Norris heads south, builds up its New Hampshire presence

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

GREENLAND, N.H. - After serving the area through two nearby branches for the past several years, engineered systems distributor Norris Inc. this month took the next step in strengthening its presence in the market by opening an office here.

The new location provides the fire ESD and nurse-call, access control and CCTV integrator with its first full-fledged operation in New Hampshire. For the past several years the company, owned by two brothers, has run a satellite service office on the campus at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H., but that location is linked to a contract with the university.

“This is our first step into moving south into the larger markets,” said Brad Norris, senior vice president of Norris Inc., a 30-employee company based in South Portland, Maine.

Initially plans call for staffing the leased office located only three miles off Interstate 95 with a branch manager, sales person, technician and administrative assistant, said Harty Norris, president. During that first year sales are expected to reach the $1 million mark, he said, thanks to some contracts already in the works and jobs secured previous to the branch opening.

“It’s going to be a boon for us,” said Jeff Martinez, branch sales manager for the Greenland, N.H., location. “We’ve been providing service to a small number of New Hampshire contractors for a number of years.”

By locating the office here, company officials expect to tap into a market flush with industrial and commercial development now served by only a few companies. “We see an opportunity in the marketplace and we’re looking to fill that spot,” said Harty Norris.

The last time Norris Inc. opened a new location was last year, after it bought Bangor, Maine-based Maine Sound and Intercom. Norris used that branch as a springboard to build its presence in Northern Maine, taking it from a one-person operation to a multi-person business.

If all bodes well with the Greenland, N.H., location, company officials may set sights on additional branches in the future.

“Our first move was north to fill a huge void up there and this move is to a larger market than we’ve handled in the past,” said Brad Norris. “We will look to see if we can carry this on.”