Welcome to the Elite Dealer Class of 2014. These dealers represent the standouts from the independent dealer community. Despite geographical differences and differences in size, these dealerships share many common traits. Some of those traits and the criteria we use to make our final decisions include:
- Growth, either overall or in specific product, solutions, and services segments
- Innovative marketing programs, strategies, and/or service offerings that are helping the dealership grow
- Why customers like doing business with the dealership above and beyond “great service”
- Acknowledgements/awards from vendors and other third-party organizations
- Initiatives that make that dealership a great place to work
- Corporate citizenship, including specific ways that dealership gives back to the community in which it operates
This year’s honorees are presented in a format that’s completely different than any format we’ve presented them in the past—by revenue. Revenues range from dealerships doing from less than $1 million a year to $100 million plus. This allows us to not only recognize those dealers who are plying their trade in major markets, but also in small rural areas. From what we’ve seen this year and in past years is that even smaller dealers can be creative, innovative, successful, and Elite.
What follows are brief profiles of our 60 2014 Elite Dealers, focusing on just some of the special qualities that make them Elite.
ELITE DEALERS $100-$200 MILLION
Atlantic, Tomorrows Office
New York, NY
Year Founded: 1959
Principal/President/CEO: Larry Weiss
Number of Employees: 312
Primary Vendors: Ricoh/Savin, Toshiba, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, HP
Primary Solutions Offerings: Managed IT Services, DocuWare, Intelli Cloud, PaperCut, Drivve, NSi
Primary Supplies Vendors: Ricoh/Savin, Toshiba, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, HP
Primary Leasing Partners: DLL, Wells Fargo, GE Capital
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $100 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Atlantic’s Business: Production Print (Commercial Rate Print for Pay), Education, Healthcare
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Atlantic grew its business 11% last year, from $89 million to $100 million.
5 Reasons We Consider Atlantic Elite:
- Atlantic is consistently recognized by its vendors for its achievements. Atlantic has won the Toshiba Pro Master award every year until 2010 when the program was discontinued; it earned Ricoh’s Service Excellence Award 2013 and Kyocera’s Revolution 360 SSP Award for 2013.
- Its annual December Sales Blitz promotion, which continues to be a huge success.
- It became a $100 million dealership.
- The attitude of Atlantic’s employees who are excited to be part of a fast-paced, creative and growing company. Employees feel like they’re working together toward a common goal. As the company grows, so do opportunities for advancement, which helps employees and clients feel that there’s a future with Atlantic.
- Each year the dealership budgets a generous $800,000 in donations for charitable causes.
Year Founded: 1956
Principal/President/CEO: Tom Flesch, John Flesch, Bill Flesch
Number of Employees: 563
Primary Vendors: Canon, Lexmark, Sharp, Kyocera, Océ
Primary Solutions Offerings: Output Management Solutions, Enterprise Content Management and Business Process Optimization, Managed IT Services
Primary Supplies Vendors: Supplies Network, Katun
Primary Leasing Partners: GFC Leasing
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $150 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Gordon Flesch’s Business: The dealership’s two newest branches, Indianapolis and Appleton, have experienced a combined growth rate just short of 300%. The Professional Services side of the business includes ECM, Managed Print Solutions and IT Services and has grown 181% the last three years.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: The aforementioned success of its new branches and the success of its IT Services business.
5 Reasons We Consider Gordon Flesch Company Elite:
- The stunning growth of its IT Services business.
- The dealership’s Business Analysts who work with customers to uncover a wide variety of needs from technology to business process improvement to hardware and software. The dealership has a knack for collaborating with its customers and provides detailed plans to optimize their business environments.
- The creation and launch of GFC’s Key Account Management (KAM) program to support its largest customers. The goal for this program is to maintain and grow within its largest accounts as well as acquire new large accounts each year.
- A Channel Marketing Plan that’s currently being piloted with one of GFC’s white label partners. GFC’s goal is to leverage the relationships and assets of the partners who create the products and services that it sells. By working together the two parties can co-create content, re-purpose that content and utilize the content in GFC’s digital and social media environments. The goal is two-fold, staying engaged in the technology space where decision makers are spending time and utilizing content that is generated from the source.
