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NBI and W.W.Wedderburn Pty. Ltd. honored for 30 years of partnership with DIGI
John Baumann, President of NBI, tells about the 30 year mutual business relationship between NBI and DIGI
Bill Wedderburn sends his message on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the business partnership between Wedderburn Scales and DIGI



NBI and W.W.Wedderburn Pty. Ltd. honored for 30 years of partnership with DIGI

When looking back over the history of DIGI's international business, I honestly feel that we have been quite fortunate in having good people and good distributors around the world. Some distributors have gone, and some have been taken over several times by other companies. However, there are two companies who have been doing business with DIGI for the last 30 years with essentially the same people. Those two companies are, New Brunswick International Inc. in the United States and W. W. Wedderburn Pty. Ltd. in Australia. Taking the opportunity of Teraoka/DIGI's 70th Anniversary, we would like to pay high tribute to those two companies for their 30 years of partnership with DIGI.
Written by Taka Hattori, International Marketing Manager of Teraoka Seiko Co., Ltd.


John Baumann, President of NBI, tells about the 30 year mutual business relationship between NBI and DIGI

John Baumann, President of NBI
  In April 1974, Takeharu Teraoka, Kazuharu Teraoka and Lou Bonapace established a business relationship that has survived and grown for 30 years. The basis for this business partnership was that NBI would only promote DIGI products and that Teraoka would only sell DIGI products to NBI. As Lou has said many times,"This is a marriage and in a marriage you aren't allowed to have girlfriends." In 1974, there were no DIGI scales anywhere in the United States or Canada. Actually the first electronic digital scales were just being designed. DIGI was an unknown outside of Japan and NBI was a new company. Today DIGI is known throughout North America and NBI is one of the top 3 scale companies in the United States.

In 1974, signed the basic distribution agreement at Takeharu's office. Standing from left to right: Kazuharu Teraoka, Mr. Hiyashi, Head of Engineering at that time, Susumu Saito, Shingo Ogasawara. Sitting from left to right: Norman Wolfe, Scale Service Manager, Lou Bonapace, and Takeharu Teraoka
  In 1974, after about a year of discussions, Takeharu Teraoka, Kazuharu Teraoka, Lou Bonapace and others sat down in Takeharu's office and signed the basic distribution agreement, which began this relationship. At that time no one knew what the future would be, but everyone was dedicated to working hard together for the common end of making DIGI successful in North America.
  The first successful DIGI product was the electronic mechanical scale, which used an optical transducer. This scale became known in the industry simply as the "DIGI" scale and was the foundation of our success. The scale was extremely accurate and reliable. It incorporated a temperature compensated spring made from an alloy designed by Teraoka and exclusive to Teraoka. The "DIGI" scale set a new standard for reliability.
Lou Bonapace in front of one of the first "DIGI" scale installations in the United States. The picture was taken by Takeharu Teraoka during one of his many visits to the US.
  Technology and Salesmanship have resulted in many other accomplishments. The introduction of the first successful printer, the DP-9100 and the SM scale printer were important early innovations. NBI established a complete network of sales and service dealers to cover the entire United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. A service center was established in California to support the Western states. NBI put in place an organization of Regional Salesmen to call on major chains and to support dealer sales. One of the most important developments in technology was the introduction of direct thermal printing to produce random weight retail scale labels. This was a tremendous technological innovation and established DIGI's reputation for being first to the market with totally new ideas. At the same time NBI was successful in penetrating the first major chain of what would become Ahold USA. This company, Pick & Pay, purchased the first units of the SM-40 and CB-10 system. Later they would buy Finast Stores in the New England area and finally become part of Ahold USA and Stop & Shop stores. This DIGI first also resulted in helping NBI open a market for sales to the food industry. Thermal printing coupled with the flexibility of programmable scales resulted in the DPS-1000 DIGI packer. This product was developed by NBI and Teraoka with input from Holly Farms Poultry. It was specifically designed for use in poultry processing plants and was the first successful DIGI product sold to the food processing industry. Like the old "DIGI" scale, this product established NBI and DIGI's reputation for innovation, reliability and software support in the industrial market.
  Many other technological and marketing experiences have happened over the last 30 years, computer interfacing, scale management, sales to Ralph's, Vons, Jewel, Holly Farms, Ahold Contract, wireless interfacing and more recently Plug & Weigh software are but a few. Like every marriage there have been many good times and many hard times, but through the last 30 years the basis of the partnership between NBI and Teraoka has grown and strengthened. We have both tried to enjoy the successes and to learn from the mistakes. By going through this process together we have learned to trust and depend on each other. Lou has said many times, "If you cut my arm, I will bleed Teraoka blood." This same can be said for all the employees at NBI.
  On the occasion of Teraoka's 70th Anniversary, I want to thank all the many Teraoka people both present and past that have contributed to the success of NBI and Teraoka. For a marriage to succeed for 30 years there has to be mutual respect, trust, hard work, faith and a willingness to accept each other as equals. We, Teraoka and NBI, have passed that test and I wish everyone at Teraoka success for the next 70 years.

