Thursday, October 26, 1995, Vol. 109, No. 17
lj 10/5 cates People, plus location, attract companies to Memphis By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News When more than 750 applicants overwhelmed Ingram Micro at its job fair in May, senior operations manager Tom Morris knew the company had picked the right place for its newest distribution site. Morris, along with Bob Linne, director of distribution services for Technicolor Video Services, another new arrival to the Memphis distribution industry, addressed the question "Why choose Memphis?" at the annual Uniport meeting Wednesday at The Peabody Hotel. Linne and Morris said the superior logistics, the availability and quality of warehouse space and the warmth and cooperation of the Memphis people were the answers. "We chose Memphis because it's a superior location for customer service," said Linne. "We can serve 90 percent of the population within two business days. "We were also impressed by the availability of warehouse space for competitive prices," he said. Technicolor Video's distribution facility, located off Shelby Drive on Southridge, opened in May and houses Technicolor's video services division, which duplicates, packages and distributes videotape products. The local facility employs about 350 people, said Linne. Technicolor Video's four divisions are expected to generate $900 million in revenue, with $500 million coming from the division located in Memphis. "The location here in Memphis will be generating the lion's share," he said. Ingram Micro found Memphis to be a prime location after thorough logistical research, but what really "put Memphis over the edge" was its people, said Morrison. "We came to Memphis for the usual reasons, as far as location goes, but we really felt that the Chamber, both the mayors' offices and everyone involved in planning and development were really welcoming us into the community. We owe it all to these groups, to the people involved," he said. Morrison also said he was very optimistic about the Memphis labor force after the turnout for its job fair. Distribution operations of Ingram Micro, the world's largest distributor of computers and computer equipment, temporarily are located in a 160,000-square-foot warehouse at the intersection of Winchester Road and Tchulahoma Road. Operations eventually will move to a 600,000-square-foot facility in Millington, said Morrison. Ingram Micro eventually will employ as many as 600 people, he said. Other Uniport meeting activities included a slide presentation by Sam Martin, director of relationship development for the Americas for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Cargo. He outlined the goals of KLM in its mission to move from a wholesale carrier to a features carrier with a higher-end market, such as precious metals and livestock. Allen Hester, communications manager for The Chamber of Commerce, also gave a presentation on the marketing materials and strategies the Chamber uses for its "America's Distribution Center" advertising campaign. Hester said this theme has been a success during the past 15 years, creating more than 103,000 jobs, raising the Memphis per capita income 7.6 percent and Memphis retail sales 70 percent. "Currently, we have 26 active company prospects looking to move to Memphis, representing $670 million in investments and over 8,000 new jobs," he said.