EBS' workforce to double

May 27, 1997


Staff Writer

A Lanham, Md.-based database marketing service has purchased Electronic Banking Systems Inc. with plans to double EBS's employees and revenue within three years, a company official said Tuesday.

That growth will begin this fall with 30 more jobs at EBS's Hancock office, officials said.

Merkle Computer Systems Inc. completed the acquisition of EBS last Thursday, said David S. Williams, Merkle president. Williams would not disclose purchase details. Both companies are privately owned.

EBS employs about 240 people in its Hagerstown and Hancock offices, said EBS President Ron Edens.

Employment at the Hancock office will go up from 70 to 100 employees this fall because of sales growth, Edens said. Edens said he didn't know whether the new jobs would be full time or part time.


EBS pays from $6 to $8 an hour, Edens said.

One reason for that sales growth is Merkle's acquisition of EBS, which processes mail and donations for charitable organizations, Edens said.

Sales has grown 100 percent in the last three years, he said. The main reason for the growth is because many organizations are contracting out those processing services rather than doing them in-house, Edens said.

EBS had reported sales in 1996 of $4.5 million, according to a Merkle release.

EBS's market is nationwide with a majority of its nonprofit customers in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Edens said.

Database marketing is the fastest growing segment of advertising, Williams said. It is a $10 billion a year industry growing 20 percent a year, he said.

The acquisition will enable Merkle to sell its customers more services, officials said. EBS and Merkle already share some customers.

For example, both companies serve Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

EBS picks up donations through the mail, depositing them into MADD's account, Williams said. EBS gives the names and addresses of the donors to Merkle to use for further fund-raising activities, he said.

Merkle, which employs 160 people, continues to grow rapidly, Williams said. EBS is the company's third acquisition in two years.

Merkle bought the fund-raising software and service organization Real Good Software Inc. in March 1995 and the data processing service bureau Phoenix Systems Associates Inc. in September 1996, according to a Merkle release.

EBS moved from Hyattsville, Md., to Washington County in 1987. The company has offices at 13331 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown and at 35 W. Main St. in Hancock, which opened last July.

EBS will need more space than is available at its Hancock office in the old First National Bank building, Edens said. Part of that building is leased out to another company.

If EBS cannot get more room in the bank building, the company would move to another Hancock building, he said.

Anyone interested in applying for jobs can pick up an application at EBS's Hancock office, Edens said. Most of the hiring will occur after Aug. 1.

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