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Vermont Company Using EXIM's Insurance to Help Reduce ACL Injuries Around the World

Exporter/Customer: 
Kneebinding, Inc.
Export Destinations: 
Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and several European countries
EXIM Bank Product: 
Express Export Credit Insurance
Export Sales: 
About $25,000 annually

Kneebinding

Centered in Stowe, Vermont, Kneebinding is a small business dedicated to keeping skiers injury free. One of the most common skiing injuries occurs when the ligaments of the knee are torn or ruptured, resulting in a damaged ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). These injuries often require a costly surgery, months of painful physical therapy, and a generally impaired lifestyle ... not to mention time away from the slopes! Upwards of 20 percent of those injured never ski again. Kneebinding looks to resolve these issues through their innovative ski bindings. These bindings help prevent injury by sensing harmful pressures and releasing before injury can occur. Kneebinding’s products are notable for their superior leverage, edge-grip, and retention.

EXPORT CHALLENGE

As the only U.S. based manufacture of ski bindings, Kneebinding has built successful and profitable relationships with a multitude of companies across the United States. This unbridled domestic success evoked the interest of buyers across the globe. International buyers in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and several European countries have sought business with this company. However, in order to be competitive in foreign markets, small U.S. businesses must protect against buyer nonpayment and offer open account credit terms to their international buyers. There is often a lack of recourse available when international buyers do not pay. Companies like Kneebinding suffer the threat of stinted cash flow and lost revenue from nonpayment. At the same time, international buyers expect credit terms as prepayment harms their cash flow.

EXIM SOLUTION

Aware of these export-induced risks, Kneebinding’s COO, Steve Walkerman, reached out to EXIM for support. EXIM provides the export credit insurance necessary for Kneebinding to enter new markets with less risk. The company uses EXIM’s insurance to offer open account credit terms to its foreign buyers rather than requiring prepayment.

RESULTS

The insurance policy has assisted Kneedbinding to expand its business into new markets and protect their company’s capital by reducing the risk of nonpayment on foreign receivables. Kneebinding is now reaching new markets without the fear of lost revenue. EXIM's insurance has provided them with a low cost way to protect their assets, increase profitability, and help skiers stay on the slopes.

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