in sales to more than $1.5 million. In addition, the company has been able to grow its workforce from 41 to 55 between 2009 and 2013 with more hiring expected.

The company's primary export strategy involves the development of agents and/or distributors in target markets. Business Oregon facilitated that approach with an Oregon Trade Promotion Program (OTPP) grant to help the company visit Thailand in 2011 to find a distributor and a 2012 STEP grant to help attend a tradeshow in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Business Oregon and U.S. Export-Import Bank's small business representative made a joint call on Plasti-Fab in the autumn of 2008. Shortly after the meeting, the company signed up with the U.S. Export-Import Bank for a Small Business Multi-Buyer Export Credit Insurance Policy, which helped them to secure foreign transactions/orders valued at more than $175,000.

In June 2011, Plasti-Fab utilized an $843 OTTP grant to help defray distributor search expenses in Thailand as part of a Clean Technology trade mission led by Business Oregon to Thailand. As a result, the company identified a new distributor in the market. Plasti-Fab also has worked with Business Oregon's overseas representative office in Japan to help find a new distributor in that market.

In addition to the critical export financing the company accessed with the help of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Business Oregon's Global Strategists also helped company officials begin working with the U.S. Commercial Service, which through use of their Gold Key matchmaking service in Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and Gothenburg helped it form key relationships with overseas distribution networks.

As a result, Plasti-Fab has built strong relationships with exclusive representation in several key global markets. For example, their Hong Kong representative placed more than $1 million of new orders in 2012 alone, according to the company.

Plasti-Fab is a global leader in engineered composite Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) fluid control equipment for industry and infrastructure. For many decades Plasti-Fab has manufactured corrosion resistant equipment for water and wastewater treatment and control. It is now expanding into new areas such as structural composite manufacturing for industry applications and new global markets thanks, in part, to help from Business Oregon.