Thursday, April 04, 2013 1:47:51 PM
Manufacturing & Trade Day is sponsored by the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Montana Department of Commerce, Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Montana District Export Council, Montana World Trade Center, and U.S. Department of Commerce.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Governor Steve Bullock
Montana Department of Commerce
MRL Equipment Company, Inc. of Billings Honored as Montana’s 2012 Exporter of the Year
-New All-Time High Export Record Set-
(HELENA) – Governor Steve Bullock and members of the Montana District Export Council today named MRL Equipment Company, Inc., Montana’s 2012 Exporter of the Year during the Manufacturing & Trade Day event at the State Capitol. MRL Equipment Company, Inc. (MRL) has been selected to receive the Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award for its success in exporting road marking/road striping equipment and components. The award is sponsored by the Governor’s Office and the Montana District Export Council.
“The economic impact of Montana’s exporters becomes clearer as we continue to break our own record export highs year after year,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Businesses like MRL Equipment Company helped Montana achieve a new all-time record of nearly $2.5 billion in revenue in 2012. This is an outstanding achievement and I commend MRL for its excellence in exporting.”
MRL manufactures high-quality, high-output road-marking equipment for both private organizations and government agencies across the globe. The company is owned by CEO John Gonitzke, President and General Manager Jim Spielman and Executive Vice President Jonathan Gonitzke. MRL began as a small, family-owned contracting company in 1976 and within 20 years became the largest manufacturer of truck-mounted road-marking machines in the United States and one of the largest road-striping contractors in the country. MRL’s state-of-the-art 80,000 square-foot manufacturing facility is located in Billings, MT and houses the corporate offices and manufacturing plant, with a total of 105 staff members.
In 2003, MRL’s management made the commitment to expand equipment sales internationally. MRL increased international exposure through expanded marketing efforts, including attending two major international trade events each year, advertising in foreign publications geared to the road-marking industry and upgrading the website to better address the needs of the international customer. Increased marketing efforts, combined with new equipment designs that meet the requirements for use in foreign markets, have proven to be a successful model for MRL’s Montana-made products around the globe.
Today, international sales are increasing at a pace exceeding domestic sales increases. In the last few years, three new distributors have been appointed with coverage in 11 new countries. MRL has directly sold equipment in 18 different countries with MRL’s distributors selling equipment in many more. It is not unusual doe MLR to have active projects in four to seven countries each month. MRL exports an estimated 20 percent of its annual sales to countries, including Korea, Australia, Turkey, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Columbia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
In 2012, Montana’s exports reached an all-time record high of $2.48 billion. Bulk wheat shipped to Pacific Northwest grain handling facilities destined for export remains Montana’s leading commodity export, with total of $915.32 million set for 2012. Montana’s previous all-time high for commodity exports was in 2011 with a total of $2.46 billion.
The Montana District Export Council (DEC) is a volunteer organization drawn from Montana businesses, governmental agencies, and non-profits. The members have in-depth knowledge and experience in international business and are available as a unique source of professional advice to help other Montana firms compete and win business in the international marketplace.