$1.5M invested in major development to leading award & recognition mail order business; 25-30 new jobs expected
Kentwood-based company that pioneered paper award template software used by millions expands fulfillment and warehouse facilities to over 65,000 sq. ft.
Kentwood, MICH.,-- A locally-owned $36-million company that has quietly cornered the market on creating award and recognition products for business, healthcare and educational industries over the last quarter of a century is finally getting the spotlight for its job well done.
To celebrate, the Kentwood-based Baudville, Inc. is recognizing the completion of a $1.5 million, expansion to its growing catalog fulfillment center with a special reception for vendors and family on Thursday, March 22.
The completed facility, located at Baudville’s headquarters at 5380 52nd Street S.E. near Ford International Airport, provides additional space for call centers, fulfillment, product development and future offices for the 70-person company, which created the Award Maker software that popularized paper award templates for personal computers. With this expansion, the facility now measures just over 65,000 sq. ft, which is nearly double the size from 2003, the last year the company renovated.
“Our new facility allows us to continue to provide our staff with a world-class work environment which translates to our providing world-class service to our customers” says Baudville, Inc. President & CEO Brad Darooge. “The expansion of our operations is a testament to the commitment of our employees and to the growing need for recognition in the workplace. Employers are more and more realizing the value that meaningful recognition programs have in retention of their most valuable resource.” Baudville was recently voted as one of West Michigan’s “101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For.”
With the new facility now fully operational, the $36 million company is setting its sites on increasing sales by 15% in each of the next three years. It’s expected that between 25 and 30 new employees will be added over the next 18 to 24 months to help drive the company’s expanded direct marketing efforts.
Baudville’s 96-page, 3,200 sku product catalog is widely recognized as the most comprehensive offering of unique employee recognition products ranging from traditional paper awards to anniversary gifts, lapel pins, trophies, and more. Baudville products can be found in use as part of employee development campaigns at many major health systems, grade schools and municipalities, and over 80% of Fortune 1000 companies use Baudville’s inspiring products in their recognition programs. Baudville, Inc. is a founding member of the National Association of Employee Recognition (NAER).
The project was led by Triangle Construction, with Progressive Handling providing the distribution center conveyance planning and implementation. The expansion investments centered mainly on infrastructure and technology improvements. Additional office space, to accommodate the growing product development and marketing departments, and a new common area for employees (titled “Baudville Central”) round out the new offerings at the campus.
Baudville’s inventory of paper awards and employee recognition items, of which 95% is proprietary, designed in Grand Rapids and marketed exclusively by the company, is one of two primary business units of the privately held Baudville, Incorporated. The other arm, IDville, Inc. was launched in 2002 as a sister catalog to the Baudville line. The IDville brand, which now accounts for 20% of the corporation’s $36 million in sales, focuses on IDMaker software and all of the products surrounding the identification of employees, students and staff. A third brand is scheduled to be launched in 2008, thus the need to expand development and marketing divisions.
ABOUT BAUDVILLE: Baudville was founded in 1983 as a software development firm. The name was created by combining the computer term “baud” with the exuberant theatrical term “vaudeville.” In 1985, Baudville introduced the first version of its popular Award Maker software, thus ushering in a decade-long transition from an entertainment software company to an award and recognition company.
At the core of the Baudville brand is a dedication to industry-leading product innovation – as evidenced by over 25% of gross margin contribution from new products in 2005. In 2002 Baudville launched a sister catalog – IDville – which now accounts for over 20% of corporate sales. The IDville brand focuses on IDMaker software and all of the products surrounding the identification of employees, students and staff.
Today, Baudville continues to build on its past success, aggressively upgrading and expanding product development and marketing efforts. Having recently doubled operations to nearly 65,000 square feet provides room for all departments to grow as the company looks to future initiatives. Baudville’s 96-page product catalog is now mailed to over 13 million businesses and schools across the country with total company circulation exceeding 20 million catalogs. Its 70 talented and dedicated employees will satisfy over 200,000 customers this year.
While Baudville is growing rapidly each year, the company is most proud of its reputation for customer service and the teamwork achieved in operating this small yet sophisticated enterprise. Inbound call center staff aim to answer every incoming call within 3 rings. And, to accommodate short notices, orders placed before 6pm are shipped the same day; 4pm for personalized orders.
True to the spirit of its name, Baudville’s performers are one class act. From their dedicated customer relations representatives to talented distribution staff, Baudville presents a united front. They don’t just talk about team building and motivation - they live it.
Baudville is a leading provider of employee award and recognition products and tools. Today, Baudville continues to build on its past success, aggressively upgrading and expanding product development and marketing efforts. A recent renovation doubled operations to nearly 65,000 square feet to provide room for all departments to grow as the company looks to future initiatives. Its 90 talented and dedicated employees will satisfy over 200,000 customers this year.
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