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Case Study: Back Pressure Regulator Company Controls Exports
November 21, 2017 Elizabeth Thomas, Business Development Specialist, Office of Small Business

Equilibar, a small engineering and technology company in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, was founded in the basement of inventor Jeff Jennings more than ten years ago. The 16-person company designs, manufactures and tests back pressure regulators while working with scientists and engineers to create technological breakthroughs in alternative energy, carbon sequestration, clean water and other emerging fields. 

From the beginning, Equilibar tackled difficult and demanding applications requirements, garnering the highest praise from customers for their products and people, and gaining international attention. The team was comfortable fulfilling international orders from large, established companies, but was reluctant to take the financial risk of selling on credit terms to smaller, unknown foreign companies. To mitigate the risk of selling to small, unknown companies, Equilibar created complicated and cumbersome procedures for prospective buyers, which limited the opportunities they could pursue. Leaving business on the table and leaving customers without solutions was frustrating.

Working with Meridian Finance Group and EXIM, Equilibar implemented an export credit insurance policy. With the policy in place, they have the confidence that they will be paid and no longer hesitate when a company asks for net 30 terms, even if the buyer is a start-up company or new customer. Opening up to opportunities for additional international sales has had three positive results for Equilibar – new customers, new streams of revenue and new levels of trust.

“We have been able to build trust across the board,” says Julie Detmering, Equilibar’s Customer Service Manager. “We have confidence in new clients and they trust us more because we don’t subject them to excessively restrictive terms. Our international orders have increased, sometimes reaching 44 percent of sales in a quarter. Using EXIM has taken the risk out and opened a lot of doors for us. And, we have never had to make a claim!”

Today, Equilibar’s small but powerful team has propelled the company into a global provider of high-tech, highly specialized products for research and industrial applications around the world, helping companies of all sizes innovate and invent.

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