Safely Ahead of the Game
TeleGreet's representatives call the companies in Northern Safety's housefile to effectively perform the dual function of cleaning the housefile and adding relevant names. The reps log directly into Northern Safety's database via a virtual private network and make changes based on calls to Northern Safety's customers. They confirm whether or not a given buyer in the housefile is still with a customer company. If not, the reps delete the name from the housefile and ask if someone else from the company should receive the catalog instead.
Referring to the process as "database non-marketing," Sexton says, "We're trying to prevent the mailing of 532-page catalogs to people who don't need them." At the same time, TeleGreet ensures that every person authorized to purchase safety products under that customer's rooftop is receiving a catalog.
Longo and Fostini won't reveal how many names TeleGreet adds to the Northern Safety housefile. But Sexton notes that his company makes at least 9,000 calls per month on Northern Safety's behalf. Recently, TeleGreet has started adding e-mails to the information its reps collect as part of Northern Safety's burgeoning e-mail marketing program. With 20 percent of Northern Safety's sales coming in via the Web, Longo's team plans on growing that segment of the business with more e-mail marketing and a retooling of the catalog's Web site.
To Acquire Is to Grow
Shortly after his buyout of the company in June 2005, Longo says he intended to make acquisitions and acquire a new distribution center. Then this past May, he followed through. Northern Safety acquired Safeco, an occupational safety products supplier based in Kingsport, Tenn. Immediately following the close of the acquisition, the company purchased a 160,000-square-foot warehouse in nearby Church Hill, Tenn., and started refurbishing the building to house both a distribution center and office space for customer service and sales. At press time, the facility was partially open and was expected to be fully operational by mid-August.