In 1971 Columbia Records of Terre Haute, Indiana, was at the forefront of an emerging direct mail trend. However, its business boom required over 200 employees to manually process a daily mail volume weighing more than a ton. The company charged Al Stevens, then Assistant to the VP of Operations, to improve the speed and profitability of its mailroom operations. For Al, this was a difficult assignment; mail extraction equipment at the time was not readily available.
After learning through a Wall Street Journal article that an extraction machine was being developed by a relatively obscure company in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Al formed a relationship which ultimately resulted in the development and production of the first multiple station mail processing machine, the OPEX 4.0. Columbia Records bought two systems for $50,000 each, and in 1975 Al and his wife, Joanna, subsequently bought OPEX. Later, the Stevens’ sons, Mark and David, were brought into the business.
With the introduction of the Rapid Extraction Desk (or “RED”), a single-operator work station, the company began to see steady growth and profitability. As the number of products and the amount of sales increased, OPEX added both a national sales force and a separate service organization.
In the 1990s OPEX experienced one of the largest growth surges in its history, fueled primarily by the success of its high-speed, fully-automated extraction equipment and mail sorters. During that same decade, OPEX expanded overseas and extended its product development capabilities, both in-house and through the acquisition of OMATION Corporation.
Thanks to several decades of financial stability and a strong aversion to long-term debt, OPEX has continued to invest heavily in research and development, resulting in an extensive portfolio of worldwide patents. Today, OPEX’s success in problem-solving through innovation and technology is driving an expansion of product offerings and services to meet the demands of a changing marketplace.
OPEX’s loyal customers can now turn to OPEX for equipment that delivers a wide array of process improvements designed to enhance material handling, document imaging, and mail opening and sorting. From the mailroom to the warehouse, OPEX can improve your workflow by putting into motion a solution that’s right for you.