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Inside the door of Vortex Innerspace Products
by Dianne Dyess 

  Aquarium hobbyists from Connecticut to California and from Mexico to New Zealand know they can depend on Vortex
to produce some of the finest aquarium filters and accessories in the world. In Fact, the company's Diatom Filter has been
America's best selling aquarium filter for more than 15 years. One of the secrets of the company's success is what goes
on behind the doors of this relatively small company. A finely tuned network of operations in the factory makes it
possible to keep customers all over the world satisfied with Vortex products and services.

Built with pride in Florida
Vortex Innerspace Products, a company most widely known for its unique aquarium filter, the Diatom Filter
models D-1 and XL, were formed in 1969 by Denzel Dockery in Michigan. Now located in the small
northwest Florida town of Ponce de Leon, the company is managed by son Daryl Dockery and staffed
by local residents. In addition to the Diatom Filter, Vortex manufactures a pond filter system, which is
a floating water pump for garden decorator ponds; an ultra-violet germicidal lamp; a reverse-flow under-gravel
filter; a gravel washer; and the Stage-One Air Lift Filter that filters 50 gallons per hour. Also produced and hand
packaged here are the Diatom Filter Powder and an activated carbon called SUPER-CHAR that is an additive for the powder.

Next-door-neighbor Service
Phone orders for products come from all over the United States and also from foreign countries. Callers from
cities only 100 miles awayor as far away as Israel, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Mexico, Germany or Canada
are amazed at the personal attention they receive. They are all served as if they were next-door-neighbors.
Each customer is important at Vortex and are always treated asindividuals. That's one of the business
philosophies the company has maintained even as it has grown over the years.

Expert Filter Assembly
The Vortex plant consists of a four-building complex for shopping, inventory storage, assembly and packaging.
All office personnel, including president and vice president, Denzel and Daryl Dockery, are located in offices within
the manufacturing building. They believe in "hands-on," personal supervision of assembly and shipping. Assembling
the Diatom Filter is a very individual procedure in itself. Highly skilled workers give personal attention to each process.
The pump alone passes through the hands of at least eight people during assembly. When all the parts have been assembled
and inspected, packaging takes place on another assembly line. The finished piece of equipment is then inspected
again before it is placed in the package, ready for sale.

48-Hour Shipping
The company secretary receives orders and keeps them flowing smoothly. If there's a question from a customer,
the secretary knows the factory's entire working process and can track down any order. If a customer should need
any information about billing or payments, he or she can speak directly to that department. Every area of the business
is dealt with on a one-to-one basis. The close-knit operation involves every person, in every department, for every order.
This
allows the company to process orders quickly, most of them within 48 hours.

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