open quotes Dollars and engineering know-how were added to the mix, and the first prototype OPEX mail opening systems were delivered in 1972. close quotes

—OPEX Corporation of

A BRIEF HISTORY

 

Originally a small mail-processing division of a conglomerate known as Kenco, OPEX gained its first technical expertise in the early 1970’s. Dollars and engineering know-how were added to the mix, and the first prototype OPEX mail opening systems were delivered in 1972.

Simultaneous with the development of the OPEX machine, a marketing trend emerged in which companies found success using direct mail campaigns, courtesy of the United States Postal Service.  Remittance – in the form of payment coupons and checks – was made through the mail, and an industry was born.

Columbia Records of Terre Haute, Indiana, was at the forefront of this emerging trend.  Columbia’s daily mail volume in 1971 weighed more than a ton.  Over 200 employees were required to manually process each day's mail.  For this reason, the company initiated a study to determine what equipment could be purchased to improve the speed and profitability of its mailroom operations. For Al Stevens, then Assistant to the VP of Operations at Columbia Records, this was a difficult assignment; mail extraction equipment at the time was not readily available.

Alerted by a small article in the Wall Street Journal regarding an extraction machine being developed by a relatively obscure company in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Al Stevens formed a relationship which ultimately resulted in the development and production of the first multiple station mail processing machine, the OPEX 4.0.  Using a conveyor system, it fed opened envelopes with exposed contents to operators seated at work stations along the conveyor.

Columbia Records bought two systems for $50,000 each, and Al and his wife, Joanna, subsequently bought OPEX.  Later, the Stevens’ sons, Mark and David, were brought into the business.

With the introduction of an inexpensive single-operator work station for low volume customers named the Rapid Extraction Desk (or “RED”), the company began its march towards steady growth and ongoing profitability in the late 1970s.  In time, as the number of products and the amount of sales increased, OPEX added both a national sales force and a separate service organization.

In the 1990s OPEX experienced the largest growth surge in its history, fueled largely by the success of its high-speed, fully-automated extraction equipment and mail sorters.  During that same decade, OPEX expanded overseas, establishing offices in the United Kingdom and France.  The company also added international sales and service personnel.  Since then, OPEX’s influence in the global marketplace has continued to escalate dramatically.

OPEX acquired the OMATION Corporation in 1994.  Originally based in Mountain View, California, OMATION has long been recognized for setting the industry standard in joggers, envelope verifiers, sorters, and envelope openers.

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of OPEX ownership by the Stevens’ family.  Al Stevens, the company founder, now serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.  In April, 2011 David Stevens assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, while Mark Stevens became the Chief Operations Officer.

The 21st century has provided OPEX with fresh challenges, but the arrival of new technologies has allowed OPEX to significantly expand its product offerings and services to meet the demands of a changing marketplace.  Thanks to several decades of financial stability and a strong aversion to long-term debt, OPEX is able to continue investing heavily in research and development.

OPEX’s extensive portfolio of worldwide patents attests to its unique ability to efficiently handle individual, single-piece items ranging in size from envelopes, documents and checks all the way through 60+-pound payloads on the Perfect Pick™ warehouse system.  The company’s loyal customers can now turn to OPEX for equipment that delivers a wide array of process improvements designed to streamline envelope opening and extracting, document imaging and sorting, and material handling and fulfillment.  From the mailroom to the warehouse, OPEX makes it possible for virtually any enterprise to benefit from OPEX technology.

Stability, integrity and innovation – these are the unchanging hallmarks of OPEX Corporation that make its future brighter than ever.

OPEX CORPORATE PRINCIPLES

In 1993, the OPEX Management Team set out to identify the core principles that have helped foster the company’s success.  The culmination of that effort produced a foundational document known today around OPEX simply as, “The Nine Corporate Principles.”

These Principles are more than just words that decorate office walls and company coffee mugs.  They form the basis for how OPEX conducts its business with respect to individual employees as well as customers and other stakeholders.

WE AT OPEX CORPORATION SHALL ALWAYS STRIVE TO:

  • ONE: Conduct all business in a fair and honest manner.
  • TWO: Listen, and be responsive, to customers’ needs.
  • THREE: Recognize the value of the individual.
  • FOUR: Maintain conservative financial management which will dictate growth.
  • FIVE: Move ahead continually and deliberately to assure the ongoing survival of the company.
  • SIX: Exercise freedom from tradition and convention if a better method can be devised.
  • SEVEN: Focus business expansion only in related fields.
  • EIGHT: Minimize layers of management in order to maximize employee empowerment.
  • NINE: Eliminate the “It’s not my job” attitude.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Although OPEX is itself organized as a single corporate entity, separate business units have been formed to efficiently serve customers throughout the world.  The OPEX Incoming and Scanning division focuses on incoming mail processing and scanning equipment in the North American marketplace.  This division also includes the OMATION product line of letter openers and joggers.

The OPEX International division provides products and services to countries outside of North America, including Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

OPEX Material Handling offers products and services designed to enhance warehouse management and expedite inventory fulfillment.

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