Essent Corporation, a ‘Grizzled Veteran’ of Technology, Continues Growth in 35th Year

Essent 35th Anniversary LogoBefore there was widespread Internet access, iPhones, or even Microsoft Windows, there was Essent®.

Founded in 1981, the technology solutions provider has matured in lockstep with the greatest technological boom since the Industrial Revolution.

Essent started when virtually no one had a computer in their home. And it’s thriving at a time when nearly everyone has a computer in their pocket.

"Essent has leveraged computer technology evolutions of the last 35 years to help our customers do business more efficiently,” Essent President and CEO Eric Alessi said. "As technology evolves, we evolve and we’ve truly helped our customers accomplish some amazing things over the last three and a half decades.”

‘Grizzled veteran’ goes international

Four years before the 1985 release of Microsoft Windows, Essent engineers were at work creating technology solutions for the regional market surrounding its Easton, Pa., headquarters.

"Essent realized there was a tremendous need for a system that tied together every part of operations."

Essent Executive Vice President Ron Cahill

Today, Essent cloud-based business solutions serve thousands of customers in every corner of the United States as well as internationally, processing more than $3 billion in commerce annually.

As household and business Internet access became commonplace in the mid-1990s, Essent turned its attention to the then-fledgling field of ecommerce.

When Essent reached its 20th year in business in 2000, the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal (now Lehigh Valley Business) described Essent as "a grizzled veteran of the computer business” with "real-world business savvy" and "leading-edge operations management software," the Compass™ Business Management System.

The next year, a promotional products distributor asked Essent to adapt its core business management system to meet the needs of distributors and suppliers. Compass was introduced to the promotional products industry leading to the most rapid growth in Essent history.

"Essent realized there was a tremendous need in the promotional products industry for a business management solution that was fully-integrated from end-to-end – a system that tied together every part of operations,” Essent Executive Vice President Ron Cahill said. "Our growth in the promotional products industry proves we’ve providing that solution.”

Listening to the industry

Essent representatives meet regularly with distributors, suppliers and key members of Promotional Products Association International to learn the wants and needs of the industry. Essent is also involved in multiple technical standards bodies and holds a seat on the PPAI Technology Committee.

Essent counts more than 25% of the top-50 grossing promotional products distributors as its customers and increases its industry market share annually.

As a result, Compass features more than 100 industry-specific tools and is a direct reflection of the feedback from these top industry players.

As a result, Essent now counts more than 25% of the top-50 grossing promotional products distributors as its customers and increases its industry market share annually.

"I talk with promotional products industry leaders every day and our response to their needs has forged Essent technology into the complete solution it is today. When the industry needs a problem solved, the solution becomes a part of our offerings,” Essent Vice President of Sales Bryan Sheaffer, a specialist in the promotional products industry, said.

2015 a banner year

"When the industry needs a problem solved, the solution becomes a part of our offerings."

Essent Vice President of Sales Bryan Sheaffer

To celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2015, Essent is fortifying its commitment to business leadership and cutting-edge technology.

Just as it leveraged growing Internet availability 20 years ago, Essent is now leveraging the proliferation of mobile devices. EssentOne™ arrived in 2015, providing the new way to do business in the promotional products industry. The cloud-based business platform harnesses the proven Essent Commerce Engine and is available anywhere on any device with a modern web browser.

Essent, which was named among the 2015 Greatest Companies to Work For by PPB Magazine, is continuing its leadership role in the promotional products industry and in technology by sponsoring the PPAI North American Leadership Conference and the PPAI Technology Summit.

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