Tom Baumann, appointed as Executive Vice President of NBI

Tom Baumann, will open a new page for NBI/DIGI in the giant market of the US.
  John Baumann, President of NBI proudly announced this appointment.
  "Effective May 2004, Tom Baumann was promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President of NBI. The purpose of this change is to provide continuity of management for the longterm future of NBI and DIGI in the US.
  "Tom started working at NBI, when he was in Junior High School. One of his first jobs was programming the DP-110 printer with a full bakery ingredient PLU file. Tom has worked as a Graphic Artist, Pressman and Manager of our label manufacturing operations. He started our West Coast label company from scratch. Tom has been a Marketing Assistant working under Mike Schaefer and Ivo Idavoy. In this position he has supported all retail operations, programmed scales, done sales presentations, trained salesmen, installed scales and above all else earned the respect of his coworkers at NBI.
  "I know that Tom will give 110% of his heart and effort to make NBI and DIGI successful and that he will strive to work with all the people at NBI and at Teroaka to make this happen."
  All the people of Teraoka/DIGI group companies send Tom Baumann, warmest congratulations and we are sure that the business relationship will strengthen even more for mutual prosperity.



Bill Wedderburn sends his message on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the business partnership between Wedderburn Scales and DIGI

William W. Wedderburn, Chairman of W.W. Wedderburn Pty. Ltd.
  When Takayuki Hattori invited me to provide a few words for the DIGI News Bulletin No.50, reflecting on our company's 30 year Business Partnership with Teraoka, it got me thinking very hard indeed. There are so many positive and exciting achievements and market breakthroughs, we have made together, over the last 30 years; thanks to Teraoka's dedicated and unstinting support and cooperation. I could say quite simply that this truly is a very unique and special relationship.
  Three decades is a very long time for any business relationship to experience continuing success and prosperity...our Partnership has been very special, because Teraoka and Wedderburn share so many common values and traditions.
left to right: Mrs. Fumie Teraoka, Bill Wedderburn and Takeharu Teraoka, at DIGI World Meeting in Tokyo in 1989. Bill selected and sent the photo for the celebration article.
  One of my very first contacts with Teraoka Seiko Japan was with Takayuki Hattori (Taka), Taka really impressed me with his honesty and sincerity, I knew instinctively, that our companies were destined to work together.
  In 1974 our company had just one office in Sydney. Today our company has 27 company owned and operated sales and service offices strategically located in all our major cities and regional centers in Australia and New Zealand, with nearly 300 company members. Wedderburn Scale is now the largest and most successful Scale Company in the Australian and New Zealand market.
  Our Company is currently the preferred supplier to most of the Major Supermarket Groups in Australia and New Zealand, we enjoy more than 80% market share. The "bedrock" of our Business Partnership can be traced back to the great friendship that I shared with Takeharu (Take) Teraoka, the then President of Teraoka. Take was a very great ambassador for his company and had simply a wonderful and endearing personality.
Mr. & Mrs. Wedderburn and Taka, in the early years of the business partnership
  Take's extremely standards in "Personal and Business Values" has made a very positive and lasting impression on the company to this day, and is being proudly supported and continued by Take's son, President Kazuharu Teraoka.
  I would like to specially thank and congratulate all the staff of Teraoka and Wedderburn...as the success and foundation of our 30 year Business Partnership, is solidly based on their personal and individual efforts and skills; the result is this truly remarkable 30th Anniversary of a very happy association.