by Karen E. Culp
When Rich Cole got the opportunity to bring Worldwide Limited to the Ozarks, he did it.
Cole had worked with the Burlington, Wis.-based company for several years, buying several promotional products while he was a finance director for the Boy Scouts of America.
At that time, the company was a "top-notch promotions company," Cole said. Roger Ebberson, who owns and runs the Wisconsin operation, gave Cole the opportunity to start a Springfield location. Cole did so one year ago.
Worldwide Limited is a 15-year-old company, and in recent years it has added a new service to its business: duplication of CD ROMs, floppy disks, magnetic tapes and audio and video data.
"We had a customer ask whether we could duplicate CD-ROM products, and we could see that a lot of things were heading in that direction, so we decided to add that service area, which is very complementary to the promotions business," Cole said.
A subsidiary company, Worldwide Limited Media Services, was formed to handle the duplication side of the business, Cole said.
"We're one of very few promotions companies in the country that has this service," Cole said.
Being a promotions company, Worldwide is able to not only duplicate the material, but to package and assemble it, Cole said.
"In many situations, you may have one person doing the packaging, another the assembly and yet another taking care of fulfillment, but in our unique situation, we can provide all of that," Cole said.
The company has found interest in the CD and media replication services it provides among different business sectors, Cole said. Software companies are interested in the service for replication of software on CDs; insurance companies use the duplicating services to send out rate updates. Other uses are for the music industry, for replication of music CDs, and "any company that has a catalog," Cole said.
"A lot of companies are placing their catalogs on their web sites, but many are finding the CD catalog to be a very convenient way for them to get a catalog out. It's small; shipping costs are less; and having a catalog on CD means that a customer does not have to spend online time and money to reach the company's catalog," Cole said.
The media services side of the business has helped Worldwide broaden its customer base, Cole said.
"When we walk in the door, we not only have pens, pencils, hats, etc. to sell to a customer, but we have this other area of service. ... One company would only do business with us if we had the CDs," Cole said.
One of the company's unique products are its CDs that are not round, but rather a die-cut type of CD. Some CD products for the holiday season are cut in the shape of Santa Claus, for example. The unusual-looking CDs play just like any other, though.
"We've had a lot of people look at them and wonder if they would work. Not only do they work, but they get a lot of extra attention," Cole said.
Worldwide Limited has more than 100 clients in Springfield, many of whom are taking advantage of the CD replication services, Cole said.
The company has its headquarters
and production facilities in Burlington, Wis.
Rich Cole's Worldwide Limited offers duplication of CD ROMs, floppy disks, magnetic tapes and audio and video data, as well as promotional products.[[In-content Ad]]
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