Catalog Company Splits Its Efforts
Stephanie A. Weiss
BARRINGTON, N.J. -- Edmund Scientific has split into two divisions to better serve the growing numbers of industrial customers.
The company announced last month that Frank DiMinno has taken over as president of its growing Industrial Optics Div., which accounts for about 75 percent of the company's sales. Gwynne Edmund will be president of the Consumer Science Div., which serves hobbyists and K-12 educators. Robert Edmund, son of the company's founder, will continue to serve as chief executive officer.
DiMinno explained that the company will soon redesign its catalogs to better reflect its strength in industrial photonics. Over the last two years, Edmund Scientific has replaced 18 pages of its industrial catalog, and it will continue to cull out "hobby" supplies (i.e., telescopes, weather stations and educational kits, which will remain in the consumer catalog), replacing them with optics, detectors and lasers that industrial users need.
"The catalogs will be a lot purer," DiMinno said. "Many of our industrial customers are also our hobby customers, but those items will still be available through a separate catalog."
He said he sees the industrial growth coming in optical components, although the company also sells a variety of other photonic components. "We want to be the biggest, best provider of optical products," he said. To accomplish that, the company will have to improve customer awareness of its capabilities, he said. It is also helping customers with application development and increasing its sales force to get the word out.
"People don't realize that Edmund Scientific can and will happily do custom optics and systems," DiMinno said. "They also don't ask about OEM pricing. There's more to us than the catalog."
As an illustration of its growth, Edmund Scientific recently dedicated a 22,000-sq-ft addition to its main facility. The new offices house the sales and customer support staffs.
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