The Crowley Company Year in Review
In a year that has seen very little, if any, breathing room, we’re making ourselves stop and smell the poinsettias and look back before we rush headlong into 2014. Take a look at what made our top 10 list this year (in no particular order as they each serve to make the whole):
- We’re blogging (obviously). We’ve always had some great stories to tell and this year we took the plunge and made the commitment to share news weekly. The feedback has been very positive and we appreciate your reading. If you’ve got questions or ideas for posts, please let us know. Our goal is to provide information that educates and entertains as it pertains to digitization, archival preservation, micrographics and records management.
- Crowley’s Wicks and Wilson division enjoyed their 40th anniversary this past November. In the 1980s, Wicks and Wilson aperture card duplicators were among the first machines to offer computer-controlled microfilm equipment. Later in the decade, Wicks and Wilson became the first to manufacture a full range of scanners and plotters for aperture cards. For a detailed history, read our November blogpost.
- Crowley’s Mekel Technology division celebrated 30 years in October. In 1989, Mekel introduced the first microfilm scanner to the world, blending the analog (micrographics) and digitization worlds. A part of Crowley since 2003, this acquisition gave an R&D arm to the firm and gave us the unique ability to be manufacturer, reseller and end-user (Crowley Imaging).
- Along these lines, Crowley introduced several new products this year, including the self-manufactured Mekel MACH12 microfilm scanner and Wicks and Wilson UScan+, as well as the Zeutschel 12002 and the Qidenus SMART book scanners.
- Crowley Imaging stored and moved an estimated 3,000 terabytes of data. To put this in perspective, a photo from your phone or digital camera is typically 1MB…3,000 terabytes would be more than three billion images. Watch for updated web pages in 2014 with easy-to-locate quote buttons.
- In March, Kevin Keeler was named vice president of Research & Development, signifying Crowley’s commitment to the digitization/preservation industry and future development.
- The Crowley Company attended 16 trade shows in 2013 that spanned the globe – starting with CeBit in Hannover, Germany and finishing the year close to home with MARAC in Philadelphia, Pa. These shows are an important tool in connecting with our end-users – librarians, archivists, county clerks, records managers and others – as the feedback we receive is used to continuously improve our products and services.
- In August, The Crowley Company entered into an agreement with newly-formed EPM Equipment, LLC to act as the marketing and distribution arm for their IMAGELINK-brand (formerly Kodak) micrographics equipment.
- Crowley maintained a strong balance between repeat and new customers. While this may be a given in many industries, our industry is unique in that: a) the sales cycle for higher-end scanning equipment can be six-to-eighteen months; and b) once a unit is purchased, maintenance is minimal and the unit will perform for years so equipment turnover is very low. New customers are coming from word-of-mouth and referrals for both hardware and conversion services; returning customers come as volume increases, technology evolves (hardware sales) or new project funding is approved (imaging).
- The Crowley Company enjoyed its best revenue and profit year to date. We’re thankful for: a growing international reseller network; a sales, engineering, support and administrative staff that is dedicated and takes pride in their work; and for customers the world over which understand that quality and efficiency are the hallmarks of value.
Thank you all for a strong 2013. We look forward to the adventures of 2014!