NEAMCO Customer Service…Helping You Get The Business For Over 50 Years18 Mar, 2001 By: Brady Barrett imageSource
NEAMCO Customer Service…Helping You Get The Business For Over 50 Years
Neamco has been around since 1943 known as New England Adding Machine Company. Since then the company has grown in leaps and bounds, propelling it to be one of the largest and most complete suppliers of Information Technology and Office Automation products in the country.
Xerox, Danka and IKON stocks are all at an all time low. Officeland, PC Service Source, TDI, Eastern Equipment Brokers and IT Beat, have all closed their doors forever. The Office Automation industry is in a flux. Who would invest their money in this market from the looks of the performance of these one-time industry icons? It would seem as though you would need some kind of superhero to save this industry from further turmoil. One company believes they have just that, a company that has been with us since 1943 as the New England Adding Machine Company, now carries the acronym NEAMCO. The name has changed slightly, the products they carry have changed immensely, but the company’s commitment to this industry through unparalleled customer service has remained the same.
NEAMCO is a company with many oars in the water. They pride themselves on being able to deliver over 3000 different items from over 35 OEM’s in 45 different product categories to dealers’ overnight. I sat down with NEAMCO’s president Ed Burnim, whose family has owned the company since 1943 and found out a little about where the company has been and of course, where it is going.
Q. First of all, I have to know, where did you come up with Newton, your mascot?
E.B. Newton is the creation of my son. In 1983, I went home one night and asked Jonathan, my 9 year-old son to draw me a superhero for the cover of our upcoming catalog. In the first rendition, Newton, as he has become known, was a muscular looking character. We did a little touchup work to give him a potbelly and a more normal look.
Q. What sets your employees apart from other wholesalers in the market?
E.B. Our staff is put through extensive training, which can consist of many hours of grueling product knowledge “boot camp.” The manufacturers themselves put on a lot of the training our sales people go through. Each sales representative is also responsible for continuing education of refresher courses on products, keeping them on the cutting edge of the latest technology introduced on every product category.
Q. Why should dealers buy from NEAMCO?
E.B. We carry products from over 35 major OEM’s and stock over 3000 skus, which equate to somewhere in the area of 15 million dollars in on-hand inventory. We reach a large part of the U.S. marketplace overnight and 85% within 2 days, while our customers do not experience any emergency order charges.
Q. How many warehouse locations do you have and where are they?
E.B. We have warehouses located in Canton, MA; Kansas City, MO; and Santa Fe Springs, CA., 130,000 sq feet in total.
Q. I see that NEAMCO carries a lot more products than most, how is that?
E.B. We are 1 of only 9 Hewlett-Packard supply wholesalers in the country as well as 1 of only 6 Lexmark supply wholesalers. Neamco carries a complete line of OEM toner, as well as generics for many of the popular brands. We also have a complete line of Brother products and Neamco is a distributor for all major brands of calculators, shredders, fax machines, and media.
Q. Dealers today wrestle with inventory control issues. What is NEAMCO doing to address this problem?
E.B. Our management team has orchestrated a program in which dealers can actually use our inventory and never have to stock a thing. Blind Drop Shipping is a service we offer to every NEAMCO customer, this is when we ship directly to your customer. Nearly 75% of the orders we ship today are blind drop shipped to the end-user. That tells you that our customers have complete faith in us.
Q. Some dealers might be leery of blind drop shipping as they lose control of the orders that are being sent to their customers. What do you do to circumvent this?
E.B. We have an automated system that sends dealers a fax back response overnight. This Fax-Back system provides our customers with real-time information about the orders that we have blind-drop shipped for them. They receive product costs, freight amounts, tracking numbers and a line item review.
Q. Aren’t your customers a little hesitant giving you their customers contact information?
E.B. Most of our contracts with the OEM’s do not allow us to sell products to the consumer. Doing so would breach our agreements and we could potentially lose our distribution rights. We consider ourselves our customer’s partners¾ not competitors. We do not sell to end-users.
Q. Many of today’s dealers lack the dollars necessary to market the complete range of products you carry. What type of support do you offer?
E.B. We have one of the most extensive 250 page full color catalogs in the industry. We provide these catalogs in a retail format with customized dealer imprinted cover. So when you become a partner with NEAMCO, you immediately add the ability to offer our complete product line to your customers. When dealers partner with NEAMCO they are immediately adding a potential huge revenue stream because of our broad based product line.
Q. So, what new venture is coming up for NEAMCO in the near future?
E.B. It is funny how things come full circle. We started off as a used hardware supplier. We slowly put less emphasis on the machine business, as the company shifted its focus to computer and printer products.
This year we acquired the assets of TDI’s Atlanta based copier business, spring-boarding us back into the copier business. Look for us to become more aggressive in this area in 2001.
Q. Can you tell us a bit more about the NEAMCO’s background?
E.B. My father purchased the company in 1943 and began selling used office equipment. I took the company over in 1968 with annual sales of $210,000, employing 6 people. In 1974, the company had its first $1,000,000 year. By 1983, the company had become an IBM supplies wholesaler and had its first $10,000,000 year. With our snowballing success, other OEM’s began to recognize NEAMCO as a leading supplier to resellers. Because of the IBM agreement, we were suddenly in demand and other manufacturers found it advantageous to market through us.
Today, the company has about 105 employees and annual sales of $140,000,000 in 2000, while the year 2001 puts the company on track to do over $161,000,000. All of this has been done without any outside equity or capital.
Neamco employs nearly 50 sales and sales support executives. District managers have up to 20 years of tenure with the company. With many of the sales people in the bullpen having over 10 years of experience, it is simple to see why Neamco continues to make a difference in the industry. Neamco pushes the importance of personal customer contact and delivers outstanding customer service. This is how Neamco has been helping you get the business for over 50 years.