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georgia.org | March 4, 2021
Established in 1967, Hurst Boiler manufactures gas, oil, coal, solid fuel, solid waste, biomass, and hybrid fuel-fired steam and hot water boilers to create and consume energy. Hurst Boiler manufactures ASME, National Board, CE, Russian, and Australian certified vessels—designing, engineering, and servicing a complete line of boiler systems and equipment to help companies increase production, achieve greater efficiencies, and manage their waste with opportunities to Go Green and take advantage of carbon credits available in their region. Hurst Boiler understands the importance of reducing carbon footprints and works to educate and improve company processes to achieve environmentally safe operations. Hurst Boiler is a certified Georgia Made manufacturer—learn more about GDEcD’s Georgia Made program here.
How long has your company been exporting?
Hurst has been exporting for 23 years, since 1998.
What motivated your company to start selling internationally?
There were opportunities to expand and increase our business when our domestic sales were limited, so we began to branch out.
What’s the biggest lesson your company has learned about exporting?
We’ve learned that it’s important to establish strong, trustworthy relationships with representatives in the countries where you’re trying to grow your international business. On-the-ground contact is a major asset in establishing those relationships.
How has GDEcD’s International Trade Team helped your company?
What outside resources have been helpful in achieving success
GDEcD’s International Trade team has worked with us and our rep organizations to connect with potential customers, arranging introductory meetings to discuss those potential customers' needs for our products and any upcoming projects they have. As far as other resources that have been helpful, we rely on our banks for letters of credit and reputable freight forwarders to help ship our products.
What advice do you have for companies that are just starting to export?
I think the main objective is to establish strong, trustworthy relationships with individuals that are knowledgeable about your business and are located in the country you're considering. Flexibility and willingness to accept risk are important as well.
What has been your biggest export achievement?
Providing solid fuel boiler systems, in different countries, to increase production processes by processing steam, hot water or direct-fire heating while also eliminating waste and helping companies Go Green with our state-of-the-art boiler technology. Hurst has custom-designed combustion systems to burn hundreds of forms of solid biomass, wood, and paper waste products for fuel cost savings, while reducing carbon footprints.
What export challenges have you faced during COVID-19 and how have you responded?
Most countries that we currently export to have experienced shutdowns due to COVID-19. We have been working with those customers to overcome limitations and meet their new project deadlines. Flexibility has become a key component in dealing with international businesses experiencing delays due to COVID. Booking ships in advance to accommodate changing schedules have become a priority in many cases as well.
What is the biggest lesson your company has learned about
exporting and have you been able to incorporate past lessons learned to
navigating the current crisis?
Being flexible and willing to work with customers has always been necessary to do business internationally, but with COVID, we've found that flexibility is even more crucial when dealing with project milestones and working with customers to meet their new requirements to complete their projects.
How has COVID-19 impacted your plans for export growth? Do you have any advice on how exporters can reevaluate their international strategy to adapt to the changing global landscape?
Certainly, COVID-19 has impacted our export growth. However, we are pursuing other avenues with potential customers through the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Their team has helped in arranging meetings with new customers in locations where we have established reps, and they have been most helpful with opening doors during this time of COVID. GDEcD’s knowledge and connections have been a valuable asset to help our company gain market exposure and increase our export sales.