HAPP-y 30th Anniversary
Parts Powerhouse Has Grown from Garage to Global
There are a lot of analogies in business about the spark of an idea and how it grows to something much bigger –– the acorn to a mighty oak, the ripple to a wave, and so on. But in the amusement industry, you might actually start saying something “Happ-ened” to indicate how a company grew from a small, family business into a multinational operation.
July marked the 30-year anniversary of a parts supplier that has become a staple in the amusement industry: SUZOHAPP North America. Originally “Happ Controls,” a company that started in the garage of Frank and Sue Happ, it has since exploded into an international business.
The SUZOHAPP family now includes over 1,100 people in offices around the world; it works thanks to the vision and risk-taking of the founders of the many companies that have merged over the years. Together, they support the amusement, vending and gaming industries with a parts inventory that is exhaustive.
“The Happ legacy is the epitome of what SUZOHAPP and all the legacy companies that are now part of our family represent: passion, teamwork, drive, values, and hard work,” said Ron Partridge, President of SUZOHAPP Americas. “This has resulted in great success for SUZOHAPP and, more importantly, a very promising and exciting future.”
The company first opened its doors in 1986, when Frank Happ formed Happ Controls, Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Ill. After 18 years providing service and support to customers’ businesses in the growing amusement market, it was bought in 2004 by Pfingsten Partners, a Chicago-based company. They combined it with Suzo International (founded in 1955) to become SUZOHAPP, and were lauded as the largest gaming and amusement parts and components supplier in the world.
Since its inception, SUZOHAPP sought out international growth with fervor, continuously expanding their global footprint through strategic acquisitions and mergers. During the eight years that Pfingsten Partners owned the company, SUZOHAPP purchased five additional firms to strengthen its product line and service: Advanced Electronic Systems in 2005; Mazzco, Sadectronic and Starpoint in 2006; and Chinatec in 2007.
2012 was another year of big change for the company, as ACON Investments became the parent company. Under their guidance, SUZOHAPP expanded from 500 employees to the 1,100 it employs today. Six more strategic acquisitions followed in the coming years, successfully expanding the company into 19 countries. The products they provide are varied, from LCD monitors and optical guns to cash management solutions and skill-based gaming products.
To stay on top of constantly changing trends, SUZOHAPP launched a new and redesigned website last year, featuring a more responsive layout that is fully functional on almost any platform. It offers efficient services that enable customers to buy securely with credit cards and make speedy, self-service returns. The company says the site accurately shows its commitment to the future.
The firm credits their three decades of success to the loyalty of its customers and, like a lot of other companies today, has embraced social media as a way to maintain open and continuous exchange with them. They maintain an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with a growing number of “friends, follows and fans.”
SUZOHAPP also introduced a new customer relations management platform in North America and a global marketing automation platform, both to better understand their customers and make sure their goals are in line with their needs.
With this support system in place for the customer, the company also works hard to expand its product line and industries served. Core products in North America include LCD monitors, pushbuttons, topper boxes, touch screens, trackballs, optical guns, driving controls, joysticks, power supplies, tower lights, handle mechanisms, coin hoppers, printers and bill validators. A new cash management system called “Cash Complete” has been introduced, as well as an LCD topper and products for skill-based and interactive gaming. New industries served are transportation, retail, car wash and laundry.
SUZOHAPP’s comprehensive focus on parts supply to every tier of this industry is a good illustration of vision and drive of the company. After 30 years, an unwavering support for the customers they serve has left them with plenty of friends in the industry. RePlay congratulates SUZOHAPP on 30 years, and wishes them success in the many years to come.
Visit the company online at www.suzohapp.com.