DeLorme lays off 10 as focus shifts away from mapping

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 14, 2013, at 3:20 p.m.

YARMOUTH, Maine — DeLorme, the company well-known for its trusty Gazetteer and other traditional mapping products, has laid off 10 people as it continues a transition to selling high-tech GPS products, according to a company spokeswoman.

The layoffs are not a sign of trouble at the Yarmouth-based company, according to Kim Stiver, DeLorme’s vice president of marketing. On the contrary, the company is doing well, she said.

“DeLorme is a company in transition,” Stiver told the Bangor Daily News on Monday. “We’re continuing a transition from a traditional provider of mapping products to a satellite-enabled communications and data-delivery company. As we continue this transition process, it naturally requires some adjustments to our mix of skill sets and resources.”

While the company is known for its maps and Gazetteers, the product driving future growth of the company is its inReach satellite communicator, which allows people to communicate via text message from anywhere on the globe regardless of cell service, Stiver said. DeLorme first introduced the inReach product in November 2011.

Stiver wouldn’t say what percentage of DeLorme’s business is now in the inReach devices, but she said sales are “very healthy.” She said the company sees growth opportunities in the marine, aviation and international markets. Besides in the United States, the company sells the device in Canada and Australia and is expanding in Europe.

Stiver wouldn’t reveal whether all those laid off were in positions related to the traditional mapping business.

While the company may be shifting focus away from its traditional products, she said they are still an important part of the company’s business, especially since inReach uses DeLorme’s digital mapping technology.

“Our traditional mapping product sales are stable, but not increasing. It’s not a growth business for us,” Stiver said.

Not counting those laid off, the company now employs 75 people, she said.

This is not the company’s first round of layoffs. It has made others, including the dismissal of 15 people in March 2011. Stiver, who’s only been on the job for a year, couldn’t provide historic employment numbers for the company.

However, DeLorme has also been hiring as the company shifts its focus to the satellite-enabled communication technology business, Stiver said, although she couldn’t provide specific numbers as to how many jobs have been created. She said some manufacturing jobs have been created as DeLorme moved final assembly of the inReach product from Asia back to Yarmouth.

The laid-off employees will receive severance packages and re-employment counseling and training, Stiver said.

“DeLorme has a passion for its employees, and it’s always a difficult decision when these things have to occur,” she said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/10/14/business/delorme-lays-off-10-as-focus-shifts-away-from-mapping/ printed on December 28, 2014