Robbins Sport Surfaces, a family-owned business, is a supplier of high-performance maple and synthetic sports flooring systems to the National Basketball Association (NBA), Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and other professional or collegiate leagues. Founded in 1894 and based in Cincinnati, the small business employs 205 people in several states including Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. For over a hundred years, Robbins Sport Surfaces has been a key figure in the education and fitness markets.
Although the United States provides an ample amount of customers, Robbins Sports Surfaces wanted to expand into international markets. However, when small businesses like Robbin’s Sports Surfaces try to export, they run into several financial problems. International distributors often expect to buy on open account credit terms; this means that buyers may take upwards of ninety days to pay for the products they receive. While open account credit terms can allow a seller to be more competitive, global customers do not always pay “on time” for the products they bought, thus resulting in a loss of capital for the U.S.-based seller. This hinders cash flow and ultimately jeopardizes the company’s profitability. Aware of these risks, Robbins Sports Surfaces looked to EXIM.
EXIM’s export credit insurance provides companies the nonpayment protection necessary to trade with countries where coverage is limited or unavailable. Working closely with EXIM’s staff, Robbins Sports Surfaces was able to insure their foreign receivables for nonpayment. This allows Robbins Sports Surfaces to gain greater traction with foreign buyers. EXIM’s credit insurance gave them the confidence necessary to enter markets otherwise considered too risky.
To access new markets abroad, Robbins has relied on EXIM’s export credit insurance dating back to 2003. EXIM has insured $5.6 million of Robbins’s shipments since FY 2014. The company’s export sales have jumped from 5 percent to 15 percent of total revenue.