Borgman Moves Company Home

May 7, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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HOLLAND – Ron Borgman knew he wanted to “move on up,” just not to the “East Side.” And that “deluxe apartment in the sky” held no allure for him. So, he kept moving up while staying put in Holland.

Borgman, now president and COO of The Home Delivery Company, began his career in the information technology side of business, but like most good entrepreneurs, he found his niche while problem solving.

Borgman worked in the operations department of Herman Miller Inc. from the early 1980s until a few years ago when he and two other people started an office furniture venture called Herman Miller For The Home.

The popularity of home offices was expanding, but the logistics surrounding that expansion were not keeping pace. Borgman and his partners found that when the need arose for shipping needs that fell outside of Herman Miller’s vast shipping department, they came up empty-handed.

“This was around the time that home offices became very popular, and we were looking for something that really didn’t exist at the time,” said Borgman. “We needed to have a company that would deliver to the customer’s home, not drive a large 18-wheeler into the middle of a neighborhood and ask Mrs. Smith to come and get her desk off the truck.”

The three founders tried to start the moving process on their own but soon found it was nearly impossible. Instead, they worked with one of only a couple established companies doing much the same thing: Gilbert Home Delivery.

“It was Gilbert that established this operation and eventually asked me to come on board from Herman Miller and bring some of the customer perspective. I jumped at the opportunity,” he added.

When Borgman said he was unwilling to move to the East Coast, where Gilbert was established, the company came to him. The new firm, called soho.delivery, (which stands for Small Office Home Office), opened an office in Holland approximately 15 months ago. In October, Borgman took over as president of the entire corporation.

With soho.delivery in Holland and The Home Delivery Company (another operation of Gilbert) based in Walled Lake, Borgman decided it was time for consolidation and moved The Home Delivery Company from Walled Lake to Holland a few weeks ago. Soho.delivery, a subsidiary of The Home Delivery Company, will combine offices with the Walled Lake office, and function under the name The Home Delivery Company.

The primary reason for the move, Borgman said, is to optimize the operational capabilities of the company, provide the company with access to personnel from the furniture-rich West Michigan area and take advantage of lower operating costs than those available in the metro Detroit area.

But the move was a good one for more than just business reasons, Borgman conceded.

“I love to golf and fish,” he said. “And the Great Lakes are a perfect place. My dad and brother and I enter trout and salmon fishing tournaments all summer. While I work for most of the winter, the summer is a nice time to play.”

The services offered by soho.delivery will continue to be offered as a service capability to the small office and home office customers. The Home Delivery Company is a service business performing in-home and in-business deliveries of “large-box” items to addresses in the United States and Canada.

Borgman said the service is invaluable to manufacturers, retailers and catalogers who have a need to deliver products that are larger than parcel size to end customers. The Home Delivery Company specializes in assembling and delivering furniture, exercise equipment, tanning beds and similar items.

“This move is the continued implementation of a strategic plan which was developed during the summer of 2000. It is a natural progression, it made sense and is intended to streamline the company by taking advantage of continued innovation within its operation.

“The company will continue to invest heavily in its information technology and customer service capabilities. Doing things smarter and with less cost will enable a higher level of investment into areas that mean the most to our customers. This move, combined with other strategic initiatives, will enable THDC to provide superior service with a staff size 30 percent leaner than existed three months previous,” noted Borgman.

The move from Walled Lake began in December, was completed on Friday, and today is the first day the company is fully operational. More than 30 new jobs will be created in the Holland office.

The Home Delivery Company offers various services: vendor, manufacturer and distribution center direct drop-shipping; two-person inside delivery with product placed in the location of choice; appointment scheduling at the convenience of the consignee; complete product set-up, assembly, demonstration and dunnage removal; account relations team management; online real time shipment status; database management; and worldwide coverage.

Even though Borgman is in the business of shipping large parcels, the size of his company is less important to him.

“I am not necessarily interested in a large, multinational corporation, but in our high degree of integrity and morals. I want a company I can respect, and that is where I would like to build from.” 

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