Shaping Up By Shipping Out

For Hackney & Sons, going global wasn't a choice, it was the only way to grow. The Washington (N.C.) company, which makes the roll-up doors on beverage trucks, had a 50% market share in the U.S., but a slowdown in the beverage industry left sales flat. Then two major customers, Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., contacted it: The open delivery trucks used overseas allowed grime to settle on their products. So Hackney & Sons went to work, selling doors and frames to overseas bottlers. The company, with $35 million in sales, now exports to 20 countries and has seen international sales soar from less than 1% of sales a year ago to more than 10% today. "If you want to grow, exporting is a necessity," says Jay Troger, Hackney & Sons' president.

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