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Created in the Corridor: Mobile Demand
HIAWATHA, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) - Wouldn't it be great if you never had to have your laptop repaired? There is a growing Hiawatha company that's helping industry be more efficient by providing computers that are practically indestructible. It started with determination and continues with innovation Created in the Corridor.
We were shipping product in boxes through the basement window, shares Matt Miller as he recalls how he started Mobile Demand at his home ten years ago by taking a big financial risk. His days at Intermec behind him, Miller took out home equity loans and maxed out credit cards. My wife, who was a stay at home mom, had to go back to work.
The sacrifice paid off when Miller filled a need in the beer industry for rugged tablet PCs. Working through local distributors he secured Anheuser Busch as his first major client. Says Miller proudly,
About four or five years later we had about 4,000 tablets in the U.S. selling beer. The University of Iowa Alumnus capitalized on that success, spending significant dollars on internet marketing to
target those who buy technology for their companies. The first year," remembers Miller, "we had about $400,000 in sales and then three years after that we were in the neighborhood of about $4 Million in sales.
A grocery distributor bought 800. Norfolk Southern Railroad purchased 1,200. Then Mobile Demand sold 22,000 rugged PCs in the trucking industry.
The company's products and its people are known for innovation. Boasts Miller, The companys got three patents awarded and weve got a few more coming but Steve himself has how many patents in your name? "28," replies Steve Kunert, one of the company's design engineers. 28 patents.
In addition to sales and marketing, light design engineering, final production and testing are all done in Hiawatha so they know before a product goes out that it will do its job. Fewer than 2% of their rugged PCs come back for repairs. PMX Industries in Cedar Rapids has been a Mobile Demand customer for three years and Scott Edmunds, Network Administrator for PMX, says he hasn't had one product issue. Our environment is kind of rough on equipment like that so they work out really well. Other clients include Boeing, Disney, Hormel and Proctor and Gamble. There's plenty of room to grow, too, as Mobile Demand currently has about 5% of the rugged PC market.
You can learn more about Mobile Demand and its products by visiting the News Links section of this website.