Mailboxes acquires New Jersey company
Mailboxes Unlimited has acquired New Jersey-based freight-consolidating company, Corporate Forwarding Services of America LLC, after years of working side by side with them.
Kenny Thomson, Mailboxes Unlimited’s president, officially took over last night after owners, Jack and Karen Gannon, retired.
“They have been amazing over the years,” Mr Thomson said. But he said there was a need to modernise.
“It was very manual up there,” Mr Thomson said. “It was very pen and paper and we would input in the data down here. We had discontiguous databases, one that was cloud-based and one that was local. The two companies need to be reconciled under one umbrella and the data flow needs to be reconciled under one web-based system.”
Mr Thomson took over the role of president of Mailboxes Unlimited from Steve Thomson, his father, on September 31 last year.
“My father is phasing out into retirement,” Mr Thomson said. “In the beginning it was 80 per cent him and 20 per cent me and now it is probably the inverse of that. Everything has been happening gradually. It wouldn’t have worked so well if we’d just gone cold turkey.”
The acquisition of Corporate Forwarding Services is one of Mr Thomson’s first major acts, but he has a lot of other plans for Mailboxes Unlimited.
“Everything needs to be pushed to the next level in terms of technology,” he said. “The reason for that is the whole process becomes more efficient from beginning to end. That allows us to manage costs and efficiencies. The knock-on effect of that is that we can lower costs and be more competitive.”
He’s even improving the company’s Instagram profile, @mailboxes.bm, making it more of a lifestyle page.
“We are more focusing on the out-of-the box lifestyles that can be supported by Mailboxes,” he said. “It is more intended to be a reminder of when things aren’t available in Bermuda there is a good option.”
They recently posted a picture of two dogs surfing to remind people they can order their pet supplies through Mailboxes Unlimited.
“After that there was a pick-up in dog collars and dog toys coming in,” he said. “People were like, ‘I forgot there was something specific I wanted for my dog, an engraved dog tag or something’.”
Being a young-looking 26 he admitted that there were times when he was mistaken for a summer student.
“But maybe looking young will work out for me one day,” he laughed.
His father started the business in 1991 and he was born in 1993.
“There is a box in the corner that holds packing peanuts,” he said. “It still has little drawings on it from when my older brother Nick and I used to play in that corner.”
After studying at the University of Reading in England, Mr Thomson spent two years working for Tishman Speyer in London, one of the world’s largest real estate development companies.
Now he hopes to take what he learnt about business and technology to Mailboxes Unlimited.
Mr Thomson said his company has threats and competition that simply didn’t exist a few years ago.
His fear is that if they don’t up their game, they’ll get left behind.
“Amazon will ship directly to Bermuda now,” he said. “MyUS Alternative has been banging their drums in Bermuda recently. There are more overseas options that have scale and the resources to be efficient.”
“To stay ahead you just need to keep evolving. If we sit still too long something will happen. I think this is probably one of the most rapidly evolving industries in the world.”
Steve Thomson, who is chairman of Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd, the parent company of The Royal Gazette, was excited to see the next generation taking over. He was also happy about the changes coming to the company. He hoped it would make the Mailboxes Unlimited services more seamless.
“You’ll be able to say, ‘hold my blouse until my shoes come in’,” he said. “You’ll be able to communicate with us much better.”
• For more information about Mailboxes Unlimited call 292-6563
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