BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – The Daavlin Company is located in Bryan, Ohio, but talks happening at the G20 summit across the world in Brisbane have a big impact on the company’s success.
Workers at Daavlin manufacture and sell ultraviolet light equipment for the treatment of psoriasis and other skin disorders, and business is up 20 percent.
“A long time ago, somebody told me that if 30-35% of your business is international business, you’ll never have a recession,” said David Swanson, President of Daavlin Company. “So, we’ve taken that to heart and always made sure that a good portion of our business is international and it’s worked out to be true.”
We first talked to David Swanson one year ago ahead of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since then, some things have changed. Daavlin hasn’t done any business in Ukraine because of political problems there, and the unrest in Israel is causing trade issues, too.
“We aren’t doing much business in Israel,” Swanson said. “Now I would guess that they’re more worried about whether a rocket is going to hit them than selling phototherapy equipment, so it really does have an impact on our business.”
These geopolitical situations are forcing world leaders to think differently as they try to plan for the future of the global economy.
Swanson isn’t the only business leader facing struggles – the latest Department of Commerce numbers show nearly 15,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio exported in 2012, making up 89 percent of exporting business from the state.
Bob Golding, VP of Research and Development
“The countries with really bad trade barriers that are more difficult to work with, require additional testing or they want it tested locally as well as in the U.S.,” said Bob Golding, VP of Research in Development at Daavlin Company. “So, we’re going through a big round of this for Daavlin, we’re spending a lot of money on testing, in particular for South America at the moment.”
The added testing is taking a financial toll, but officials at Daavlin say it’s necessary to expand global reach.
“It’s a gamble. I mean 100%. We may get our money back or maybe not. Hopefully we will but we won’t know until a few months down the road or a year or so,” said Sandrine Wallace, VP of International Operations at Daavlin Company.
The trade struggles at companies like Daavlin matter and, despite the challenges, workers say they’re optimistic about the future.
Within the last year, The Daavlin company has hired more employees.
When it comes to a possible resurgence in U.S. manufacturing, The Daavlin Company knows reducing barriers to trade will certainly help.