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VOL. 112 | NO. 99 | Tuesday, June 9, 1998

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Mark VII expands into international markets Mark VII expands into international markets By KATHLEEN BURT The Daily News A Memphis firm is going global. Mark VII Worldwide Logistics, a subsidiary of Mark VII, is expanding into Europe, Asia and South America. Mike Musacchio, president of Mark VII Logistics Services, has been chosen to lead the new division. "The initiative is more critical than ever as the needs of our multi-national customer base expand, driven by worldwide procurement of raw materials, shifts in foreign labor markets and the economic incentives of developing countries," said R.C. Matney, Mark VII chairman and chief executive officer. Currently, the company is developing alliances in Europe and Asia before it begins to open offices. "We're in the initial phase of developing representatives on soil in Europe and Asia," said Phil Dunavant, chief financial officer. "We expect to have things up and running by the end of the year." Mark VII moves goods from one location to another. Similar to the way a general contractor hires sub-contractors, logistics companies such as Mark VII hire firms to move products. Mark VII specializes in large container and bulk freight logistics but is equipped to handle a wide range of goods and information services, Dunavant said. For example, Whirlpool Corp. recently came to Mark VII searching for a long-term program to improve the transport of its microwave ovens from Asia to the United States. But, the need was more complex than just moving a microwave oven from Point A to Point B. Whirlpool executives needed the program to accomplish three additional goals: move the items from Asia directly to the purchasers store or warehouse, provide a method to track the shipments from origin to destination and establish a new environment for sales in all U.S. markets. The last requirement was the one that made the project unique, company officials said. "Whirlpool asked not just for international movement and tracking of the ovens but for a transportation and logistics program that would be a new marketing tool for its sales people," said Howard Leff, vice president of Mark VIIs international division. "After a lot of research, meetings with key Whirlpool personnel and a vast number of discussions face to face and by phone and fax we were able to put together a viable program." Roger Hearn, who manages the Whirlpool account for Mark VII, went to work with Leff, and they constructed a transportation program that would fulfill all of the goals specified by Whirlpool, worked to earn Whirlpools approval to implement the program and then moved the program from the drawing board into the real world. Sales of microwaves have increased for Whirlpool due in part to the transportation solution generated by Mark VII, and Whirlpools transportation costs have been reduced. Dunavant said the move to a global market was a natural outgrowth of the increase in Mark VIIs customers moving in that direction. "Theyre asking us to do more for them. Were doing business with them, and theyre taking us there," Dunavant said. In 1989, its first year of operation, Mark VII handled $31.5 million of business, practically all of it intermodal. In 1995, company revenue was $459.1 million, making it the sixth consecutive year of growth for the firm at 965 Ridge Lake. The latest figure puts Mark VII at $700 million in gross annual revenue, he said. Dunavant said Mark VII is one of the largest logistics companies specializing in the domestic surface sector moving products by truck or train. Expanding to global markets will add the necessity for increased air and ocean transportation for the company, he said.
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 57 1,266
MORTGAGES 48 48 964
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 11 11 162
BUILDING PERMITS 87 87 2,838
BANKRUPTCIES 34 34 652
BUSINESS LICENSES 10 10 286
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0