Call_Solutions Buys Fala in Push to Be Full-Service Company

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Call_Solutions Inc.'s acquisition of print and fulfillment firm FalaDM Group is a "milestone" and further proof the company isn't just about teleservices, founder George Dalton said yesterday.


FalaDM represents the largest single acquisition yet by Call_Solutions, which since its founding two years ago has purchased a string of companies. Dalton said the FalaDM buy fulfills his goal of making Call_Solutions a full-service direct marketing company, which, despite what many thought, has been his goal all along.


When Call_Solutions opened in August 2000, most people in direct marketing assumed from its name that it would be a teleservices company. The next dozen acquisitions made by Dalton, most of which were small to midsize teleservices shops, did little to dispel that notion.


Dalton said he wishes he had brought FalaDM into Call_Solutions first, if only so people didn't assume he was running strictly a teleservices business.


FalaDM effectively doubles Call_Solutions' annual revenue, which previously stood around $70 million and is now at $150 million.


"He's as large, all by himself, as the rest of the company," Dalton said of FalaDM president/CEO Jeff Jurick and his firm.


Call_Solutions already possessed a direct mail business in Lindon, UT-based OneSource. FalaDM gives Call_Solutions a print and production heavyweight on the East Coast.


FalaDM has 600 employees and 365,000 square feet of production and office space. It mails 1 billion pieces annually. As with other Call_Solutions acquisitions, FalaDM will not be forced to lay off employees and will stay at its current location.


It offers customers an array of capabilities including high-volume laser personalization, multiple document matching, secure negotiable check handling, and presorting, mail-merging and routing for domestic and international postal clients.


The merger with Call_Solutions will give FalaDM customers access to these and all of Call_Solutions' other services, including call centers, market analysis, marketing strategy and database management, said Jurick, who added that he shares Dalton's goal of creating a one-stop shop for direct marketers.


"George has a vision to build a marketing enterprise where he can be the total source for any direct marketer," he said, "from telemarketing to direct mail to fulfillment to contact centers."


Jurick will take over Call_Solutions' print division, which includes OneSource. The company plans to organize itself into three groups, one for print, another for Call_Solutions' teleservices firms and another for marketing strategy provided by The Patrick Marketing Group, which the company acquired in September 2002.


Financial details of the agreement, which is expected to close in March, were not disclosed. Finance, administration and marketing are handled by the Call_Solutions parent company in Waukesha, WI, though the individual companies operate independently.


In two years, Call_Solutions has gone from zero to $150 million in annual revenue, a fact proudly noted by Dalton, who has said the company would consider going public in the future. However, Dalton said he keeps a conservative view of where his company stands.


"We're a start-up company, by and large," he said.


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