Kansas City, MO — The Business Technology Association (BTA) and the Association of Independent Mailing Equipment Dealers (AIMED) have merged, effective Feb. 1. Under the merger, all active AIMED dealer members will become members of BTA.
“Given the transitioning nature of the office technology and mailing equipment industries served by AIMED and BTA, this merger makes perfect sense,” said BTA President Dan Castaneda. “Like BTA members, AIMED members are seeking ways to further diversify their product and services offerings. BTA can assist AIMED members in this endeavor through its education, support and guidance. BTA welcomes AIMED’s dealer members and looks forward to an exciting future, working together for the mutual benefit of all.”
Noting that AIMED has long been known as the only organization dedicated to the interests of independent mailing equipment dealers, “the association has provided countless opportunities for its members to experience tremendous growth in profit and business value by working together,” said Vernon Stevens II, president of AIMED. “We will continue to provide the support that mailing equipment dealers are seeking and we are excited to now be doing so as part of BTA. This merger is simply the next chapter in AIMED’s long history of serving its dealer channel, which will now have the opportunity to take advantage of BTA’s extensive resources.”
AIMED, which was founded in February 1976, will continue to have focused programs and initiatives for mailing equipment dealers under the leadership of its board of directors, including the continuation of its annual conference. This year, the conference will take place in conjunction with BTA’s Capture the Magic event, hosted by BTA West, which is scheduled for Dec. 6-7 at The Venetian Las Vegas. More details will be announced in the coming months.
Most of AIMED’s founding members were ex-Pitney Bowes service technicians who launched their own businesses, supporting mailing machines in their local markets. Striking out on their own as independent business owners offered tremendous opportunities, but also significant challenges. The founders sought to work together to find ways to create a level playing field on which to provide good services at fair prices for their customers.
In the early years, AIMED’s members were a very creative group. When it was difficult to find someone to sell them parts for the machines they serviced, several members became manufacturers. One member found a way to mold rubber feed tires, another made sealing brushes and another formulated sealing solution. Selling to and supporting each other was a key part of surviving in the early days.
Eventually, thanks to the persistence of its members and the support of Bob Goldberg (who serves as AIMED’s — as well as BTA’s — general counsel), AIMED won many battles to create a more level playing field where its members could not only survive, but thrive as business owners. Eventually, companies such as Friden (now Neopost), Hasler (now part of Neopost) and FP Mailing Solutions entered the U.S. postage meter marketplace and came to AIMED to find dealers for their sales and distribution networks. AIMED members transitioned from being independent service companies primarily selling used equipment to full-service suppliers of new and used equipment.
Today, like some aspects of the office technology industry, the overall market for mailing equipment has matured and declined with the increasing use of electronic communication. Consequently, AIMED dealers have worked diligently to adapt and innovate, diversifying beyond the mailing machine to offer a wide variety of other equipment, products and services.
For more information on AIMED, visit www.bta.org/AIMED.