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December 1, 1999
Melanie A. Lasoff
A team of 10 investors from Chicago have infused $1 million worth of capital into Toccoa, Ga.-based Dempster to revamp the company's product line, improve efficiency, and create employee and product stability, according to stockholder Edward DeBoer, head of the team.
Since June, the team has paid $225,000 worth of overdue bills, hired a marketing company and a consulting firm, and held focus groups with ten of the top dealers, says DeBoer, former president of ARC Disposal, Mount Prospect, Ill., who sold his family business last November to focus on Dempster. DeBoer will become CEO of what has been dubbed "the New Dempster."
As part of its revamped parts and services department, the company unveiled its restructured website, www.dempsterequip.com, which includes a function that allows purchase of parts online. The investors most likely will contribute another $1 million in December, and plans also are in the works to build new offices by May 2000, says DeBoer.
"Things are really looking up," he says. "We're taking this company from the dumps and moving it up."
The company had been battling manufacturing restraints, inefficiencies and a lagging sales force, says Dempster president Robert Williams. The more streamlined company will take Dempster into the new millennium, he says.
DeBoer agrees. "Everyone around here now is starting to believe Dempster is here to stay," he says. "In the next six months, nobody is going to recognize Dempster the way it used to be."
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