Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Global-Z returns to Bennington with expansion plans

Published in Interface Tech News

MANCHESTER CENTER, Vt. ‹ Data processing company Global-Z is relocating for the second time in five years, returning to nearby Bennington, where the company was founded in 1989. The company is expanding to meet demand for direct-mail advertising in Asia, and expects to triple its payroll within five years.

The company is finishing financial arrangements for purchasing land and building a 5,000 square foot facility in Bennington. It expects to be in its new home by March 2002.

"Bennington is really hungry for new business," said company co-founder and vice president of operations Dimitri Garder. "A lot of the legwork is being done for us."

Several state, county, and municipal programs are working together to help the company remain in Bennington County and form part of what Garder hopes will be a critical mass of area technology businesses.

"If Bennington can promote themselves as really advantageous to high-tech business, we'd love to be a part of that," Garder said.

Global-Z began as a database consulting firm. Its clients ran into trouble when entering international addresses into databases that were expecting U.S.-style address formats.

In 1993, Garder said, the company began processing international address data for marketers. The benefit for the customers, Garder said, is fewer duplicates, faster delivery, and fewer pieces of returned mail. "It improves the deliverability of the mail piece," he said.

One of the company's employees works in Beijing, opening up services with Asian clients and working with the region's postal services. Global-Z has offered services in Japan for two years, and the next few countries to see Global-Z services, according to Garder, will be Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand.

Guy Creese, research director at the Aberdeen Group, said there are big bucks in international direct mailing and address handling.

"That's quite a brisk business," he said.

There is room for improvement in addressing, Creese said, noting that even small improvements can have significant payoffs.

"If you can improve addresses by two percent, and you have a million addresses, that's big," he said.

The U.S. direct-mail market is saturated, Creese said, leading many companies, especially multi-nationals, to seek abroad the levels of success they have had with U.S. campaigns.

"The business demand for this is growing," he said.

Global-Z, planning to follow the trend in its sector, expects to add 35 jobs within the next five years, and offer training and internships collaboration with programs at Mt. Anthony Union High School's career center and Bennington College's foreign-language programs.