CHICAGO, IL -- The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Illinois District Office is pleased to announce Bruce Gillilan as the Small Business Exporter of the Year. Bruce and other district award winners were honored at a ceremony on June 26th. These recipients competed among other small business entrepreneurs and small business champions throughout SBA's Region V area which included Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.


Since its inception in 1946, Simmons Engineering Corporation has a long proud tradition of supplying unique blades worldwide.  Using the highest quality of steel available, employing innovations in design and product development, and exhibiting extraordinary customer service, Simmons continues to meet the ever changing needs of its customers worldwide.


With a long standing tradition of producing high quality products, Simmons brings value to the table as it strives to create relationships and even partnerships with its customers.   Under the leadership of Bruce Gillilan, Simmons has always believed that it is at the forefront of the National Export Movement. 


Operating with a focus on international business, Simmons has everyone in the company devoted to this effort.  With over 20 years of sales experience, staff will help you with your blade needs to resolve some of the most complex problems a customer could have with its band saw machines and other cutting applications.  In addition, many of the sales and production staff are bilingual, speaking a variety of languages such as Arabic, Russian, Spanish, and Polish just to name a few.


As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, Simmons follows strict procedures to ensure quality goes into everything they do, but they still run up against some tough competition in the worldwide marketplace.  For example, Simmons recently made one of its largest infrastructure investments.  Although they are able to weld with the some of the very best in the world, Simmons recognized that the sharpness tolerances of its blades were not where they needed to be to actively compete in the world market. To compete more effectively on the world stage, Simmons completed work on one of its newest innovative grinders.  As a result, newly crafted CNC blades with sharpness tolerance qualities that rivaled those blades supplied by OEM manufacturers are now being supplied worldwide. 


This re-engineering of an existing product line caused others in the world market to take notice.  In conjunction with a distributor in New Zealand, Simmons partnered with this company by developing a superior bread slicing band.  Using specialized steel, exact cutting and welding techniques, this joint venture increased its business by 200%.


Fostering relationships is also a mainstay with Simmons.  Using this technique as a marketing niche, they invest in companies where appropriate like the one in New Zealand.  Simmons has also hosted training at its Wheeling offices for its distributors in Europe, Mexico, and South America.


Doing everything possible to make doing business with Simmons easier, the company is constantly revamping and reforming its internal processes, especially with its EXIM coverage and automated Export Documents.  Simmons shows the flexibility needed to thrive in a global dynamic marketplace by going beyond the simple supplier/distributor relationship and building true partnerships as evidenced by successes with bread blades in New Zealand and infrastructure investments in China.


As a company, Simmons is a prime example how small business can approach exporting using a strategic growth export plan.  By using all tools available to them to invade the global market, they have shown great results.   With Mr. Gillilan at the helm, Simmons will be paying off dividends for the next 5-10 years.  


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