Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The phone book is going high-tech

I don't use a printed phone book much anymore, but at least two companies toss new editions each year onto my driveway.

The phone book is going high-tech


I don't use a printed phone book much anymore, but at least two companies toss new editions each year onto my driveway.

With many online sites available to look up phone numbers, those softcover directories with white and yellow pages get more use raising my computer monitor than as reference material.

Verizon Communications Inc. knows all of that and has been seeking approval in various states to stop automatically delivering the white pages, which are the residential listings of phone numbers. (Your fingers did the walking through the yellow pages.)

Verizon has been quoting Gallup research that shows usage of the white pages slumped to 11 percent in 2008.

Instead, Verizon wants to substitute an electronic version of the white pages. It would still send out printed directories that contain the business-filled yellow pages and listings for various government agencies, but no A-Z listings of "Smith, John" or "Jones, Mary."

Yes, the phone company will save some money, but it ties the move more to its "sustainability" initiatives, cutting as much paper out of its operations as possible.

Public utility commissions in Delaware and New Jersey gave their OK to Verizon's plan earlier this month. The change will take effect in December in New Jersey and in January for Delaware.

Still, if customers really want to see their names in black-and-white, Verizon says it will still send out a printed directory or a CD-ROM version with residential listings if people call a toll-free number, 1-800-888-8448.

Fleet move

Automotive Resources International sounds like a company that would be more at home in Detroit than Mount Laurel.

But South Jersey has been its base for the last 62 years. On Thursday, the unit of Holman Automotive Group cut the ribbon on its new 177,000-square-foot headquarters at 4001 Leadenhall Rd., where about 700 people work.

The privately held Automotive Resources manages more than 2,000 vehicle fleets composed of more than 700,000 cars and trucks for other companies.

Its new headquarters is only two miles from its last one at 9000 Midlantic Dr., Mount Laurel, according to a company spokeswoman.

Automotive Resources bought the office building last fall from PHH Corp., also based in Mount Laurel. PHH is a publicly held residential mortgage company, but it is in the fleet-management business, too. With the collapse in housing, PHH has cut employment from 7,060 as of Dec. 31, 2005, to 5,120 at the end of 2009.

Don't fret. This doesn't mean that Automotive Resources will be parking 700,000 Chevy Cavaliers all over Mount Laurel. The headquarters houses its customer-support, operations, human resources, information technology, finance, and sales and marketing functions.

Nearby Maple Shade will remain a fleet-management and operations center, as will Grapevine, Texas.


"The decision to relocate the company is in no way a reflection on Knoxville, which has been a great city for SunCoke. We appreciate the city's support and partnership, but the demands of our business require us to relocate."

- Frederick "Fritz" Henderson,

incoming chairman and chief executive officer of SunCoke Energy Inc., which is being spun off from Philadelphia's Sunoco Inc., on plans to move the headquarters to suburban Chicago from Tennessee.


Contact Mike Armstrong at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com. See his blog at www.phillyinc.biz


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About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

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