- The Gordon Flesch Company Charitable Foundation donates $125,000 annually to nonprofits in its customers’ communities. In all, donations have exceeded more than one million dollars since the Foundation’s inception in 2001.
St. Cloud, MN
Year Founded: 1973
Principal/President/CEO: Jeff Gau
Number of Employees: 800
Primary Vendors: Konica Minolta, Sharp, HP, Canon, M-Files, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Citrix, VMware, Mitel, Tech Data
Primary Solutions Offerings: Managed/Hosted Services, Business IT Services, Carrier Services, Phone Systems, Document Management and Audio/Video Systems
Primary Supplies Vendors: West Point Products, LMI
Primary Leasing Partners: GreatAmerica, US Bank
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $180 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Marco’s Business: Managed Services (Managed IT, MPS, Cloud Services, Carrier Services) grew from $8 million in 2011 to a projected $25 million in 2014.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Besides the revenue growth of Managed Services, Marco’s overall business grew more than 30% again in 2013 top and bottom line to $152 million. Fifty percent of that growth was through acquisitions and 50% was organic.
5 Reasons We Consider Marco Elite:
- Marco has positioned itself as an IT company in the copier business rather than a copier business trying to get into the IT business. As a result, its revenue distribution is approximately 50% business IT services and 50% copier services.
- Despite its enormous growth, Marco still has a small company feel. In addition to providing a Marco staffed 24/7/365 Managed IT support desk, it has established CARE teams with designated customer segments. These teams ensure customer satisfaction by providing a more personal touch with end users and by team members focusing on key performance metrics. These are tracked and displayed real time in Marco’s client care center.
- In July of 2013, Marco implemented an Inbound Lead Generation Campaign. This included developing Website landing pages, writing multiple blogs on copier, print and IT topics, and promoting these on its Website and through social media and e-mail marketing to generate leads. The campaign has generated 87 leads and the dealership has closed 31 proposals totaling $449,604 in revenue and $130,201 GP. At press time, 56 leads were still pending.
- The development of a Managed Services marketing communication plan to promote recurring revenue. This included the development of sales training videos on its hosted/managed cloud services, the creation of cloud infographics promoted with blogs on Marco’s website and in social media, developing a sales training presentation for its carrier services offerings, publishing a MPS case studies eBook series, and creating customer case study handouts and videos for Managed Print, and backup and disaster recovery solutions.
- Marco is one of the first companies in Minnesota to establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and was among a select group of companies in the nation that is 100 percent employee owned. No wonder it’s been honored as a Minnesota 100 Best Companies to Work for (2013 & 2014), Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Best Place to Work (2014), Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce Top 10 Young Professional Workplace (2014), Star Tribune Top Workplace (2010-2014), Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Best Places to Work (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014).
Year Founded: 1955
Principal/President/CEO: Chip Crunk
Number of Employees: 480
Primary Vendors: Canon, Ricoh, Lexmark, Samsung, HP, Océ, 3D Systems
Primary Solutions Offerings: Managed Print Services
Primary Supplies Vendors: Canon, Lexmark, Ricoh, Samsung, 3D Systems
Primary Leasing Partners: In-House Leasing Service
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $105 million
Fastest Growing Segments of RJ Young’s Business: Managed Print Services (up 78%), Production (up 30%), Software (up 44%)
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Surpassing the $100-million sales milestone.
5 Reasons We Consider RJ Young Elite:
- Achieving its goal of breaking the $100-million sales mark.
- Its ability to be product independent and provide a complete solution to the customer.
- Its ability to take ownership of the customer with all aspects of involvement with the customer backed by the dealership’s “We Make It Right” Guarantee.
- The continued growth of its software solutions business, which is marketed by a dedicated team of specialists who analyze workflow and make recommendations on how a company can increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee productivity.
- The dealership’s “work hard, play hard” culture, which constantly encourages employees to go beyond in effort, while rewarding them for their performance.