New World of Direct Mail, Merge of Houston's best.
Established Companies Merge
International Mailing Systems and The Premier Company have merged to form PremierIMS which is sure to be a powerhouse of direct marketing services that will bring "New Momentum" to their industry in Houston. The company will be headed by Norm Pegram, President and CEO.
International Mailing Systems was founded by Norm Pegram, President and CEO in 1981 and has grown to become the largest independent high volume mailing company in Houston. IMS is the only mailing company in Houston with two onsite post office clearing sections and USPS staff there to clear the bulk mail. The postal service staff is onsite at IMS every day from 9:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. From IMS the mail is dispatched across the country and including Alaska and Hawaii to SCF destinations, resulting in huge postal savings to their customers. The company is also the Texas source for resident mailing lists.
Premier, founded in 1925 by the late Luke Kaiser is Houston’s most established Printing, Mailing and Fulfillment company. With a long time list of fortune 500 customers, Premier remained family owned and operated for more than 83 years and was headed by Martha Kaiser Justice, (President and daughter of the founder), along with her husband, William Justice, Chairman. Premier specializes in business to business printing and mailing services for target markets; including Health Care, Non Profit, Financial, Insurance, Education and Corporate.
Also joining in the merger is Service Inc. headed by Geno Baiamonte, another long time Houston printing company owner, who will be Vice President of Printing operations.
Norm Pegram believes that tradition is important for the future our industry and he states
"This combination in our industry is just as important as Exxon Mobil or Conoco Phillips."
Both Premier and IMS have been positioning for the future of business mail, including 4 color variable data personalized mail that is targeted, automated and presorted for cost savings and more efficient deliverability. Custom printing pieces for lowest cost to meet postal requirements, data processing and list maintenance are the keys to success of PremierIMS.
According to the U.S Postal service, Direct Mail generates more than $500 billion for marketers each year. Unlike telemarketing and computer email transmissions, mail costs nothing for the recipient and is delivered without interruptions as often happens with other media. Recipients of mail can touch, feel, save and review at their convenience. PremierIMS views the future of direct mail as a complement to every other ad medium - remaining most cost effective for marketers who need to personalize messages to customers and prospective customers. Most important – PremierIMS will be committed to creating environmentally responsible mailings though use of paper cost savings as well as list management and automation to avoid waste in the mail stream.
PremierIMS will also continue Premier’s warehousing and fulfillment operation, servicing corporations while combining services with the Internet where people can go to online to order items in inventory including: printed materials, annual reports, promotional items and brochures to be shipped on demand.
Long time friends in the industry, Premier and IMS were both selected to be on tour for the Mailing Fulfillment Services Association held for mailing company leaders throughout the Southwest who came to Houston and Galveston for their annual meeting in April of 2008. Norm Pegram was this year’s president. "Having known Norm Pegram for years, we were impressed with his leadership in our industry and for bringing recognition to Houston and to IMS and Premier" said Martha Justice, President of Premier.
"With Norm as this year’s president of the MFSA, everything seemed to come together for IMS and Premier. My father had been a founding member of this organization more than 50 years ago and this organization’s mailing education award is given annually in his name." Said Martha Justice.
And the two companies’ history together spans back more than 27 years. When Premier vacated their building on McKinney street east of downtown, IMS moved into one of the buildings. At that time computers took up entire rooms and because Premier’s 1401 computer and Norm’s computer were identical, his operation was able to start up, immediately. "And now in a bold nostalgic move Premier is going back to our old neighborhood into another IMS facility on McKinney just blocks from where Premier once stood. This is now a great area with the George R. Brown in the background, jogging walking trails and residential buildings cropping up among the vintage warehouses. We are very excited. " said Martha.
Both Premier and IMS have a long history of dedication to education in the industry. Premier sponsors annual postal seminars to help their customers remain updated on postal regulations for best rates. Norm Pegram, with an MBA from the University of Texas, teaches Direct Marketing classes at the University of Houston and he is the author of the "Little Black Book" with many secrets about how businesses can benefit from Direct Mail. Both Martha Justice and Norm Pegram have written many articles in trade journals about Printing and Direct mail tips. Martha has spoken before classes at the University of Houston and has volunteered Premier for graduate students from the University of Texas McCombs School of business and University of Houston. The students were studying company valuations and business planning. Both Premier and IMS are looking to the future while consulting with Dr. Jerry Waite of the University of Houston
college of Printing Technology on ways to inspire students about opportunities in the expanding digital technology of the Direct Marketing industry.
Martha Justice, Vice President of Marketing and Bill Justice, Vice President of Fulfillment, will be joining Norm Pegram at PremierIMS as they work together to form the most experienced company in the industry in Houston.
Already in talks to merge, the three companies; Premier, IMS and Service Inc, began working together after hurricane Ike left Premier without power, phones or computer communications. The hurricane aftermath and the financial crisis that followed soon after did not deter these companies from taking bold steps to expand. "We wanted to get together while our companies were in a strong financial position," said Norm Pegram, President. IMS was founded during a time when inflation was over 20% and the market was rife with competition in the 80’s. Premier survived the great depression, along with many economic swings over the years. The companies have weathered many storms. The difficult weeks after the latest storm turned out to be a win win for all and sealed long time friendships and signaled a larger win for their combined forces to become PremierIMS.
Source: IMS Houston