Christopher Morgan makes big move

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:28 pm

Christopher Morgan makes big move
Informercial industry fuels tremendous growth for New Berlin company

Chris Rebholz, president of Christopher Morgan LLC, had a problem many other business people can only dream about: his company was growing too quickly, exceeding the capacity of its plant and its work force.
So, Rebholz moved his firm to a new 100,000-square-foot plant at 16595 W. Stratton Dr. in New Berlin in September.
The move was prompted by four-fold growth for his company’s sales between December 2001 and June 2002.
Christopher Morgan is a third-party fulfillment service provider, a host and manager of on-line Web stores and a provider of programs and services for financial and insurance brokers. Since 1997, the company has provided the e-commerce, financial, catalog and direct-response television (DRTV) industries with fulfillment, assembly, distribution, customer care and integrated e-commerce expertise.
"There haven’t been many companies fortunate enough to have grown during the bad economy," Rebholz said.
To find its new site, Christopher Morgan worked with Siegel Gallagher, Milwaukee, and agreed to lease the new $4 million building from James Luterbach Construction, a New Berlin company which owned the site and built the plant to suit.
Christopher Morgan hired Computerized Structural Design of Milwaukee as the architect for the building and Creative Business Interiors of West Allis to design the office layout and furniture, which will include a café style lunch area for employees.
"The reason that we built here was for the sanctity," Rebholz said, referring to a pond on the end-lot site. Another plus was the location, which is only a quarter-mile from Interstate 43.
The new facility includes a warehouse, a packing and shipping area, corporate offices and a response center. It has 28-foot ceilings.
Christopher Morgan currently processes 10,000 to 50,000 orders each week. The company’s goal for the next two to five years is to increase the number of orders processed to between 10,000 and 50,000 orders each day.
The current schedule has Christopher Morgan taking orders seven days a week and shipping five days a week.
Christopher Morgan employs 20 full-time and 20 part-time employees. To meet the projected growth, the company hopes to expand to 100 full-time employees by next summer.
The company was founded in 1997 by Rebholz and Joseph "Bud" Morgan, who has since passed away. Christopher Morgan began as a gourmet catalog company, Christopher Morgan Culinary Classics.
However, after a few years, the company decided to shift its focus to "working on behalf of others," according to Rebholz, which meant taking orders and packaging and shipping products for other companies.
E-commerce and direct-response television (infomercials) replaced the gourmet food catalog.
Christopher Morgan moved from its former 35,000-square-foot location at 16465 W. Lincoln Ave. in New Berlin.
Christopher Morgan’s new facility was built to account for future growth, with room for another 75,000-square-foot addition.
"It can accommodate the growth plan for the next five years," Rebholz said.
"We were able to build it, hopefully, to never move again," said Rebholz’s partner, Eric Nelson, who is the vice president of the firm.
Wisconsin has served as a great location for Christopher Morgan, according to Rebholz. With many clients on either the West or East Coast, Christopher Morgan’s central location has proven beneficial to the company.
Christopher Morgan’s expansion into the world of e-commerce and direct-response television has been a major factor in the company’s growth. "There has been a tremendous growth in e-commerce. We want to continue to grow in that realm," Rebholz said.
Although Christopher Morgan does have a call and response center with 22 employees, it is not large enough to handle all the calls that result from an infomercial.
When an infomercial airs on television, 90% of the orders are taken within 15 minutes, according to Rebholz. An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people are needed to take calls. As a result, Christopher Morgan has partnered with larger call centers to handle the volume of calls.
After orders have been placed for products, Christopher Morgan packages and ships them.
Rebholz is a partner in several other companies, such as Epicenter, Prairie Hill Music and Bind Max Proteins, which use Christopher Morgan’s services.
Christopher Morgan also works with many companies it does not own, such as insurance and financial companies. Christopher Morgan secures appointments for agents and brokers. In addition, the company packages and ships premium fulfillments.
"So far, it has worked out fantastically," said Rebholz.

Dec. 26, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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