New England, especifically Salem, New Hampshire, has been home to Dennco,
makers and distributors of the Sonocaddie GPS system and the Club Champ brand of golf travel covers, practice and training devices, games, gifts and accessories, since 1981.
The company began as a small family operation with a single product--a hand-held pad printer for golf balls.
Says Jim Dennesen, president of Dennco, “The company started in this area because this was ‘home’. It grew from a home operation with a few employees over the years to a significant manufacturing and warehousing operation employing between 25 to 30, with many more seasonal employees.”
Dennesen says the focus of the firm has shifted recently to warehousing and distribution, with more and more of the company’s manufacturing done in Asia.
“Some products are still made here when we have the ability to replace cheap foreign labor and high ocean freight with locally manufactured raw materials from recycled materials and modern production
techniques. For example, the materials for our indoor
putting greens are made from 100 percent recycled plastic
bottles produced in neighboring towns. So, not only are we using sustainable manufacturing, we also reduce the carbon footprint of our inbound ocean containers and freight operation. And lest golfers think ‘recycled’ equals ‘inferior,’ the putting greens we produce here are the plushest and most durable available in this product category.
The company built its present facility in 1996, “when standard trucks were 40 feet,” says Dennesen. “Now, everything seems to come and go on 53-footers, so we’ve recently had to expand our loading docks to accommodate these big rigs. We’ve made ourselves greener, replacing the energy-sucking high bay lighting to ‘on demand’ lighting on our many aisles of racking, which has reduced our carbon footprint and our utility bills at the same time.”
Dennesen says New Hampshire is truly “home,” for Dennco.
“New Hampshire and New England are great places to live. There’s history, great people, a clean environment, with the ocean, lakes and mountains at your doorstep. It’s within driving distance to New York and Montreal, and just 30 minutes from Boston. New Hampshire has always had a favorable attitude toward business, and the lack of any state income or sales taxes makes the state a great place to work and live. We have a hard working, loyal and motivated work force drawn from the local area, and a very low attrition rate. We have a great infrastructure, two airports (Boston Logan and Manchester, N.H.) within 30 minutes, and proximity to major highways and trucking routes, so getting product in from ocean terminals and out to our major customers is fast and smooth.”
Dennco is committed to the area long term, says Dennesen.
“Sure we have some snow, and I’d love to spend more time fishing and playing golf in Florida. But at this time we have no plans to move our home office from New Hampshire. We have shifted some of our warehousing and distribution operations to the Los Angeles area to improve efficiency, and as I mentioned, much of the
manufacturing has gone overseas. We are lean, mean and green, and well-positioned for a stable long-term future here where we love to live.”