Gene Geiger, Frank Murphy Discuss Geiger's Partnership With BTC Group, the UK's Largest Distributor
The talks began about six months ago, with Geiger CEO Gene Geiger and BTC Group managing director Frank Murphy (who will continue in his position) discussing the various ways their companies could help each other. The two had known each other for a few years before that as members of the World Advertising Gift Exchange (WAGE).
"Gene Geiger and I have spoken over the years about how similar our company cultures are, and how it would be great to work together some time," Murphy told Promo Marketing. "We began the process of looking at how we could make this a more formal arrangement toward the end of 2017."
"Part of it is need and part of it is opportunity," Geiger said. "On the opportunity side, we have known Frank and his company for several years. … And, because of that friendship in [WAGE] and on a personal level, as we have in recent years had a need for help in some projects for our customers, they're one of the firms that we've worked with. And so we have a relationship personally, we have had a business relationship, and things have been very good in terms of collaboration and mutual support."
Geiger heard from BTC that they were thinking about selling the business, and mentioned that he would like to be the first to know if that came to fruition. When it did, Geiger saw the opportunity to boost his overseas business as well as partner with someone he trusted in a professional and personal sense.
"In the past and even today, we will work with some of our friends in different countries to help us on projects or on issues, but that only gets you so far," Geiger said. "To really do the very best job providing local support, one needs to have one's own people on the ground in different markets. So, our having the opportunity to acquire a company in the U.K., which is a major market for any big company's needs, we thought this is a terrific opportunity and it fills our need."
Murphy said that the biggest draw for him was the possibility of expanded offerings for his clients as well as the opportunity to learn alongside Geiger's staff.
"We are most looking forward to sharing our knowledge with our American colleagues, and in return benefitting from their enormous expertise," he said. "They have systems and an organization that can teach us so much about how to improve the service we can offer our clients. Our customers can now look forward to an even better, more cost effective and more exciting offering from Geiger BTC Group."
Geiger felt the same way, and sees the geographic advantage of expanding across the Atlantic as a step in the right direction toward an even more global business.
"They know a whole lot of stuff that we can learn from and vice versa," he said. "And so getting those synergies to occur is what I'm looking forward to. In another sense, I'm looking forward to this being one of hopefully a number of steps in the future for us to build out a worldwide network so that we can effectively—and more and more effectively over time—provide services to those companies that have facilities or serve markets everywhere, whether it be the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, or South America. To do the very best job we can, how do we position ourselves to be where our customers need us to be? And this is sort of one of hopefully a whole lot of steps for us to be a great, effective global service provider."